Your Guide To VR at Sundance

by Joe Durbin • January 21st, 2016

This year’s Sundance Film Festival will feature a myriad of VR and AR experiences as part of the show’s New Frontiers program. The lineup of nearly 40 productions include some of the best work being done in VR and immersive media, including cinema, narrative stories, art installations and documentaries.

Demos for familiar fan-favorite experiences like Job Simulator and theBlu will be included in the showcase, but many of the lesser known projects will be showcased as well. The slideshow below outlines many of the expereinces on display during Sundance.

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Sundance attracts early showings for some of the most exciting and innovative cinematic experiences in the world and this holds true for their VR offerings as well. Whether you want to experience life through the eyes of an animal, or put yourself into the shoes of a different race, gender, or social class; VR cinema is redefining the way we experience stories. Aside from these top notch experiences, this year’s Sundance is host to a wealth of other activities focused on VR including panels, parties and other events.

UploadVR will be hosting events on Sunday at an exclusive VR Lounge. The lounge will be open from 12-7 p.m. and will feature exclusive demos, one-of-a-kind showcases, panels, and possible appearances by special celebrity guests. Check back soon for full details about all the unique content and experiences taking place at both the festival and the UploadVR Lounge.

Here’s a look at many of the other VR-focused events taking place over the course of the festival.

VR Panels

Hacking Your Senses

Saturday, January 23, noon – 1:30 p.m. New Frontier Gateway  /  90 Min


Dražen Bošnjak (founder and composer, Q Department and Mach 1)

Caecilia Charbonnier (co-founder, ArtAnim)

Aaron Koblin (co-founder and CTO, Vrse)

Paul Raphaël (co-founder, Felix & Paul Studios)

Mike Woods (co-founder and CCO, White Rabbit VR)

Moderated by Charles Melcher (founder, Future of Storytelling)

The Future of Screens: Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and the Potential for Stories

Sunday, January 24, noon – 1:30 p.m

New Frontier Gateway  /  90 Min


Gaia Dempsey (co-founder and CMO, Daqri)

Richard Marks (chief of virtual reality, Playstation VR)

Robin McNicholas (creative director, Marshmallow Laser Feast)

Jason Rubin (head of studios, Oculus)

Diana Williams (Lucasfilm Story Group)

Moderated by Yelena Rachitsky (creative producer and head of education, Oculus Story Studio)

Immersive Journalism

Monday, January 25, noon – 1:30 p.m.

New Frontier Gateway  /  90 Min


Nonny de la Peña (CEO, Emblematic Group)

Dan Silver (executive producer, ABC News Digital)

Sandy Smolan (co-director, Click Effect)

Ben Solomon (video correspondent, The New York Times)

Moderated by Ingrid Kopp (senior consultant, Tribeca Film Institute)

Adapting Genres to Virtual Reality

Friday, January 29, noon – 1:30 p.m.

New Frontier Gateway  /  90 Min


Jessica Brillhart (principal filmmaker, Google Jump)

Eric Darnell (CCO, Baobab; director, Madagascar)

Emilie Joly (CEO, Apelab)

Saschka Unseld (creative director, Oculus Story Studio)

Moderated by Yelena Rachitsky (creative producer and head of education, Oculus Story Studio)

Nokia Technologies Presents – Problem Solved: VR Filmmaking enters the next dimension at Sundance Film Festival

Friday, January 29, 3:00 p.m., New Frontier Gateway, Park City  /  90 Min

Panelist: Matt Gratzner (director, co-founder, and visual effects supervisor of New Deal Studio)

Funny Or Die’s “Interrogation” VR Premiere

Friday, January 22, 2:00 p.m., Samsung Innovation Studio, Park City

Moderators: Rob Huebel, Paul Scheer (actors, The League)

Panelists: Lex Halaby dDirector), Christian Heuer (executive producer, Funny Or Die), Sean Dacanay (producer, Funny Or Die), Allan McLeod (writer, Funny Or Die)

Funny Or Die: The Future of Comedy in VR Panel

Friday, January 22, 3:00 p.m., Samsung Innovation Studio, Park City

Immersive Sound for Virtual Reality

Sunday, January 24, 3:00 p.m., New Frontier Gateway, Park City  /  90 Min

Presented by the Dolby Institute

YouTube & The Rise of Virtual Reality

Saturday, January 23, 3:00 p.m., New Frontier Gateway, Park City  /  90 Min

Moderator: Danielle Tiedt (CMO, YouTube)

Panelists: Tim Shey (Head of Scripted, YouTube Originals), Todd Shaiman (head of content strategy, Google VR), Aaron Koblin (co-founder and CTO, Vrse), Matthew Patrick (The Game Theorists)

Google Presents – Virtual Reality: The Art of Presence

Tuesday, January 26, 3:00 p.m., New Frontier Gateway, Park City  /  90 Min

Panelists: Nonny de la Peña (founder, Emblematic Group), Gabo Arora (director, Waves of Grace; senior advisor, United Nations), Jessica Brillhart (principal filmmaker for VR, Google), Anthony Batt (co-founder and executive creative director of WeVR), Patrick Osborne (director, Pearl, a Google Spotlight Story), Louis-Richard Tremblay (executive producer, Interactive Studio NFB), Amaury LaBurthe (CEO/co-founder of AudioGaming; creative director, Notes on Blindness)

VR Bar

Friday, January 22–Friday, January 29, 5:30–8:00 p.m.

Saturday, January 30, 1:00-3:00 p.m. New Frontier Gateway  /  150 Min


Friday, January 22: Hosted by Oculus Story Studio

Saturday, January 23: Hosted by Google

Sunday, January 24: Hosted by Nokia OZO

Monday, January 25: Hosted by Jaunt (special hours! 6:30-8)

Tuesday, January 26: Hosted by Annapurna Pictures and Vrse

Wednesday, January 27: Hosted by Fox Innovation Lab

Friday, January 29: Hosted by Comcast Ventures

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