The Sundance Film Festival is showing more VR then ever before. The movie industry’s best and brightest are in Utah peeking at the future of immersive cinema. Now, you can too – if you have an Android phone.
Immersive Media’s IM360 along with the Sundance New Frontier program came together to create the Sundance VR app for Android smartphones and tablets. An iOS release is slated for release later in the year. A curated selection of the festival’s best VR films is currently viewable through the app and Google Cardboard. The content will also be accessible through the Milk VR app on Gear VR.
The 11 experiences available from the get-go will be: Waves of Grace, Stonemilker, Sisters a Mobile VR Ghost Story, Kiya, A History of a Cuban Dance, fabulous wonder.land, Sonar, Condition One, Collisions, Cardboard Crash, and Defrost. Samsung is also showing five 1-minute 360-degree videos which recently won a contest.
The Sundance New Frontier program is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The initiative was created to provide a showcase for entries to the festival that were considered innovative representations of the industry’s future. In 2016, that means lots, and lots of VR.
Nearly 40 VR and AR experiences are being shown at Sundance this year. The more well-known entries such as Job Simulator will receive praise but also socially conscious offerings are making waves like Cardboard Crash and Perspectives Ch.2: The Misdemeanor that attempt to use VR as a medium with which to communicate messages about hot-button topics. Reggie Watts comes to the platform with his Waves experience, not to be confused with the similarly named but radically different Waves of Grace available on the app.
The trend of a physical festival extended into homes via the simultaneous release of content in headsets is a trend that would be fun to see continue, especially as social features become an integral part of VR.