The festival, which has incorporated VR elements since as early as 2016, will this year take place entirely online in partnership with HTC Vive, VRChat and Oculus.
It's 2020 and nothing is going according to plan. With widespread bans on large public gatherings and social distancing rules as a major consideration, large events need to find ways to adapt in order to survive. For the Venice Film Festival, the solution appears to be virtual reality.
Having shown interest in virtual reality since as early as 2016, the 2020 Venice International Film Festival's VR competition will take place 100% online. Hosted on a platform designed by VRrOOm and supported by giants like HTC Vive, VRChat and Oculus, Venice VR Expanded will run from the 2nd to the 12th of September. Forty-four creative pieces from twenty-four countries will be featured in the festival. These include nine 360-degree films and 26 interactive experiences, among which is Jon Favreau's highly anticipated Gnomes & Goblins.
Members of the international jury include director and screenwriter Celine Tricart, film and documentary director Asif Kapadia and Death Stranding creator Hideo Kojima. You can register for for free to access to a number of these projects through VRChat, Viveport and Oculus TV. For €100, users will be able to purchase Venice Accreditation status which will allow them access to further projects, as well as panels and other festival events. Venice has also partnered with a number of venues around the world to bring VR Expanded safely to a wider audience, more details on where to find your closest satellite venue can be found here.
In only a few short years, VR has gone from a novel addition to the festival to the very platform on which it is held. As VRs capabilities continue to expand with recent advancements in immersion, we can be sure that Venice VR Expanded 2020 will be only the first of many to go all-in on the VR platform.