British  television presenter Rachel Riley shows a virtual-reality headset called Gear VR during an unpacked event of Samsung ahead of the consumer electronic fair IFA in Berlin, Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
British television presenter Rachel Riley shows a virtual-reality headset called Gear VR during an unpacked event of Samsung ahead of the consumer electronic fair IFA in Berlin, Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber) Markus Schreiber

Virtual reality showcased at Byron Bay Film Festival

VIRTUAL reality is the new frontier in audiovisual creation and Byron Bay Film Festival 2016 will be offering a taste of the new technology this year.

According to a report on specialised film magazine Inside Film (if.com.au), Byron Bay Film Festival will be offering virtual reality head mounted displays for patrons this year.

The festival will bring the technology to the Northern Rivers, which has already been showcased in international film festivals such as Cannes, Tribeca and Sundance.

Festival organiser J'aimee Skippon-Volke said to if.com.au that Virtual Reality technology (VR) will by an important feature of the festival.

New awards

J'aimee Skippon-Volke confirmed that the festival will offer this year two new awards related to the new technology.

The first will be the inaugural Best Achievement in a Virtual Reality Experience, a field suited to film-makers engaging in the relatively new 360-degree film-capture techniques. This is made possible by panoramic camera rigs that house an array of cameras.

The second will be the Best Achievement in an Interactive Virtual Experience, suited to experiences created within a game engine.

"While our event remains focused on creating a shared screen experience for our audience we're keen to explore the possibilities that Digital Immersion creates as this new technology evolves", J'aimee Skippon-Volke said.

Director J’aimee Skippon-Volke (left) promoting last year's festival.
Director J’aimee Skippon-Volke (left) promoting last year's festival.

Help for film makers

As well as providing workshops for anyone interested in the medium, the Festival will also identify six to eight artists and film-makers in order to help them evolve their work into virtual realms.

Selected artists will receive access to VR tools an/or mentoring and support from established VR developers with the work created then showcased at the festival and on-line.

"In our opinion these three (film, visual effects and gaming) industries together will develop and create the digital entertainment and electronic culture of the future.

"VR and Augmented Reality will continue to evolve in the years to come and what is ground-breaking today will seem primitive in just a few years," she added.

The new VR categories will be open soon but 'traditional' film entries for the 10th Byron Bay International Film Festival are open until June 10.

Artists and filmmakers interested in being considered for VR/AR Incubation should contact ncube8@bbff.com.au.

The 2016 Byron Bay International Film Festival will be held from October 14 to 23 in the Byron Shire.  



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