VR Filmmakers who are making Virtual Reality and 360 films can look to bring their films to the big screen. Sundance Institute and Jaunt Studios have teamed up to help bring filmmakers and audiences together. As a part of the collaboration they are creating a residency program with a grant to create a short film
Written by: Angela Watercutter
VR Filmmakers, here is your opportunity
THE SUNDANCE INSTITUTE—THE organization responsible for the annual film festival that has given rise to the likes of Quentin Tarantino and Ava DuVernay—is looking to nurture a whole new kind of talent: virtual reality filmmakers.
As part of a collaboration with VR firm Jaunt Studios, the institute is launching a residency program that will bring on four filmmakers for a program “designed to empower artists on the cutting edge of storytelling,” according to an announcement about the new initiative. The six-month residency will be run as part of Sundance’s New Frontier program with resources and VR production equipment provided by Jaunt.
“Virtual reality and other multimedia forms are accelerating the evolution of storytelling,” Sundance Institute executive director Keri Putnam said in a statement. “We hope their unique voices, diverse perspectives and creativity will help define the potential of this new medium.”
Many of the leaders in VR filmmaking have already gotten a huge boost from Sundance. Director Chris Milk, now a founder of VR studio Vrse, brought his earliest VR projects to the festival. Oculus launched its in-house filmmaking initiative, Story Studio, at Sundance last January. And Rose Troche, who got her start at Sundance 21 years ago with the black-and-white indie Go Fish, came back to the festival this year with a VR experience examining sexual assault. Setting up a program to develop those projects from within the institute is just the next logical step.
During their residency, filmmakers will explore new VR techniques and receive a grant to produce virtual reality short films. The Sundance Institute has named Australian artist and documentarian Lynette Wallworth as the first resident in the program. Three more residents will be named in the coming months.