Virtual reality is not anymore a fantasy or a sci-fi type of entertainment. Since the last years, numerous festivals have been recognizing virtual reality as a independent category in terms of awards and recognition, making it an art by itself. Today we are going to take a look at some festivals that have recognize virtual reality as one of their main categories.
- Sundance Film Festival: program of the Sundance Institute. It is considered one of the largest independent film festival not only in the United States, but also in the whole world. Hosted in Park City (Utah, USA), it has become the new homeplace for independent filmmakers. Sundance Film Festival rewards 11 different programs, supporting the independent point of view in all of them (i.e., Creative Distribution Initiative, Film Music, Native Program…). There is an special category named New Frontier that “has provided the highest level of curation in the emerging field, incorporating fiction, non-fiction and hybrid projects to showcase emerging media storytelling, multimedia installations, performances and films”. This category is one of the most innovative ones of the festival and tries to engage new audiences with different narrative worlds created with new technologies, designs, visual aesthetics, etc. It has become a category for the unconventional and avantgarde art creations, and in the last years it has transformed the way that stories are being told. Numerous virtual reality pieces have been awarded or given a special mention within this category, as Hue (2016, http://www.sundance.org/blogs/artist-spotlight/a-vr-project-thats-all-about-getting-out-of-the-dumps), or IF NOT LOVE (2017, http://www.sundance.org/blogs/artist-spotlight/could-a-simple-act-of-love-change-the-course-of-violence). For more information about the Sundance Film Festival, click the following URL: http://www.sundance.org/festivals/sundance-film-festival
- South by Southwest SxSW: The Sxsw festival is an annual conglomerate of diverse media projects (films, music festivals, conferences…) that take place in Austin, Texas. The festival is not only dedicated to the film industry, since it can be divided into three main categories: music, film and interactivity. The festival also holds several conferences with a variety of topics, such as Blockchain, MedTech or even Sports. Music creators can also be part of the festival, not only with their music, but also with the artistic constructs created around it (i.e., performances, shows or even videoclips). In terms of film storytelling, there are two categories that award virtual reality. The first one is the Film Festival Virtual Cinema, that “showcases outstanding VR cinema projects by talented international producers and lets SXSW attendees experience them”. The second one, is the Interactive Innovation Awards (specifically the VR, AR & MR category). This category recognizes “the most exciting tech developments in the connected world”. Penrose Studios (http://www.penrosestudios.com/) won last year award thanks to their storytelling transmission through social collaboration. For more information about the South by Southwest film festival, click the following URL: https://www.sxsw.com/
- Tribeca Film Festival: The TFF exhibits different immersive projects, encouraging the use of new forms and media and highlighting innovation across categories and platforms (e.g., 360 films, multimedia installations, cross-platform firms, etc.). THe “Tribeca Immersive” category sums up not only great and diverse virtual reality pieces (i.e., the next TFF festival will showcase the documentary film Into The Now, https://www.tribecafilm.com/filmguide/into-the-now-2018, or even the interactive fim, https://www.tribecafilm.com/filmguide/meeting-a-monster-2018), but a plethora of different talks to discuss and disseminate news and goals for what is coming in the virtual reality world (i.e., The Future Of Film, Education and Advocacy in VR supported by IBM, or the Master class in VR by Jaron Lanier, pioneer in VR). The category itself presents artistic pieces into two categories: Virtual Arcade (for mobile and tethered VR projects) and Cinema360 (for mobile VR projects). For more information about the Tribeca Film Festival, click the following URL: https://www.tribecafilm.com/festival
- Cannes Film Festival. The CFF is considered one of the most important events in the artistic and cinematographic industries. Held in Cannes, France, it has never hold a virtual reality category until the this year, when it was decided to include an extra category for this type of project and artistic pieces. The CFF is also one of the most publicized events of the world, and probably one of the most important film festivals “in terms of worldwide impact”. Among the usual categories (i.e., Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director…), there are also some special recognitions, most of them given by independent entities. NEXT (http://www.marchedufilm.com/en/next/home), the name of the category given to the virtual reality ceremony, is considered “the hub for creative business and visionary thinking”. For 6 days, this special category showcase dozens of artistic visual pieces and allow users to live and experiment the experience of virtual reality. For more information about the Cannes Film Festival, click the following URL: https://www.festival-cannes.com/en/
- La Biennale di Venezia. La Biennale di Venezia is one of the largest and prestigious festivals in the world. It brings together music, cinema, theatre, dance and even architecture. Following the past editions in 2017 and 2018, which was the first-ever competition for Virtual Reality films in an international film festival, the competition titled Venice Virtual Reality returns to the Venice International Film Festival as what has already come to be known as the “VR Island”. In addition to the films from the Competition, VR projects from the Biennale College and Best Of sections, 15 VR projects seeking their financing will also be presented as part of the Venice Production Bridge. For more information about the La Biennale di Venezia, click the following URL: https://www.labiennale.org/en
- Raindance Film Festival: Another independent film festival, but this one operates throughout different cities: New York, LA, London, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Brussels, Berlin and Budapest. The festival showcases different artistic and visual pieces from filmmakers to a distinct group of viewers: journalists, buyers, art lovers and other filmmakers. Among the classical categories of a festival (e.g., narrative, documentary, short film, animation…), the Raindance Film Festival also rewards Virtual and Augmented Reality Experiences, looking for new audiovisual innovation and evolving each year the awards categories “to reflect the latest advancements” in the audiovisual market. Some of the immersive categories for the 2018 contest were: Best Interactive Narrative Experience, Best Animation Experience, Best Multi-Person Experience or Best Immersive Story, among others. For more information about the Raindance Film Festival and its different categories, click the following URL: https://www.raindance.org/
Remember that if you want to keep up with updates about the project on social media, you can follow the hashtag #VRTogether_EU on every social website and the @VRTogether_EU official Twitter profile.
Who we are
Entropy Studio is a post-production company recognized within the advertising and film community. Since its constitution in 2003, Entropy Studio has made some of the most award-winning spots, films and VR experiences in Spain, also achieving International awards.
More than fifteen years of quality and innovation have established Entropy Studio as a recognised Studio for visual effects, design, animation, VFX, mattepaint, steresoscopy, motion graphics creation and in general all services related to postproduction and visual effects for both film and advertising.
In 2008, the first feature made entirely in Digital Cinema, “Magic Journey to Africa”, takes Entropy Studio at the forefront of stereoscopic visual effects produced in Europe. With Entropy Studio Corp in Los Angeles the company grows, with stunning productions as ZERO, QUANTUM BREAK or Campfire Creepers.
Text: Guillermo Calahorra – Entropy Studio
Pictures: Ana Revilla – Entropy Studio