A virtual reality (VR) short film from Taiwan titled Your Spiritual Temple Sucks (全能元神宮改造王) has won Best Innovative Storytelling award at the third annual World VR Forum (WVRF) in Switzerland, Taiwan’s representative office in Geneva reported on Sunday.
The award was announced on Saturday last week in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, where the WVRF, an international non-profit organization, has held an annual summit and festival since 2016 to advance the VR industry and explore future trends in the market, the office said.
The film tells the story of a man who hopes a Taoist ritual will fix his crisis-struck marriage when asking Taoist monks to change his “spiritual temple” in the afterworld, a practice that he believes will affect his real life. However, it ends up making his life worse, with some funny consequences.
While performing the Taoist ritual, people must be blindfolded with a piece of red cloth before the Taoist monks can guide them to the afterworld, said John Hsu (徐漢強), the film’s director.
“The nature of this ritual is very similar to VR and that gave me the idea of translating it into a VR film,” he said in an introduction to his film before its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.
The 37-year-old said that the reason he made the film a comedy, as with his previous films, is because “I believe that comedy can reflect certain aspects of our society and traditions.”