Festivals demonstrate the future of film

Rachel Lu
Virtual reality screening gives viewers a new experience with 20 VR works showing why the technology could be the next big thing in the cinema. 
Rachel Lu

The Shanghai International TV Festival and the Shanghai International Film Festival gave the public a glimpse into the future of film with a virtual reality screening. 

At an exhibition, viewers were led into a dome-shaped room, designed specifically for VR screenings, and seated in a revolving chair for a full 360-degree experience and given a VR headset. 

The exhibition featured 20 VR works, including “Spheres Series,” winner of best VR experience at the 2018 Venice International Film Festival; “4 Feet Blind Date,” placing the audience close to the mixed emotions of a teenage girl’s first love; and “The Wild Immersion,” providing a personal experience for the audience to observe animals from all corners of the world as if the creatures just inches away. 

A volunteer at the exhibition said that while the films currently focused on utilizing the technology, he hoped that in the future the plots could be further expanded as well. 

After watching “Songbird,” a film documenting a Hawaii bird on Kauai in 1984 but which is now extinct, one of the attendees was moved to tears.

VR technology, which is able to involve the audience both physically and emotionally and heighten the viewing experience, is expected to be the next big thing in the film industry.

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