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Virtual reality movies arrive in force at the Sundance Film Festival

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
December 8, 2014
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Virtual reality is already making its presence felt in the movie business, but it's about to take root in a big way. The Sundance Film Festival has revealed that nine of the 13 New Frontier art installations at its 2015 event will use virtual reality, most of which are movies taking advantage of a wearable display to tell stories in new ways. Perspective; Chapter I: The Party (above) lets you see trauma of a social encounter from both perspectives, while Kaiju Fury puts you on the ground as giant monsters try to destroy a city. Other projects are more about interactive storytelling than pure immersion. Birdly reproduces the sensations of natural flight, while Project Syria recreates scenes from the war-ravaged country so that you can explore them on your own terms.

While a few of these efforts are familiar if you've been following VR tech, their arrival is significant. It shows that Sundance's tentative steps into VR at this year's festival weren't a fluke, and that the technology may stick around for some time. It'll take a long while (if ever) before you're strapping on a helmet to watch Sundance's main selections, but the notion isn't as outlandish as it used to be.

[Image credit: Perspective; Chapter I: The Party]

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