The Sundance Film Festival isn’t purely a place to see the latest independent films and immersive content. The event is also used as a key opportunity for creators to sell their works, or find publishing deals to help distribute content to a wider audience. One great example of this came from last year’s festival, with virtual reality (VR) series Spheres managing to secure a seven-figure deal from distribution company CityLights, helped in part by funding network Kaleidoscope. For 2019, Kaleidoscope has announced a relaunch of its platform to help connect XR creators with investors, festival programmers, museum curators, and industry leaders.
Kaleidoscope has spent the last year redesigning itself from the ground up to include robust messaging, a directory of thousands of XR artists and innovators, and the ability for members to directly add projects seeking investment, distribution, festival and museum curation, and other opportunities.
And probably most helpful for indie creatives, the platform has now dropped its $199 USD per month membership, making it completely free to join.
The biggest change to how Kaleidoscope is run comes from its new review and approval system. Previous decision-making was handled by a few executives. This has now been altered so that all curatorial control will be overseen by an independent Review Committee made up of 25 members from the community. The body will approve new members, curate projects for special programmes like DevLab, and manage the community at large.
“When selecting projects or approving new members, it’s incredibly important to me that curatorial decisions are made by a diverse and representative committee of your peers,” said René Pinnell, founder and CEO of Kaleidoscope in a statement. “Our mission at Kaleidoscope has always been to empower independent artists. Handing over curatorial control is just our latest effort to put XR creators in the driver’s seat.”
“The biggest challenge independent artists face is fundraising,” said Pinnell. “And the current system for financing projects is hopelessly broken. Just look at Orson Welles, one of greatest filmmakers of all time, who struggled for most of his career to raise money. But at Kaleidoscope, we’re inventing a new future where artists are in control, where talent is rewarded, and where fundraising is open and accessible. The launch of Kaleidoscope’s new platform is an important step toward achieving this dream, but just one of many. Expect more announcements in the coming months.”
As Kaleidoscope continues to help more creative projects get off the ground VRFocus will keep you updated.