Cinequest is at the forefront of the future of film with their virtual reality experience combining new technology with filmed media.
This year, the film festival offered workshops, panels and films featuring the latest innovations in virtual reality.
Filmmaker, Ando Shah, who participated in a panel discussion at Cinequest, explained that virtual reality is gaining popularity in the industry all around the world.
“Right now there is a lot of VR theaters coming up mostly in Europe, Canada and there is a couple in the United States and in Australia,” Shah said.
For two weeks, Cinequest showcased short virtual reality films like “Found”, “Hypatia“ and “Pearl“ to dozens of spectators, one of which was San Jose State University industrial technology student Osama Arshad.
“I am open to seeing more virtual reality films because it allows you to completely be in another world,” Arshad said. “I can be at home but with virtual reality it will feel as if I can be in any location or environment.”
Virtual reality is seen as a multimillion-dollar business and film companies such as IMAX are planning on taking it to the next level by developing interactive and multi-dimensional experiences.
According to a report by IMAX Corporation, in collaboration with other investors, the company has allocated $50 million to help finance the creation of virtual reality content for the next three years.
Entrepreneur Jai Hudes, Founder and CEO of Xperience Technologies, has been envisioning virtual reality since the 1980s and hopes it will be a powerful communication
s tool to bring people together and deepen levels of connection.
“The convergence is an important quality about virtual reality,” Hudes said. “Imagine going into this virtual world and now have a video experience and interacting with people around the globe because of these devices.”
Almost 35,000 people aged 10-65 across 12 western countries intended to purchase a virtual reality headset. Consumers in Spain, Italy and in the United States expressed the greatest desire to buy these types of devices, according to an online survey conducted by Newzoo.
Virtual reality could become the next storytelling medium that takes over the world.