VR Scientific Festival 2018 Announces its VR Cinema Program
The second edition of the VR_SCI FEST would be held in Stockholm, Sweden from May 17 to May 20 and would include the variety of programs dedicated to using of immersive technology in Science and Art.
In May 2017 VR SCI FEST introduced the concept the first time. The focus of interest was concentrated on the ways how creative use of VR/AR/MR technology might help to the scientific community. KTH – Royal Institute of Technology hosted both VR Cinema and VR Expo program, giving a chance to over 2000 regular visitors and hundreds of professionals to experience cinematic works and test VR/AR/MR projects developed by Universities, IT companies, and startups in Europe.
This year festival main subject is “Virtual City” and the VR Cinema program will present various international films produced both by acclaimed brands as well as by independent creators dedicated to this subject. VR Cinema would be situated in a specially organized zone with the simultaneous showcase of 360 films and videos on 25 Samsung Gear VR/Samsung Galaxy devices powered by VRCM synchronization software. All the events of the festival are free to the audience.
Overall the program would include over 30 films, selected by programming director of the festival Georgy Molodtsov. Among the 360-films, which would be showcased to the audience are “Waymo 360° Experience: A Fully Self-Driving Journey” created by Waymo and Google Creative Lab and built using footage and real-time data from an actual trip on city streets, “2030: smart city life 360” by Philips Lighting, “The future workplace – Konica Minolta” by Linienflug Design, “Palo Alto Network VR” by executive producer Denis Astakhov and creative director Victor Lander, “Take a ride on Elon Musk’s Hyperloop” by Next Animation Studio as well as works created by T Brand Studio, subdiversary of New York Times for IBM (“How Bees Explain the Future of Cognitive Business”) and GE (“How Nature Is Inspiring Our Industrial Future”). Famous Internet security company Kaspersky Lab would show their animated work “Enter the Humachine” about AI and the way new technologies might overcome the threats, while Korean Vive Studios will present brilliantly executed work for Hyundai – “Explore VR Plant”.
However, the program is not only limited to the visions of future. As in previous year, there would be plenty of films dedicated to the space exploration – starting from the first ever capture spacewalk in 360 by RT up to the “Journey to the Oreon Nebula” by the Space Telescope Science Team. Another important aspect where VR has really proved to be effective and impressive is the visualizations of the processes we would not be able to see ourselves ever. Among the works which would show you unseen are “Cellscape VR Biology Guided Tour” by Tyler DeWitt and XVIVO Scientific Animation, which was funded by the Google Science and Making Team; “Sungir. 3D VR facial reconstruction of 30 000 y. o. Homo sapiens”, high-quality visualization based on scientific research by Russian company Visual Science; “Virtual Plant Cell: Cell Explore” by Australian Plant Energy Biology. One of the highlights from internationally acclaimed Discovery network would be the film “Witness The Day The Asteroid Struck” – breathtaking visualization of the ride with the asteroid as it barrels towards Earth, which fell in Siberia in 1927. Science is also about researching the aspects of human psychology. And this part is covered by two experiences about Autism – ”My first day at work” from Polish “World of VR” and “The Party” made for The Guardian in the UK.
All works would be judged by a panel of three juries – Ivana Formanová (Academia Film Olomouc), Joel Edström (Virtual Reality Product Lead at MTG Tech) and Joakim Blendulf (Executive Director at Film Stockholm/Filmbasen). The jury panel will have to decide for a winner in one of three categories – “Best scientific work”, “Best experience” and “Best Impact” with $1000 prize in each category.
One of the festival programs would be dedicated to UN Sustainable Development Goals – works by acclaimed UK director Darren Emerson “Malaria – Life on the Front Line” and US director and producer Sarah Hill “Journey of Gold” are among the highlights of the program.
Another special cinematic event would be made for Kids – several titles from the main program and SDG program, as well as specially selected works, would be showcased is a special kids zone, as the experience of previous year showed that visitors are coming together with the whole family.
Among the interactive projects available for testing are: “Archive Dreaming”, made by artist Refik Anadol with the help of learning algorithms; “Cell as a City”, fully experiential virtual world in a single cell, made using metaphors of the complex systems of a city as a part of the Worldbuilding Media Lab collaboration with the USC Bridge Institute at the Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience in USC’s Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences; “Overview”, interactive experience with real positions for all the planets, stars and galaxies that we know of; “Flyktningar från Sverige”, VR experience shows the perspective of a refugee of war from Sweden.
The festival is primarily targeted at the professional scientific audience who may recognize the full potential in VR for their future work in scientific research and development, as well as to attract the audience who wanted to know more about the exciting world of science and new trending technologies and were ready to experience something new.
VR Cinema is just a part of the festival, and for professionals in VR there would be plenty of other events, including VR SCI EXPO – VR/AR/MR projects from Labs of Universities, R&D centers; VR SCI HACK – Virtual City Hacking will be the main playground for students, start-ups, and tech enthusiasts to create concepts and apply VR / AR and MR into future city landscape; WORLDBUILDING WORKSHOP – experimental, collaborative and interdisciplinary practice that integrates imagination and emergent technologies. VR SCI Talks and Lectures will host speakers from all over the world, including acclaimed VR filmmaker Gabo Arora (whose recent interactive works premiered at Tribeca and Sundance would be possible to test in interactive zone) , Yedan Qian (MIT Media Lab), Judith Wiesinger (Magic Leap), Shehani Fernando (The Guardian), Kyle McClary (USC LA) and many others. After going deep to science/VR exploration, visitors would be able to relax in VR ART Corner powered by partners of the Festival Great Gonzo Studio.
“Last festival showed us that we chose the right combination – science, creativity and VR. During the year between the festivals we’ve been invited to organize scientific VR showcases at more than 40 events, including NEXT – Marche Du Film at Cannes Film Festival, IN/SCIENCE Festival, VR @ MIT, Stockholm Film Festival, Academia Film Olomouc and many others. The festival is a non-profit educational event free and open to the general public. We are trying to make it an anchor event for the all the activities we do throughout a year,” – Elena Malakhatka, festival founder and director emphasises – “It’s really great to see that the works selected last year become more and more popular with the worldwide audience, for example, “The Blank Canvas – Hacking Nature” which premiered at our festival and later on was selected to HTC “VR for Impact” initiative and was showcased at World Economic Forum in Davos”.
The work of the festival organizers have been noticed as well – earlier in 2018 the festival was awarded the Boost Capital prize from Chamber of Commerce of Stockholm.
The festival is organised by Immersive Science, Swedish non profit organisation and hosted by KTH – Royal Institute of Technology with the support from Stockholm Stad, Accenture, HTC Vive, MTG Tech, Vattenfall, SAS, Nordic Choice, Ericsson, White Arkitekter, Tieto, as well as with technical support from Samsung Sweden and Great Gonzo Studio.