74th Venice Film Festival

The 74th Venice Film Festival opens on August 30th and the VR program is major.

Has the Venice VR Festival Eclipsed Cannes and Sundance?

This year, the oldest film festival in the world will feature its first-ever VR film competition. Of the 103 submissions, the festival selected 22 VR pieces for the competition: among these are 6 room-scale installations. John Landis, Ricky Tognazzi, and Celine Sciamma comprise the international jury that will award three prizes: Best VR, Best VR Experience (for interactive content), and Best VR Story (for linear content).

Oh, and did we mention that the VR program will take place on its own island?

Here’s a rundown of some of the best content featured at the VR festival.

La Camera Insabbiata is a collaboration between American musician and performance artist Laurie Anderson and Taiwanese new media artist Hsin-Chien Huang. The interactive installation consists of large rooms that viewers fly and glide through, the walls of which are text-covered chalk boards. In one of these rooms, participants can choose to sing and watch their songs materialize as sculptures.

La Camera Insabbiata

Source: Submarine Channel

Snatch VR Heist Experience, a 6-minute episode of Crackle’s TV series, was directed by Rafael Pavon and Nicolas Alcala. The viewer decides whether or not to continue cracking crime lord Sonny Castillo’s safe, risking both the cops and Castillo’s henchmen showing up, or run. Starring Harry Potter’s Rupert Grint.

Snatch VR Heist Experience

Source: VRFocus

Directed by Nonny de la Peña, nicknamed “the godmother of virtual reality,” Greenland Melting immerses viewers in a disappearing glacial landscape. Accompanied by scientists, observers fly in a NASA plane to see the vanishing glaciers and dive into the ocean to learn about Greenland’s melting fjords. Below, watch the team’s supplemental 360° video, which they’ve released ahead of the documentary’s premiere.

Dongducheon (Bloodless) follows the last moments in the life of Yoon Keum Yi, a sex worker who was brutally murdered in 1992 by a United States soldier at the Dongducheon Camptown in South Korea. Although the murderer, Private Kenneth Markle, was tried in South Korean criminal courts, U.S. officials later commuted his life sentence to fifteen years. Directed by Gina Kim, the film deals with U.S. imperialism, sexual violence, and memory. Read the director’s statement on why she chose VR to tell Yoon Keum Yi’s story.

Dongducheon (Bloodless)

Source: Gina Kim Films

Directed by Josema Roig, the premise of The Argos File is that in 2029, one-third of the Earth’s population records and shares their own memories. Viewers become Memory Crime Investigators, tasked with the responsibility of solving murders by rewatching dead people’s memories. The proof of concept trailer that will screen at Venice Virtual Reality is just the beginning of an immersive, cinematic experience with multiple storylines.

The Argos File

Source: VRScout

We can’t wait to read your takes on the films screening at Venice Virtual Reality. Let us know what you thought the best VR experiences were — tag us on Facebook or tweet at us!

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