Raindance Film Festival continues to champion creators who are pushing the artistic development of the new mediums of Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality. This year’s immersive strand, Raindance Immersive Stories and Interactive Worlds, held between Thursday 4th – Sunday 7th October, will feature the annual showcase, Gallery of Immersive Stories and Interactive Worlds, Summit, and Awards Ceremony that celebrate the creativity, ingenuity and artistry expressed in immersive storytelling over the past year.
The selection features 33 Virtual Reality experiences, created by established directors and artists such as Dame Judi Dench (My Oak Tree VR), Elijah Wood (Transference), Eric Darnell (Crow: The Legend); leading VR directors and Raindance alumni such as Eugene YK Chung (Arden’s Wake: Tide’s Fall), Angel Manuel Soto (Dinner Party), Martin Taylor (Awake: Episode One); first-time VR creators and directors such as Chagall (Ukiyo Cave: Surely), Orly Rodriguez (The Archivist), Maximilian Sacker and Ioulia Isserlis (KOBOLD), Landia Egal and Thomas Pons (Umami), Taylor Myers (King of Infinite Space), Kenneth Henderson and Alyssia Frankland (Opinions), James A. Castillo (Madrid Noir), Kristina Buozyte (Trail of Angels), Bin Gu (The Apple), John Lynch (Crackle Pop), and many more
17 Virtual Reality experiences will receive their world premiere, including 7 Miracles, the world’s first feature-length cinematic VR experience. Produced by Vive Studios, and created by highly acclaimed team of producers and directors, Joel Breton (Pirates of the Caribbean, Unreal, Anno 1602, Terraria), Enzo Sisti (Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Passion Of Christ, Avengers: Age of Ultron), Rodrigo Cerqueira (Jesus VR: The Story of Christ) and Marco Spagnoli (Hollywood Invasion, Hollywood on Tiber, Walt Disney, and Italy – A Love Story), the experience has been nominated for the festival’s Grand Jury Prize: Best Immersive Story, recognising creative achievement in immersive storytelling.
The selected 33 VR experiences have been nominated for Raindance Immersive Stories Awards that recognise creative excellence and technical achievement across 10 categories:
- Best Interactive Narrative Experience
- Best Animation Experience
- Best Cinematic Experience
- Best Documentary Experience
- Best Social Impact Experience
- Best Music Experience
- Best Multi-Person Experience
- Discovery Award: Best Debut Experience
- British Award: Best UK Experience
- Grand Jury Prize: Best Immersive Story
Technologies within the spectrum of Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality continue to rapidly evolve, enabling artists to experiment and push the boundaries of storytelling in bold and daring ways. Reflecting the latest trends in the industry, the festival introduced a new award, Best Multi-Person Experience, shining the spotlight on social VR experiences, giving audiences a taste of what the future of immersive storytelling will feel like. Additional new awards include British Award: Best UK Experience, and Discovery Award: Best Debut Experience, recognising first-time creators.
The ten winners will be selected by an international panel of jury members consisting of industry visionaries such as Vicki Dobbs Beck, executive in charge of ILMxLAB; Curtis Hickman, co-founder and Chief Creative Officer at THE VOID; Wesley Allsbrook, the artist behind Dear Angelica, last year’s winner of Best Animation Experience award; Jérôme Blanquet, director of Alteration, last year’s winner of Best Cinematic Experience award; Grace Boyle, founder and director of THE FEELIES, one of last year’s winners of Best Social Impact Experience award, and many more.
The artwork for this year’s Raindance Immersive Stories and Interactive Worlds was created in Virtual Reality using Oculus Quill illustration tool by Wesley Allsbrook, the artist behind Dear Angelica, last year’s winner of Best Animation Experience award. The artwork is based on the Festival trailer directed by Hector M. Valdez, director of Peaches, winner of the Film of the Festival award in 2017