Float On Over To The Venice Film Festival This Year And You’ll Find The Island Of VR
by Rebecca Hills-Duty
The Venice Film Festival will be presenting the best in VR experiences on Lazzaretto Vecchio island.
The Venice Film Festival is the oldest film celebration in the world, founded in 1932. The 74th Venice Film Festival is due to be held from 4th August-9th September 2017, and in line with several other film festivals, the festival is introducing a line-up for virtual reality (VR) experiences. However, there is one twist, the VR Festival is getting its own island.
Venice has dedicated as island in the lagoon for the presentation of VR experiences during the festival. The island, called Lazzaretto Vecchio, sits less than 50 meters from the centre of the festival location. The island has a dark history, having previously housed a leper colony and a plague quarantine zone between the 15th and 17th centuries and widely reputed to be haunted.
VR Director Michel Reilhac, who is co-programming the Venice VR festival with Power to the Pixel Co-founder Liz Rosenthal, said: “We will have something like 4000 square meters to just do the installations,” says Michel Reilhac. But it’s not just about the space, he adds. The atmosphere on the island is “simply magical.”
Venice VR will feature a dedicated VR theatre with 50 revolving leather seats, which is located in a huge hanger-like building that dates back to the 16th Century. VR experiences on offer at the theatre include The Deserted by Taiwanese direction Tsai Ming-Liang, Proxima by Mathieu Pradat, Gomorrah VR – We Own the Streets by Enrico Rosati and the The Argos File by Josema Roig.
There will also be several VR installations available to experience, such as The Last Goodbye, a story about a holocaust survivor visiting the camp where his family died; Draw Me Close, a VR piece about dealing with a dying loved one and Alice, a blend of live-action and animation based on Alice in Wonderland.
Further information can be found on the Venice Film Festival website.