The Sundance Film Festival returns later this week and just like previous years, the event will play host to plenty of immersive premieres, with everything now online of course. 2021 features both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) works with some exciting and thought-provoking content to experience.
This year there’s a scaled-down selection of titles to view, with Baobab Studios’ Namoo one of the highlights. Only revealed last month, Namoo is Korean for “tree”, taking viewers on a journey through a man’s life with each branch a different memory. Created using Oculus’ Quill, the project will be coming to Oculus platforms later this year.
And then there’s Prison X, Chapter 1: The Devil and The Sun, a new VR series from Quechua filmmaker Violeta Ayala. The first episode takes you into Bolivia’s infamous San Sebastian Prison as Inti, a young man imprisoned after his first job as a drug mule. “It was my world but it wasn’t a world you could capture with a camera,” says Ayala who grew up three blocks from the prison. “And I needed technology that wasn’t yet invented – virtual reality.”
Tinker, on the other hand, is a live performance piece about Alzheimer’s disease by director Lou Ward, a participant of the Oculus Launchpad Program as well as co-founder of the Seattle VR/AR Meetup. This interactive experience sees: “you grow up alongside Grandfather in his workshop, tinkering, playing, and creating new memories together. As time passes, so do the moments,” the synopsis explains.
Other works to look out for are 4 Feet High VR, The Changing Same: Episode 1, Nightsss, To Miss the Ending and AR project Fortune!
Sundance Film Festival continues the necessity for remote attendance which saw the likes of the Raindance, Venice VR Expanded, the BFI’s LFF Expanded and Cannes XR Virtual all provide online viewing for the first time. While all the Festival, Day, and Awards passes have now sold out, the Explorer Pass is still available for $25 USD which gives you access to the Indie Series, New Frontier, and Shorts programs all on-demand.
The festival runs from 28th January until 3rd February 2021, with the New Frontier Program starting from Friday 29th. You can also buy single film tickets for $15 if any catch your eye. For further updates on the latest XR festival content, keep reading VRFocus.