Like the movie trailer that actually makes you want to see the movie, AltspaceVR’s recent collaboration with Cyberia Film Festival producers arrived last weekend to much anticipation. Announced by VRScout, Carpe Diem! San Francisco, and The VR Shop, the Cyberia Film Festival’s billing as the first of its kind in virtual reality transformed into a two-thumbs up weekend event running from Friday, February 10–Sunday, February 12, 2017.
Setting the traditional film festival format into the nontraditional setting of VR, the AltspaceVR + Cyberia collaboration allowed thousands of people across the world to view the same films at the same time, all together — constructing a virtual theatre with no maximum capacity and a film festival with no entry fee.
Interjecting virtual reality elements into film festivals isn’t new. Renowned festivals like Sundance have showcased filmmakers who use VR as a tool of their craft. Breaking from this paradigm, AltspaceVR and Cyberia’s vision was not to interject virtual reality into real life, but to bring real life into virtual reality. More than 30 national, international, animated, and live action films were screened over the three day long VR film festival, enhanced by real-time question-and-answer sessions with film directors and producers. Below, Christopher Coppola screens his indie short Palmer’s Pick Up (1999) for the Cyberia finale, and delights the VR audience with a live Q&A after the film.
Whether or not the film festival attendees had a VR headset, every movie buff, armchair critic, and casual popcorn aficionado around the world could access the free event via an internet connection and the AltspaceVR app.
Highlighting the work of independent, up-and-coming, and masterful filmographers through the first VR film fest of its kind, AltspaceVR and CYBERIA granted film lovers an all-access pass to a film festival without a wait list, without a ticket price, without red velvet rope, and most importantly, a film festival with no borders.