Frances Adair Mckenzie’s VR work Orchid and Bee selected for Annecy International Animation Film Festival

From: National Film Board

The Orchid and the Bee, an immersive VR work by interdisciplinary artist Frances Adair Mckenzie produced at the NFB, will have its world premiere at the prestigious Annecy International Animation Film Festival, where it will screen in competition. The project was selected from among 80 submissions. Some of the seven works in competition will be accessible on the Viveport platform, in collaboration with HTC Vive and with the support of creators and producers. More details will be provided by the festival in the coming weeks.

Quick facts

  • The Orchid and the Bee by Frances Adair Mckenzie (A Little Craving) will have its world premiere at Annecy, screening in competition as part of the official VR selection.
  • This immersive work of conceptual art blends VR technology with the tactile materiality of stop-motion animation.
  • A work in three acts inspired by Darwin’s theory of evolution, The Orchid and the Bee is an ode to nature’s struggle for existence.

About The Orchid and the Bee (NFB, 5 min)

Synopsis, biographies, images:

In The Orchid and the Bee, the survivors are not the strongest nor most intelligent, but the most adaptable to change. Mckenzie brings her mischievous sense of play to the realm of virtual reality as her story unfolds in three acts.

  • Act 1: When under threat, adult immortal jellyfish revert to a sexually immature polyp form.
  • Act 2: Humans nurse sinister relations with pigs, all for the love of bacon.
  • Act 3: Some orchids have evolved to trick male bees into mating.

Plasteline-moulded puppets were first filmed in 3D stereoscopic stop-motion, then integrated into VR to place the spectator inside a rotating spiral of evolutionary events. The result is a beautifully crafted immersion into a reimagined primordial soup of life.

Three animated shorts in competition at Annecy

Three NFB productions or co-productions have been selected for the short film competition at Annecy, which will take place this year online from June 15 to 30: Theodore Ushev’s The Physics of Sorrow, Andreas Hykade’s Altötting and Jean-François Lévesque’s I, Barnabé

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