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Start VR’s Cinematic Series Awake Heads to Cannes Film Festival

Having premiered at South by Southwest (SXSW) earlier this year, Start VR’s acclaimed virtual reality (VR) series Awake is heading to the Cannes Film Festival as part of Cannes Next.

Awake: Episode One was developed by Martin Taylor, ​Chief Content Officer of Sydney VR studio Start VR​. Taylor drew from his own lucid dreaming to build a vivid world that lies between dreams and reality, creating a cinematic experience starring  Jake McDorman ​and Analeigh Tipton​.

In in the debut episode, Harry (McDorman) is wheelchair bound and haunted by a recurring dream of his long-lost wife Rose (Tipton). His obsession is to dream often, unearthing the mysteries of his past in hopes of correcting a mistake that cost him everything.

“We are on the brink of a new era in how audiences experience story with the latest improvements of volumetric performance capture. For the first time, audiences will experience a never-before-seen level of heightened intimacy when they encounter the real-life holographic performances of a human being in VR. There’s really nothing else like it,” said Awake Executive Producer and CEO of Start VR, Kain Tietzel, in a statement.

“We believe that Awake will set a new standard for how films are made and experienced in VR,” adds Tietzel. “This is not another linear 360° film, and nor is it a game-engine animated narrative. Awake is bringing a visual fidelity and cinematic style that audiences have come to expect in a great film, into a medium where stories are mostly told exclusively via animation or video.”

Now in its fifth year, Cannes NEXT is the annual festival’s dedicated innovation hub, with Awake is showing at the the NEXT VR Theatre​ at the Palais des Festivals. Also taking place at Cannes this year is The Wild Immersion’s new environmental VR experience, created in collaboration with Lenovo and shown exclusively on the Lenovo Mirage Solo.

Last month Start VR revealed another project it has been working on for Australian brand The Woolmark Company, creating an interactive piece to promote the company. For further Start VR updates, keep reading VRFocus.