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Sundance Film Festival Starts Today, 9 VR Films on Display

Virtual reality (VR) movies are quickly becoming just exciting a proposition as videogames and other experiences. The concept started to build momentum last year with the release of Zero Point, a documentary from Condition One chronicling the history of VR technology using the Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD). VR movies have rapidly grown in popularity since then, leading up to the iconic Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, USA. A total of nine VR movies will be on display at the event as New Froniter Installations. What can fans expect to see?

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Assent – Having already visited the Montreal International Documentary Festival last year this piece from director Oscar Raby takes a look at 1970’s Chile. Cast as Raby’s father, a then-22-year-old army officer, viewers witness the horrific actions of the Caravan of Death death squad.

Birdly – VR gives users the chance to experiment beyond the limits of the human body. Max Rheiner’s Birdly is doing just that, allowing viewers to see the world from a bird’s eyes, soaring through the sky.

Evolution of Verse – Chris Milk was behind last year’s VR concert experience starring Beck. For this new project the creator has teamed with visual effects studio Digital Domian and VR company VRSE.works to transport users into a photo-realistic CGI world. Little is known about the story other than a tease of taking viewers on a journey from one beginning to another.

Kaiju Fury!VRFocus has made mention of Kaiju Fury! on plenty of occasions in the past. This monster movie was filmed using Jaunt’s cinematic VR cameras and puts viewers at ground zero as they witness monsters attacking a city. In fact the piece from Ian Hunter can already be sampled on Google Cardboard.

Perspective; Chapter 1: The Party – This piece from artists Rose Troche and Morris May tackles tough subjects as it follows a college woman and young man at a party. Viewers see the story from both perspectives as the two meet and eventually find themselves in a situation that they might not have intended to happen.

Project Syria – In this piece creator Nonny de la Peña uses VR to tell the real, grounded story of children caught up in the tragic crisis in Syria. More than one million children have fled the country and this documentary transports viewers to face these difficult realities head-on.

The VR works of Felix & Paul – A wide range of VR experiences are on show here from artists Félix Lajeunesse and Paul Raphaël. Viewers will experience everything from watching musicians compose to visiting Mongolian plains.

Way to Go – Here the audience is taken on a walk through the woods in an experience that assaults the senses with hand-made animations and music. Made by Vincent Morisset, the director of Arcade Fire’s music video for Just a Reflektor, this promises to be a surreal and intriguing title.

Zero Point – One of the original VR movies, Zero Point uses the Oculus Rift to transport users to a range of locations. Directed by Danfung Dennis, the piece is currently available to purchase online.