Why do I love festivals so much? One reason might be that I find myself being surprised anew every time. Only on festivals do you find gems you would have otherwise never encountered. This holds true for classic films; doubly so for virtual reality experiences. The VR animated film Lucid turned out to be just that kind of discovery at Venice VR, where it celebrated its premiere. The captivating adventure revolving around a mother-daughter duo asks the big questions of life – and demonstrates, almost in passing, the definition of virtuous storytelling in VR.
After having visited the Tribeca Film Festival already, I will also be travelling to the International Film Festival in Venice this year. Yay! As the oldest of its kind worldwide, the Venice Film Festival is just as venerable as it sounds; and even though virtual reality only joined the festivities last year, it is regarded as one of the best VR-centric exhibits. I took a closer look at this year’s Venice VR program to compile a brief and unashamedly personal foretaste.
About a year ago, the New York Film Academy extended its offering to include courses for virtual reality. When I was in New York myself, I finally had the chance to discover more about it. This is an interview with Caitlin Burns and Jonathan Whittaker of the New York Film Academy dealing with storytelling in VR – as well as the many other things they can teach us about VR.