Busan To Host Asia’s Largest VR Film Fest

Busan To Host Asia’s Largest VR Film Fest
July 25, 2017
The opening ceremony of the 2016 Busan International Film Festival takes place on Oct. 6, 2016. (Rumy Doo/The Korea Herald)

Asia’s largest virtual reality film event will take place at the Busan International Film Festival, running from Oct. 12-21 this year. 


The event, VR Cinema in BIFF, will screen some 30 virtual reality films in an exclusive screening space at the Busan Cinema Center, according to BIFF.


The film festival, Asia’s largest, has signed a memorandum of understanding with culture and VR contents company Barunson for the exhibit. 


BIFF will be spotlighting the virtual reality venue as one of the film fest’s key attractions.


A VR conference will be held at the Busan Exhibition & Convention Center alongside the Asian Film Market, running from Oct. 14-17. 


BIFF believes virtual reality will emerge as the focal point of cinema in the future, and is planning to host relevant long-term projects in its annual film fests. 


“The merging of virtual reality technology and cinema is natural and complementary, a beneficial effort,” said actress Kang Soo-youn, BIFF’s executive director. “It is very important to think about what new horizons virtual reality can open up for Korean cinema, and which direction it will take us.” 


Various film festivals this year, including the Cannes fest, have showcased films featuring virtual reality technology. 


“Virtually Present, Physically Invisible,” a virtual reality experience-oriented film helmed by Alejandro Inarritu and Emmanuel Lubezki, was unveiled at Cannes in May.


It was the first time a VR piece was included in the festival lineup. 


“The big mistake of VR is that it has been considered an extension of cinema,” Inarritu told Variety. “It has been considered a promotional tool. It has been devalued. This is an art in itself.” 

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