A Guide to Venice VR Expanded

3 September 2020

Venice VR Expanded

Venice VR Expanded is the official Virtual Reality competition section of the 77th Venice International Film Festival of La Biennale di Venezia (September 2nd through 12th, 2020), which has been since 2016 one of the first international film festivals to fully support Virtual Reality as a new art form. This year, the commitment to showcase the very best of the emerging medium, in a cinematic context, remains.

For the 2020 edition, viewers will have full online access to the Festival’s Virtual Reality section, which has been rebranded Venice VR Expanded, through the following Venice VR Expanded platform, with the support of HTC Viveport, Facebook’s Oculus, VRChat and VRrOOm.

Venice VR Expanded will feature:

·   31 immersive projects in Competition,

·   9 Best of VR – Out of Competition projects (an international selection of the best VR works launched since the 2019 edition) and

·   4 Biennale College Cinema - VR – Out of Competition projects developed within the frame of the Venice Biennale College Cinema VR

·   The overall selection comprises a total of 44 projects from 24 countries.

From September 2nd to 12th, 2020, viewers can access the Venice VR Expanded official selection and activities as follows, choosing from 3 options:



Free online access

Viewers over 14 with a VR headset or a PC can freely access the Venice VR Expanded section online after registering on the website www.labiennale.org at https://www.labiennale.org/it/cinema/2020/venice-vr-expanded-web-section starting from Tuesday, August 25th.

Viewers will have access to 36 Projects:
23 immersive projects in Competition
All 9 Best of VR projects
All 4 Biennale College Cinema VR projects

 

Information on compatible headsets and on how viewers can experience each project can be found at the page: Venice VR Expanded web section.

Access to the Venice VR Expanded Virtual World on VRChat designed by VRrOOm.



VR accreditation access

Online accreditation for viewers over 14 with a VR headset or a PC giving access to exclusive content is available to all pass holders of the 77th Venice International Film Festival, and to any other user applying for a VR Accreditation online on the website www.labiennale.org (a € 100 fee is charged to applicants who do not hold a pass to the Festival) at this link https://web9.labiennale.org/vr/

VR accredited viewers will have access to:
All 31 immersive projects in Competition
All 9 Best of VR projects
All 4 Biennale College Cinema VR projects

Information on compatible headsets and on how viewers can experience each project can be found at the page: Venice VR Expanded web section.

Exclusive access to a special version of the Venice VR Expanded Virtual World, hosted by VR Chat and designed by VRrOOm. In the Garden area of this world, accreditation holders can attend special events, panels, meetings and social happenings including:

· Meet the Creators online sessions: Directors Talks, chaired by Michel Reilhac and Liz Rosenthal
· Streaming of Venice Production Bridge VR focused Panels
· Access to meetup events taking place immediately following the above sessions
· Access to opening and closing events
· Full online assistance with hosts welcoming users and helping them navigate the Venice VR Expanded platform

Once you have selected your access mode (FREE or ACCREDITED), your first step to access Venice VR Expanded is to choose your way into it. Here you have 3 device options to choose from depending on what you have access to:

 

1.  A tethered headset with a connected computer will give you the widest access to our selection:

Oculus Rift or Rift S  OR

 

2.   A stand-alone Oculus Quest: this is the simplest headset, untethered and without a connecting computer. But it will provide you access to the 6 projects made for Facebook’s Oculus Quest only and to the 9 3DoF(3 Degrees of Freedom) projects.

3.   A Desktop Windows PC : For those without access to a headset we invite you to explore Venice VR Expanded using your PC. Users choosing this option will not have a fully immersive experience but you will be able to explore the worlds in 360 (Mac operating systems are NOT VR ready)

 

Users with both a tethered headset (1) and an Oculus Quest (2), can experience the complete selection and visit our Venetian Virtual World, the epicenter of Venice VR Expanded and the recommended start point for your visit to Venice VR Expanded. The Venetian Virtual World, has been designed by VRrOOm and lives inside the VR Chat platform.

Information on compatible headsets and on how viewers can experience each project can be found at the page: Venice VR Expanded web section.

 

How to visit the Venice VR Expanded Virtual World

 

For accredited viewers, Venice VR Expanded talks and social events will be hosted daily in the Garden, where users can chat and interact with other real-time visitors, or meet privately in an underwater or a floating island conference-room.

Following your registration, a step-by-step tutorial will be available to help guide you through all that Venice VR Expanded has to offer.

 



Physical access through the 15 Satellite Network institutions around the world

15 cultural institutions around the world make up the Venice VR Expanded Satellite Network. Each location will host dedicated Venice VR Expanded Exhibitions that viewers can book and access in-person directly. Below is the complete list of official Venice VR Expanded Satellite locations:

 

· China Academy of Art - Sandbox Immersive Festival, Hangzhou
· Comédie de Genève, Geneva
· Design Center Flacon, Moscow
· Espace CENTQUATRE-PARIS – Diversion cinema, Paris
· ESPRONCEDA - Institute of Art & Culture, Barcelona
· Fondazione di Venezia - M9 – Museo del ‘900, Venice Mestre
· HTC Corporation - VIVE ORIGINALS, Taiwan
· INVR. SPACE, in partnership with VRBB and supported by Medienbord, Berlin
· Laboratorio Aperto di Modena, ex Centrale AEM, Modena
· Laboratorio Aperto di Piacenza, ex Chiesa del Carmine, Piacenza
· Nikolaj Kunsthal, Copenhagen
· PHI Center, Montréal
· Portland Art Museum & Northwest Film Center, Portland
· Eye Filmmuseum, Amsterdam
· Koç University KARMA Lab in partnership with Soho House Istanbul, Istanbul

 

While film festivals around the world remain an important access point for those dedicated to the advancement of virtual reality, or simply curious to explore its buzz, this way of experiencing an immersive festival, with such a wide scope, has never been done before. It is made possible by the dedicated efforts of our partners VR Chat, HTC Viveport, Facebook’s Oculus, and VRrOOm who are all breaking new grounds.

The complete list of projects featured at Venice VR Expanded is available in the 77th Venice International Film Festival’s line-up page.

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