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CANNES 2020 Marché du Film

Cannes XR Virtual to feature 55 XR works

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- The Marché du Film programme dedicated to virtual and augmented reality is all set to unspool, raring to present a range of innovative works and projects in development

Cannes XR Virtual to feature 55 XR works

As was announced last month (see the news), the Cannes Marché du Film’s XR programme, dedicated to virtual and augmented reality, is moving online, transforming into Cannes XR Virtual and set to run from 24-25 June. It is already common knowledge that the entire Marché du Film is also being organised online and will unspool from 22-26 June.

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The whole Cannes XR Virtual programme will be held at the Museum of Other Realities (MOR), while the other partners in this endeavour are the Tribeca Film Festival, VeeR VR and Positron, which will also offer awards, as well as Kaleidoscope. Regarding this edition, Jérôme Paillard, executive director of the Marché du Film, stated: “During this very peculiar time, the Marché du Film is more than determined to highlight the XR industry, and to foster links between artists and potential investors to support creation in all its richness and diversity.”

In detail, more than 55 XR works, at different stages of production, will be presented at Cannes XR Virtual. Firstly, the Tribeca Virtual Arcade will feature 12 virtual and mixed reality experiences and exhibits (including five world, international or European premieres) from various artists, and the whole line-up can be found here. Furthermore, two creative panel discussions and a virtual dance party will be organised by Tribeca.

As for the Cannes XR awards, which will be handed out on 26 June at 9 pm, 14 finalists hailing from eight countries will be vying for the VeeR Future Award. The jury – comprising Elie Levasseur, XR programme leader at Marché du Film; René Pinnell, CEO and founder of Kaleidoscope; Jingshu Chen, co-founder of VeeR; Liz Rosenthal, programmer at Venice VR - Venice International Film Festival; Michel Reilhac, programmer at Venice VR; Loren Hammonds, senior programmer, Film and Immersive at Tribeca Film Festival; Astrid Kahmke, festival director at Virtual Worlds; Jay Kim, producer; and Xun Li, senior researcher at the China Film Art Research Centre – will evaluate the titles’ ability to make the most of virtual reality. The projects (read more here) will get the chance to receive $1,000 in cash and a premium distribution package worth $10,000, which includes global marketing campaigns, online and LBE distribution, and Chinese localisation.

The Positron Visionary Award, dedicated to XR works that represent a diverse spectrum of excellence in storytelling, will be bestowed upon one of the six selected XR pieces (read more here). The winner will be decided by the jury headed up by Viola Davis, co-founder and CEO of JuVee Productions. Her jury members include Christina Lee-Storm, VR producer; Jake Sally, head of development at RYOT; John Canning, executive producer for New Media and Experiential at Digital Domain; Josh Nelson, head of Immersive and Interactive Media at JuVee Productions; and Jeffrey Travis, CEO/producer of Positron. The prize consists of a Positron Voyager full-motion chair and a distribution deal valued at $60,000.

Regarding the XR works that are currently in development, the Cannes XR Development Showcase, in association with Kaleidoscope, has selected 23 projects from 14 countries, which make use of various formats (6DoF, 360-degree video, augmented reality and real-time installations) and are of different genres, ranging from documentaries to games, and from animation to art installations, but they all rely strongly on storytelling. All of the projects reflect current global issues, including humans’ relationship with nature, social issues, climate change and tech acceleration. The complete selection of projects is listed here, and they will be pitched to international decision makers during the whole event. The complete list of said decision makers can be found here.

As for the practical aspects, Cannes XR Virtual will be free of charge and accessible to all VR headset owners. All XR pieces will only be visible in the MOR, and the virtual programme will be available until 3 July. Apart from the works, more than 45 conferences (read more here) will be held, and there will even be a virtual concert on the opening night. For professionals who want to follow Cannes XR Virtual without headsets, this will be possible on the Marché du Film Online platform, and on the Kaleidoscope and Tribeca Film Festival websites, for Marché du Film-accredited professionals. Also, at various locations around the globe, a location-based entertainment network will be launched for those journalists and guests who do not have access to VR headsets.

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