Attendees at Milan Film Festival will be able to discover the potential of virtual reality as a concrete new form of expression from today until 7 October at BASE Milano, which, for all intents and purposes, will form an integral part of future film festivals. "Ultra Reality" is the name given to the first edition of "immersive" experiences at MFF – a special occasion for festival attendees to discover and judge the potential of this new kind of content in person, as well as to try out the important latest generation of technologies.
The BASE Milano Lounge has been specially configured to host the 16 experiences in selection (here), ranging from fiction to documentary, through art and theatre. From Tales of Wedding Rings – winner of the Imperial Crown at the World VR Forum 2018 – which transports us into the iconic world of manga, to Sun Ladies, about the Yazid fighting women, Through the Masks of Luzia, an experience based on the famous Cirque du Soleil show, The Real Thing, a journey inside Chinese replicas of Paris, London and Venice, the interesting documentary Reframe Saudi by the Italian journalist-director Matteo Lonardi, in which we come into contact with the profound socio-economic changes taking place in Saudi Arabia through the critical gaze of a new generation of artists, The Wedding at Cana, immersion into the eponymous Renaissance painting by Paolo Caliari, known as il Veronese, and the Extravaganza experience, which forces us to inevitably reflect on the role of technology in contemporary society.
The visual effects studio Proxima Milano has curated and co-produced the edition together with MFF and Ultra Reality at BASE Milano, with the collaboration of the World VR Forum. "Like other media, VR has its own rules for thinking, producing and distributing immersive content and experiences," the general manager, Andrea Masera, explains to Cineuropa. "Virtual reality technology is developing and is well ahead – last week, Facebook announced its hotly-anticipated virtual reality Oculus Quest visor - and augmented reality is becoming bigger and bigger. The limit is obviously distribution, because VR requires a visor.
The goal of initiatives like Ultra Reality are twofold: to demonstrate that you can create quality content and to demonstrate to the public and brands that there is a new market, where you can do things ranging from pure entertainment to real-life content and medical, scholastic and business training applications." Proxima provides audiovisual post-production services for the advertising and film market and for scientific research. "When it comes to the film market in particular, our studio has co-produced particular projects for some years now – documentaries, short films and feature films – some of which have recently gained important recognition on the festival circuit."