Remember how last week we briefly touched upon how VR might be changing the fact of films – or, at least, shaping an intriguing niche in a variety of genres? Well, I decided to carry on with the topic, so this time we’re looking at a few upcoming film festivals where VR tech plays a massive part – we have three selections from Europe, one from the Middle East, and one from North America, so hopefully we’re covering plenty of geographic ground with our picks!
Watching films in VR should give canal boat trips in Venice a run for their money, at least during the following week or so. If you’re in Italy by any chance, popping around to Venice would have always been a great idea, but now it’s an even better one – get to watch a selection of 31 films, and three VR-centred awards being handed out, including Best VR Film, VR Jury Grand Prix and Best Creativity Award VR.
Ah, Raindance, one of the names most associated with VR tech – a reputation well earned, given its pioneering status in the industry. The very appropriately British named film festival accepted VR submissions no matter the type of genre, as long as they clocked in under 45 minutes, and will handpick the best 20 to be screened at the VR Arcade. Happy days!
We’re flying all the way to Canada for this one, whose VR attraction is Open Immersion – created in 2016, with both the Ford Foundation and the National Film Board of Canad having a stake in it. The VR lab and the programme centred around it aims to explore the intricacies of VR-related elements, including aesthetics, perspective and power operate in such settings, and serve as prototypes that can tap into the potential of such technology for artistic innovation and continuous improvement purposes.
One of the most genuinely interesting VR-related shows has to be happening at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, in the charming capital of Estonia. The highlight is Storytek, a programme whose aim is supporting the emergence of alternative storytelling. Participation can also offer the added benefit of linking filmmakers with tech developers, so that the two groups can work together in order to find out ways in which to expand narratives, while also monetising multi-platform content.
Last, but certainly not least, we have the DIFF, set in a city synonymous with modern artistic innovation – Dubai. As one of the leading film festivals in the Arab world since 2004, the Dubai International Film Festival launched its DIFFerent REALITY VR programme in 2016, which is due to continue for many more years. Acting as both a screening medium and a networking event, it is sure to present some interesting facets of VR technology and its ever-more seamless integration in filmmaking.