The annual Sundance Film Festival begins this week on the 23rd of January and will feature a variety of VR and AR experiences, as part of the festival’s ‘New Frontier’ lineup. The festival runs for just over a week at Park City in Utah, through to the 2nd of February.
All of the VR and AR content will be available at Sundance’s two ‘New Frontier’ venues, the New Frontier at the Ray and New Frontier Central. Both locations will host a ‘VR Cinema’ and panel discussions, with New Frontier Central also including the ‘Biodigital Theatre’ that is described as “a cutting-edge presentation space that will feature a rotating schedule of large scale VR theatrical works including a feature-length livestream game telecast.”
Looking at the New Frontier program, there’s a mixture of experimental VR experiences, some of which sound quite bizarre, out there and appropriately arty. Hypha, for example, is an “immersive virtual reality journey to heal the Earth-by becoming a mushroom.” Intriguing! There are also some social VR experiences available, such as Metamorphic, and some mixed reality experiences, such as Solastalgia, which is an installation “set in a mysterious future exploring the surface of a planet that has become uninhabitable.”
There’s also some rumblings, according to CNET, that Disney’s Frozen VR short, Myth: A Frozen Tale, might also be available to view at Sundance as well, but there’s no mention of it on the program as it stands.
Film festivals have been an interesting new frontier for VR. The intimate social experience Where Thoughts Go, which is now available on Quest, premiered at the Tribecca Film Festival in 2018. We also checked out the VR offerings at the Raindance Film Festival late last year in the first episode of The VR Culture Show.