Sundance 2017 to Debut VR Film Content

The Sundance Film Festival has become a key event in the annual showcase calendar for virtual reality (VR) content, and 2017 is looking set to be no different. The latest line-up announcement has revealed three new VR experiences that will make their debut at the festival early next year.


As part of ‘The New Climate’ showcase, which includes 14 documentaries, short films and VR experiences across the Festival’s categories, these VR pieces will mark the first time that Sundance festival programmers have focused efforts to highlight a specific cause. In addition, the follow-up to watershed environmental documentary An Inconvenient Truth will make its world premiere at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival as a Day One screening, part of The New Climate.

Robert Redford, President and Founder of Sundance Institute, said, “I believe that storytelling is the greatest platform for getting people to care and take action on some of the most pressing issues of our time. Amid escalating threats to our environment, independent perspectives are adding the depth and dimension needed for us to find common ground and real solutions.”

2017’s VR projects for The New Climate appear below. Environmental films and projects showcased at the Festival in recent years include The Cove, Gasland, Chasing Ice, Racing Extinction and Collisions. The New Climate is a partnership of Sundance Institute and The Redford Center. VRFocus will keep you updated with all the VR experiences set to be showcased at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, taking place 21st – 31st January 2017.

Sundance VR image

Chasing Coral: The VR Experience / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Jeff Orlowski) — Zackary Rago, a passionate scuba diver and researcher, documented the unprecedented 2016 coral bleaching event at Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef with this exclusive underwater VR experience. (New Frontier: Virtual Reality)

Melting Ice / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Danfung Dennis) — We take viewers on a transcendent exploration into the devastating consequences of climate change on Greenland’s ice sheet. Stand under collapsing glaciers, next to raging rivers of ice melt and witness rising sea levels—all visceral warnings of our planet’s future. (New Frontier: Virtual Reality)

Tree / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Milica Zec, Winslow Porter, Key Collaborators: Aleksandar Protic, Jacob Kudsk Steensen) — This virtual experience transforms you into a rainforest tree. With your arms as the branches and body as the trunk, you experience the tree’s growth from a seedling to its fullest form and witness its fate firsthand. (New Frontier: Virtual Reality)