RYOT’s Virtual Reality Short Dinner Party Heads To Sundance

The story of a couple in the sixties and the first reported UFO abduction.

Virtual reality’s (VR’s) role, or should that be potential role, in the film world has always been a topic of conversation ever since the first modern commercial line of VR head mounted displays were announced. How would it change film? How would film shape VR? What parts of the creative process would evolve and what new previously unthought of ways could directors and producers find themselves telling stories.

Sundance_Header2Whilst VR was certainly a topic during 2014 and 2015 it was in 2016 that we first saw things begin to take off and VR became not just a talking point but became a feature of film festivals. Now in 2017 discussion about VR is common place and having it at said festivals is an expected part of its make-up. Be it RaindanceSundance, the Vancouver International Film Festival or the Venice Film Festival.

VR film has also had notable success in 2017, with Legendary Entertainment’s VR installation winning an honourary Oscar for Carne Y Arena

Today however it is RYOT who have an announcement. The Verizon owned creators of VR and other film media revealing that this year’s Sundance Film Festival is set to feature two world premieres from the studio – one of which will be in VR. Appearing as part of the VR Showcase, Dinner Party follows the tale of Betty and Barney Hill and their experience in 1961 which led to the first reported UFO abduction. After a mysterious event occurs the Hills are left with gaps in their memories and at a subsequent dinner party are placed under hypnosis to find the truth. But what is revealed no one could have expected.

Made by RYOT in conjunction with both Skybound Entertainment and Telexist, Dinner Party also acts for the pilot for a new series of VR shorts called The Incident, which charts true to life stories of strange occurrences and paranormal events.


The other non-VR film is On Her Shoulders, which follows the story of Nadia Murad, who was thrust onto the world’s stage after escaping the genocide being perpetrated by ISIS in her country.

Co-Founder of RYOT Bryn Mooser was particularly pleased about having not one but two items attending the festival. “We couldn’t be more excited to plant our flag at Sundance, with our feature documentary On Her Shoulders and our VR short Dinner Party. Between the two projects, you get a glimpse into the future of RYOT – working with top talent and technology to tell stories that move the world.”

“It’s an honor to premiere On Her Shoulders in competition.” Added Producer Hayley Pappas, “A proud and humbling moment to see this film come to life alongside a world-class roster of documentaries.”

VRFocus will be bringing you more news, features and interviews on the various film festivals throughout 2018.

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