The Festival of International Virtual & Augmented Reality Stories is the world's premiere dedicated hybrid immersive story arts festival, launched in 2015 and now in its 10th year.

The Festival of International Virtual and Augmented Reality Stories focuses on curating the best immersive story-driven content from around the world with the aim of exploring and nurturing this platform for new narrative forms. FIVARS was the first Canadian festival of its kind featuring many world premieres and content creators who have gone on to win awards from Lumieres to Oscars!

In 2020 FIVARS turned into a 3D WebXR world that hosted 35 experiences from over 15 countries, of which more than 50% were female directors! Qatar, Spain, France, Korea, US, Canada, Australia, Lebanon, were all represented. In 2021 FIVARS launched its first in-person event in West Hollywood, California! In 2022 FIVARS was nominated for Event of the Year at the Poly Awards.

Listen to the Voices of VR Podcast describing the rich, complex online world that FIVARS built to host premium quality 4K, 360, stereoscopic, VR supported content right from the browser:

And here is another where Kent explores with festival director Keram why festivals like this are so vital to independent creators:

FIVARS also hosts interactive PCVR, AR, and virtual dome experiences with in-person events in multiple cities, as well as live performances in VR and over the phone!

Learn more about FIVARS history and previous Award Winners at the Wikipedia page:

FIVARS features prizes in the following categories:

People's Choice:
- Best Passive Immersive Experience
- Best Interactive Immersive Experience

Impact Award
Excellence in Visual Design
Excellence in Sound Design
Excellence in Experience Design
Technical Achievement Award
Outstanding Performance
Grand Jury Prize

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 .

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

Excellence in Visual Design
Excellence in Sound Design
Excellence in Experience Design
Technical Achievement Award
Outstanding Performance (NEW)

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 FilmFreeway 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 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, or any other non-expiring file sharing, or hosting service (FIVARS does not expressly endorse any service over another), however we most prefer Google Drive for expediency, or any non-expiring link. 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 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.

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 contact Applicants using the contact information provided in the FilmFreeway 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 FILMFREEWAY.COM (FilmFreeway) for consideration for the 2020 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


(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 16th 2019.
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:


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 FilmFreeway 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 FilmFreeway 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:

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


Overall Rating
  • FIVARS has consistently the most unique and fun collection of work. I was proud to have my crazy VR art game, NEVER GROW UP, be part of the 2023 line-up. The staff is welcoming and takes care to exhibit VR-AR properly, with particular attention to the health and safety of its visitors.

    December 2023
  • Adam Pilipovic

    FIVARS is the best!
    The festival supports VR/AR/XR artists like no other.
    Great Team.
    Amazing experience.
    My film was well promoted, I got to do a Q+A and interact with lots of awesome people and experiences.
    Put this at the top of your list.

    October 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for pioneering new approaches to cinema!

  • Deepa Mann-Kler

    It was such a wonderful privilege to be selected for FIVARS. Keram Malicki-Sanchez gave our work care and attention so that it could be experienced in the best possible way by festival goers.

    October 2023
    Response from festival:

    We so value the brave work you are doing!

  • Andrew Cochrane

    FIVARS has always been one of the leading curators of 'everything worth paying attention to' in the world of immersive narrative. Over the past several years, this has become one of the only festivals still bearing that banner. I was not able to attend in person, but Keram and the whole FIVARS team were beyond incredibly communicative – they bent over backward every day to make sure that each piece was seen in its best light, and that every creative got opportunities to meet each other, see each other's work, and to be seen by the larger immersive community outside the in-person and online portions of the festival. It was an honor to be selected for the 2023 festival and a pleasure to participate from afar. They not only watched my submission, they saw it, and they worked hard to help as many others see it as possible.

    October 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for entrusting us with your baby. The honor is all ours. See you in the bright future!

  • Stephen Butchko

    FIVARS is evolving into an important festival for showcasing VR and AR storytelling. Ferryman Collective is grateful to include our work at this unique festival.

    October 2023
    Response from festival:

    We are thrilled to see the continuing success of your collective!