BFI London Film Festival to Expand Public Programme With XR Projects

Film festivals like Sundance and Tribeca have spent the last several years embracing virtual reality (VR) content, with projects from Spheres to Gloomy Eyes finding success. Today, the BFI London Film Festival has announced it’ll be hosting a new public showcase featuring experiential projects and immersive works.

The showcase will feature approximately 30 new projects that utilise VR, augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR), as well as creative collaborations between artists from different creative sectors. Additionally, public programming will premiere new episodic and series work alongside an expansion of the festival’s free-to-access talks, events and screenings programme, held at BFI Southbank.

There will also be a number of industry-focused programmes for professional delegates, highlighting emerging UK creative talent and in-progress projects.  A talks programme with a line-up of creative, business and cultural themes will be held over the first half of the festival.

“We’ve focused a great deal in recent years on the seismic changes in how films are reaching audiences, but there are other more creative ways the ground is shifting, with ‘filmmakers’ and producers increasingly working across different platforms, and greater connections and dialogue across different creative forms,” said BFI London Film Festival Director, Tricia Tuttle in a statement. “Film Festivals are well placed to explore the evolution of moving image and these sites of connection. While this will be an international programme, the UK is bursting with innovators, we look forward to showing their work here, and offering a new platform where audiences can engage with different kinds of moving image-based storytelling, fiction and non-fiction.”

“Equally exciting is working to bring new audiences to the Festival, and we want to ensure price is not a barrier while giving people more meaningful ways engage with the work, and each other,” Tuttle continues. “Our free programme will offer greater opportunity for debate and discussion on pressing topical issues, themes and ideas that are emerging. Film helps us understand ourselves and each other and it’s this collective experience that really defines a Festival. We want to make this a richer experience for everyone.”

Submissions have now opened for both short films (40 mins or less) and feature-length films (over 40 mins) until Wednesday 17th June 2020. The BFI London Film Festival will run from 7th – 18th October 2020. When the XR submissions have been announced, VRFocus will let you know.

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