5th Annual

Festival of International Virtual and Augmented Reality Stories

September 14, 2019 to September 17, 2019

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Film Market
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650 Lakeshore Road E.
Mississauga ON L5G1J6
Phone: 3239634718

CLOSED FOR THE SEASON • Information may be outdated. Add this event to your Watch List and set a Remind-Me if you want to be notified when the next Call For Entries is posted.

Passive Immersive Media
Passive Immersive Playback which also encompasses "360" or "Spherical" Video or Computer Generated Experience, covers any submissions in the form of a video file or executable, or application that has fixed duration where the user is immersed within a surround playback technology and a passive viewer during playback.

(This includes animated, and/or cinematographic content.)
Interactive Narrative Experience
Virtual/Mixed/Augmented Reality narratives that allow the user to directly affect the sequence or environment or point of view by their own actions (i.e. whether through a user visible or hidden interaction).


The Festival of International Virtual and Augmented Reality Stories focuses on curating and exhibiting the best Virtual Reality (VR) & Augmented Reality (AR) narrative content in the world with the aim of exploring and nurturing this platform for new forms of storytelling.


“FIVARS Is the Most Cutting-Edge Storytelling Festival in the World” ~
Huffington Post

"Thanks to FIVARS, Canada’s first virtual reality film festival, this super-charged tech is destined to change how we experience on-screen storytelling.”
~ Digital Journal

FIVARS, the Festival of International Virtual and Augmented Reality Stories – the original Canadian embodied media storytelling festival – debuted in Toronto, Canada in 2015 and showcased a new wave of filmmakers and content producers who pushed the boundaries of virtual reality (VR) narrative, including many world premieres!

In addition to several well publicized outreach events including the inaugural Wavelengths Music Festival on Toronto island, as well as a free 8-hour showcase running in tandem with the Toronto Film Festival at the Metro Hall (sponsored by the City of Toronto.)

The inaugural two-day festival ran Saturday and Sunday, September 19-20, 2015 2 sold out 8 hours days at UG3 Live, only a block away from TIFF and was visited by many international entertainment industry execs, producers and press.

Building on years of experience as VR presenters and event producers,FIVARS returned in 2016 at the VRTO Virtual & Augmented Reality World Conference & Expo at historic Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, the ProFusion show (over 12000 attendees) and the sold-out 3-day FIVARS festival in September that featured over 30 original pieces.

FIVARS 2017 hosted 3-sold out days of a two-story building in the heart of Toronto's arts district to showcase 35 original pieces, most of which were World or North American Premieres from 18 countries, and attracted visitors from around the world, not to mention many industry figures including distributors, and technology companies. FIVARS introduced 5 of its 2017 selectees for inclusion into the Samsung Developer's Conference showcase in San Francisco and continues to broker important relationships between creators, distributors and audiences worldwide.

FIVARS 2018 was the best year yet and took place at the legendary Matador Ballroom featuring 36 new pieces and over 20 world premieres.

Will you be included in the 2019 frontline?


Keram Malicki-Sanchez (Festival Registrar); Keram Malicki-Sanchez (Festival Registrar); Stephanie Greenall


The Festival of International Virtual and Augmented Reality Stories focuses on curating the best immersive VR & AR story-driven content in the world with the aim of exploring and nurturing this platform for new narrative forms. In any aspect where the General Rules conflicts with the Terms and Conditions, the Terms and Conditions shall supersede the General Rules.

General Festival Rules


Rules for all Categories:

The submitter must have consent from all required parties prior to submitting to FIVARS a Story for screening at the festival and relevant events leading up to and following the festival.

Please read the Terms and Conditions fully for complete details prior to submission. Only VR/Mixed/AR projects will be reviewed for final acceptance as determined by the sole discretion of FIVARS. If the piece is of a more unique nature, but you feel it may be of interest to FIVARS, please feel free to contact submissions@fivars.net .

The two categories for submissions are:

Passive Immersive Playback: Passive Immersive Media which also encompasses "360" or "Spherical" Video, covers any submissions in the form of a video file, or application that has fixed duration where the user is immersed within a surround playback technology and a passive viewer during playback.

Interactive stories: VR/Mixed/AR stories that allow the user to directly affect the sequence or environment or point of view by their own actions (i.e. whether through a user visible or hidden interaction) or immersive theater or location-based configuration.


People's Choice Award Spherical Video
Given to the highest viewer-voted Non-Interactive VR/Mixed/AR Story.

People's Choice Award Interactive Narrative
Given to the highest viewer-voted Interactive VR/Mixed/AR Story.

Impact Award:
Any narrative experience that, in playing to the strengths of the medium, creates an indelible call to action or helps or affords a unique and empowering perspective with potentially positive sociological ramifications

Grand Jury Prize
Given to the highest Jury-Panel-voted VR/AR Story from all categories.


To submit a Story for Festival consideration, an Applicant must:

Complete the registration process at WithoutaBox and pay the required fee as listed during the submission process.

Provide to FIVARS a digital submission via a link to submissions content which is to be sent by the submitter to submissions@fivars.net for transmission of the digital file. Example methods include but are not limited to links to files stored on Amazon Cloud, Google Drive or Cloud services, Dropbox, Onedrive, Box, Sync, WeTransfer, Hightail or any other file sharing, or hosting service (FIVARS does not expressly endorse any service over another). This will then be available to be reviewed by the FIVARS adjudication panel.

FIVARS does not accept submissions in any other manner or format, including: content burned to Read/Write (RW) discs, Blu-ray discs, or trailers.

Submission Qualifiers
a) FIVARS will not review multiple versions of a submitted story. Only one version of the story may be submitted. If multiple versions are submitted, FIVARS will view only the version that was received first. If accepted, FIVARS may, under special written approval, accept an updated version.
b) If the original language of production is non-English, English subtitles must be included;
c) The digital file must be labeled with the following: (i) title, (ii) length in minutes (eg RT0:00)
d) an email must be sent to submissions@fivars.net with subject including (i) title, (ii) length in minutes, (iii) production company name
and the body of the email to include the following information:

Subject: <title>, <length in minutes>, <production company name>
Phone Number: <phone number>
Address: <address>
DIR: <director>
Country: <country of production>
Logline: <Logline>
Equirectangular poster: <links to equirectangular poster>
Website: <website for content>
Social Media Links: <Twitter>, <Facebook>, <Instagram>
Date of completion: <date of completion>
Premiere Status: <Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Worldwide)/ existing exhibited territories>
Distribution: <any current channels of distribution>
Equirectangular Poster: (please email png or jpg)
Standard Promotional Poster: (please email png)

Applicants should test their digital submissions thoroughly before submitting them. If FIVARS is unable to view the digital submission, FIVARS may attempt, but is under no obligation, to contact the Applicant to obtain a replacement digital submission.

FIVARS is under no obligation to contact the submitting party and/or refund the submission fee should the applicant not have adhered to rules listed above.

FIVARS does not confirm receipt of digital submission, and is not responsible for lost or misdirected submissions. It is the Applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the submission procedure is complete, and that the digital submission has been received by FIVARS.


Submission fees and deadlines for 2019 are as follows:

Interactive Stories & Non-Interactive Stories

Early Bird Submissions (until April 15th, 2019)
FIVARS 2017 advanced entries will be considered for select early screenings with VRTO Conference and/or events, under the FIVARS brand experience.

Regular Deadline Submissions - (April 15, 2019 - July 15th, 2019)
FIVARS 2017 Final deadline for submissions.

Late Submissions - (July 16, 2019 - August 20th, 2019)
Due to catalog listings and preview events late submissions will be submitted at a higher administrative fee rate.

NOTE: all fees denoted are in US dollars. if actual fees differ from this text, the active fees override this text.

FIVARS may accept late submissions in its sole and absolute discretion, but an additional submission fee may apply.


FIVARS will consider for inclusion in the Festival all eligible stories that have been submitted by the above deadline and in accordance with these Terms. FIVARS reserves the right to consider for inclusion in the Festival, and include in the Festival, stories received at any time and through any means, channel or process, including means, channels or processes other than those outlined in these Terms. Nothing in these Terms or otherwise requires FIVARS to select for Festival inclusion any of the stories submitted through the process outlined in these Terms.

All selection decisions are at the sole and absolute discretion of FIVARS, and are final; FIVARS is not required to provide any feedback, comments or reasons, or any other information, regarding the selection or non-selection of any submitted story or the process by which stories are or have been selected.

FIVARS is not responsible or liable for its selection decisions; for the contents of any internal comments or feedback regarding the story that are or may be obtained from the Applicant or anyone else; for any communications by any representative of FIVARS relating to the Story or the Festival selection process; for the manner in which the Story shall be, is or was considered and reviewed; or for any failure on the part of the Festival to provide the Applicant or anyone else with information concerning FIVARS’s consideration and/or review of the story.

FIVARS will notify by August 31, 2019 all Applicants who have been selected to participate in the Festival. All Applicants who are not selected to participate in the Festival will be contacted by email on or around August 31, 2019. FIVARS will contact Applicants using the contact information provided in the Withoutabox registration form. Applicants are responsible for providing correct and functional contact information. FIVARS is not responsible for any failed attempts to contact Applicants using the contact information provided.



Category Rules

(1) The following terms and conditions (the “Terms”) govern the submission of story (the “Story”) to Festival of International Virtual and Augmented Reality Stories (“FIVARS”), through Withoutabox.com (Withoutabox) for consideration for the 2019 FIVARS (the “Festival”). To the extent that this document is inconsistent with any other document prepared by FIVARS or anyone else, this document will take precedence. Any questions about these Terms should be directed to submissions@fivars.net.


(1) By submitting a Story to FIVARS for Festival consideration, the submitter (the “Applicant”) represents that he or she has obtained consent from any and all owners, creators, writers, producers and/or other authorized representatives of the Story whose consent is required to submit the Story to FIVARS (the “Story Owners”) and screen the Story at the Festival, and has read, understood and agreed to the Terms.

(2) FIVARS may disqualify or reject, but is not required to do so, any submission that it determines in its sole and absolute discretion, is not in compliance, in whole or in part, with these Terms, and may do so without refunding any or all submission fees paid by the Applicant or returning the Applicant’s submission.


(1) FIVARS prefers that all Stories are, at a minimum, Canadian premieres. FIVARS will accept submissions that have already premiered in Canada, but the story’s premiere status will be taken into consideration when final programming decisions are made.

(2) A Story will not be eligible for consideration of awards if:
a. the Story was completed prior to September 15th 2018.
b. the Story was previously submitted to FIVARS for Festival consideration.

(3) All Stories must be submitted as Digital Submissions. Should any assistance be required please send an email to: submissions@fivars.net


All Stories submitted under these Terms must be submitted in accordance with the procedure outlined herein. FIVARS may, but is not required to, disqualify or reject any Story that is not submitted in this way.


(1) By submitting the story to FIVARS, the Applicant and Story Owners (the “Submitting Parties”) hereby warrant and represent that: (i) the Story is wholly original and is not copied from and does not include any other work that is the subject of copyright or other protection, unless such work is in the public domain or the Submitting Parties have obtained any and all consents, releases, licenses, and other authorizations or waivers of any kind necessary for the inclusion or reproduction of any person, character, location, thing, trade-mark, sound recording, musical composition or other work in the Story; (ii) the Story does not defame any person or violate the common law or statutory rights, including, without limitation, the rights of privacy and publicity or any other right of any person; (iii) the Story is not the subject of litigation; nor any dispute which would give rise to litigation (iv) there are no agreements, nor will there be any agreements made subsequent to the date of this Story submission that would or could have the effect of impairing the Submitting Parties’ ability to provide the Story as contemplated herein, or otherwise conflict with any provision of these Terms; and (v) the Submitting Parties have the full right, power and authority to submit the Story to FIVARS for Festival consideration, and to grant all of the rights granted hereunder and in the Withoutabox registration form, and there is no obligation or disability which would in any way impair, restrict or impede the Submitting Parties from fully performing all obligations pursuant to the submission and these Terms.

(2) The Submitting Parties agree to indemnify and hold harmless FIVARS, its licensees, successors and assigns, and its and their members, officers, directors, employees, volunteers, agents, representatives, associates and affiliates (each, a “Releasee”), from any claim, suit, action or other proceeding brought against a Releasee and from any losses, costs, or damages, including the Releasee’s full legal fees and costs, which it may have suffered or incurred or may suffer or incur, directly or indirectly based on, in connection with, or arising from the use and exhibition of the Story submitted by the Applicant or the breach or alleged breach of any representation, warranty or other agreement made by the Applicant in these Terms, or in the Applicant’s Withoutabox registration form.

(3) FIVARS takes reasonable anti-piracy precautions. While in FIVARS’s possession, all Stories are securely stored. Access to Stories is limited to FIVARS staff who require access in order to screen and consider submissions. No duplication and loaning of Stories is permitted. By submitting a Story to FIVARS, the Submitting Parties hereby release the Releasees from any and all liability in the event of theft, unauthorized access or copying, or any breach of copyright of the submitted Story while it is in FIVARS’s possession.


(1) FIVARS reserves the right to rule, in its sole discretion, on cases and situations not foreseen by these Terms.

The person who has completed this entry form has READ and AGREES TO ABIDE BY all regulations and statements provided with this form and in our Terms and Conditions which can be found at

For more Festival information, refer to the official website at this link: https://fivars.net

If you have any questions, please contact Story Submissions at:

Email: submissions@fivars.net