Virtual Reality Films Are All Over the Place at This Year’s Sundance

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As someone who has been lucky enough to strap an Oculus Rift to his face every once in a while, virtual reality is certainly not a fad. It’s something you certainly have to experience in order to understand, as writing about how ‘real’ it seems doesn’t do the experience any justice. Of course, being as how the Rift isn’t out yet for regular consumers and Samsung’s Gear VR is only accessible for a very small sector of people, not a whole lot of people have had that luxury. Of course, that will all change at this year’s annual Sundance film festival. Why is that? Well, film makers are bringing the thunder in the form of a whole slew of VR-based movies, complete with headsets and all.

All told, visitors to the festival will be able to experience nine full-fledged virtual reality movies, as part of the festival’s New Frontier art installation. Viewers will participate in the films by donning a virtual reality headset, the Rift in most cases. Most of these films offer brand new ways to experience storytelling, which is one of the lofty promises that VR has given us. For instance, Perspective; Chapter I: The Party(above) lets you see trauma of a social encounter from both perspectives, while Kaiju Furyputs you on the ground as giant monsters try to destroy a city. Both of these, sound very, very cool. The seven other examples are also pretty darned cool. 

This is a big move toward celebrating VR in the world of traditional cinema. Let’s hope this trend continues to grow in the coming years. In the meantime, here is a trailer.