Magazine article Variety

Virtual Hits at the Venice Festival

Magazine article Variety

Virtual Hits at the Venice Festival

Article excerpt

WITH A WHOLE island dedicated to virtual reality, a 22-title competitive roster, a gap-financing forum and a VR theater, the Venice Film Festival made a highly successful first foray into VR.

Cannes, Tribeca and Sundance have all dipped into VR, but Venice took it a step further. Among the competition titles that earned the most buzz were Edward Robles' "Dispatch," Tsai Ming-Liang's "The Deserted" and Jordan Tannahill's "Draw Me Close: A Memoir."

Meanwhile, Rithy Panh's "Amrita" and Sean O'Reilly's "Escape Vroom" were among the highlights of the VR projects pitched at the gap financing forum.

"It's by far the best selection of VR films that I've even seen at a festival. There is a true quality and a variety - it goes from VR installations, to 360 films and standups.

It's a first time that I see VR put on the same level as cinema," said Antoine Cayrol, partner at Paris-based Okio Studio. …

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