The Virtual Reality section of the Venice Film Festival will be online in 2020, and it is extending its scope through a platform and a satellite network to make it accessible worldwide.
In regular times the competitive sidebar started in 2017 by Liz Rosenthal and Michel Reilhac. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been rebranded as Venice VR Expanded, which is supported by Facebook’s Oculus, Htc Viveport, VRrOOm, and VRChat that will allow access by using a PC or a VR headset.
Venice VR Expanded will offer more than 40 projects from 20+ countries. These include “The Mandalorian” creator Jon Favreau with Jake Rowell and “Gnomes & Goblins,” directed by “The Lion King” helmer.
Famous British virtual reality director Lysander Ashton competes with “Here,” which is based on Richard McGuire’s time-traveling novel.
The Venice VR Expanded jury will be led by US director and VR expert Celine Tricart. The two other jury members include British director Asif Kapadia and Japanese video-game designer Hideo Kojima.
The Venice VR Expanded Satellite Network has also been associated with many cultural institutions to highlight the lineup as a fully immersive experience. These include the Comédie de Genève in Geneva, Switzerland; the China Academy of Art – Sandbox Immersive Festival in Hangzhou; the Espace Centquatre – Diversion Cinema in Paris; the Doc University Karma-Lab in Istanbul; the Design Center Flacon in Moscow; Barcelona’s Espronceda – Institute of Art & Culture; Amsterdam’s Eye Filmmuseum; Invr. among others.