Image: Aardman | AtlasV | Astrea
The International Film Festival once again celebrates immersive art. Wallace & Gromit is a big name among the 44 XR projects.
Last year, the world’s oldest film festival returned to Venice with a mixed reality program. In 2023, Venice Immersive will also be part of the festival and will take place on the Lazzaretto Vecchio island in the Venice lagoon. Starting in late August, the international film festival will present 44 projects from 25 countries, including VR films, VR games and other immersive experiences.
After exclusive press and industry days on August 29 and 30, the festival will open its doors to the public and accredited visitors from August 31 to September 9. This year’s festival will get technical support from HTC Vive and the social app VRChat.
Over 40 VR films and VR games
Among the 28 projects in the official competition, not as many names are familiar to VR gamers as last year. Wallace & Gromit in the Grand Getaway may be a familiar name to some animation and VR fans. The VR experience for Quest was created by Aardman Animations in collaboration with Meta and Paris-based virtual reality studio Atlas V.
The latter has made a name for itself with elaborate narrative experiences. These include Gloomy Eyes, Madrid Noir and the acclaimed snotty punk tale Battlescar. Wallace’s original English voice actor Ben Whitehead (successor to Peter Sallis) provides the authentic atmosphere.
Also in competition are Emperor by Marion Burger and Ilan Cohen, Songs For A Passerby by Celine Daemen, Tulpamancer by Marc Da Costa and Matthew Niederhauser, and many more. They will compete for the Grand Prize, the Special Jury Prize, and the Immersive Achievement Prize. The Jury consists of Singing Chen, who has won numerous festival awards, the multi-talented Pedro Harres and 3DAR founder German Heller, who is currently working on the fascinating AR game installation Eggscape.
Ten projects that have premiered elsewhere will be shown out of competition. They will run under the title “Best of Venice Immersive”. There will also be six VR college cinema projects and 24 “Worlds Gallery” tours through the popular social app VRChat. The name change from “Venice VR Expanded” to “Venice Immersive” in 2022 recognizes the growth of immersive media beyond virtual reality.
The festival now also showcases 360-degree video, virtual worlds, installations and live performances using mixed reality techniques. Tickets range from €60 (five days) to €90 (August 31 – September 9). For the full Venice Immersive program click here.
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