Finding Pandora X, The Hangman at Home & Killing a Superstar Win at Venice VR Expanded

The annual Venice Film Festival concluded this weekend and with so did Venice VR Expanded, its immersive content arm. As always the festival awarded numerous entries with prizes, with three virtual reality (VR) titles taking home awards.

There were 31 immersive pieces up for awards in Venice VR Expanded with Grand Jury Prize for Best VR Immersive Work going to The Hangman at Home – VR. Created by animation filmmakers Michelle and Uri Kranot (Nothing Happens, Songbird), the piece was inspired by Carl Sandburg’s iconic poem The Hangman at Home (1922). The experience features five interwoven stories presenting people in a delicate moment.

Finding Pandora X by Kiira Benzing won the Best VR Immersive User Experience, a live production based on Greek gods and myths. After many eons the gods of Mount Olympus have faded away, only Zeus and Hera remain and they too are beginning to disappear. So they need to find the box Pandora took. With the gods played by actors, guests then help them on the journey, becoming part of the play in the process.

The third prize was for Best Immersive Story which went to Sha Si Da Ming Xing (Killing a Superstar). Directed by Fan Fan, it features an actress called Lisa who agrees to do a live show in a well-known host’s villa but before it takes place, someone dies. “The film is inspired by the thought of today’s crazy fans culture and cyber violence. It aims to reveal some real aspects of the fans, media and stars’ life by providing an extreme scene in which a murder is carried out,” explains the director in a statement.

Venice VR Expanded’s selection was freely available for the past couple of weeks through various platforms. VRChat had a dedicated world designed to mimic Venice itself with 3DoF pieces, whilst Viveport featured most of the 6DoF content for free.

The fourth iteration of Venice VR, this was the first time the festival was made open to the public at home because of the pandemic restrictions. As VR festival look to open their doors to more people online, VRFocus will keep you updated.

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