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Cannes XR Showcases Banksy VR Experience

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The Cannes Film Festival has expanded its horizons with the debut of its XR division, showcasing the latest immersive art and experiences in the industry. Cannes XR, also known as Cannes Next, kicked off its immersive segment with a range of competitions, marketplaces, and activities centered around artificial intelligence. The event provided a platform for artists, creators, and thought leaders to explore emerging technologies and their impact on storytelling.

One of the highlights of the festival was the global premiere on May 18th of a virtual reality experience by renowned street artist Banksy. Known for his thought-provoking works, Banksy’s VR experience captivated attendees with its innovative approach to art and storytelling. The exhibition also featured VFC’s filmmaking project, which combined traditional techniques with biofeedback audio, creating a unique immersive experience for viewers. A subsequent conference on immersive storytelling further delved into the evolving landscape of XR technologies.

The Cannes XR event also offered live events in collaboration with Film Soho’s International Village. Attendees had the opportunity to visit a virtual production studio and witness captivating demonstrations. In addition, multiple panel talks, discussions, and conferences explored ongoing themes related to emerging technologies. Global thought leaders shared their insights on Web3, the Metaverse, generative AI, and other cutting-edge topics, sparking conversations about the future of immersive storytelling.

Animation Day, another highlight of the festival, provided a platform to celebrate the achievements of animation specialists across the industry. The event recognized the importance of animation in shaping narratives and captivating audiences through visual storytelling.

However, one of the central themes of this year’s festival was the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war. To shed light on this subject, Cannes Next partnered with ATM Virtual and Aggressive to premiere MURALS, an immersive experience focused on the conflict. From May 19th to 24th, the Palais des Festival’s MURALS Immersive Studio showcased 180-degree visual experiences using state-of-the-art 3D scanning solutions. The exhibition featured scans of war-torn regions in Ukraine, incorporating artwork by Banksy, who had previously painted murals across the country. These murals, now located in devastated areas, serve as a powerful reminder of the impact of war and an opportunity for reflection.

The previous edition of Cannes XR, held in 2022, featured an impressive lineup of virtual reality projects. VeeR, in collaboration with Cannes XR, evaluated nearly 200 submissions across various categories, including animation, documentaries, interactive art, and gaming. The judging panel, consisting of industry experts and luminaries such as Zhang Ziyi and Hannah Minghella, selected 18 finalists for the Best VR Story and Best VR Interactive Experience awards. British artist Alex Honnold received the VeeR Future Award for Best VR Story for his groundbreaking VR creation, “The Soloist,” which provided an immersive glimpse into the world of extreme climbing.

Former Cannes XR judges expressed their appreciation for the festival’s efforts to bridge the gap between cinema and the XR industry. Guillaume Esmiol, Co-Executive Director of the Cannes Film Festival, thanked VeeR for their virtual exhibitions and applauded the artists for their participation. Jingshu Chen, Co-Founder of VeeR, praised the quality of immersive storytelling and highlighted the potential of VR as a medium for creative expression. Zhang Ziyi shared her unique experience as a juror and expressed her excitement about the endless possibilities that XR technologies hold for the future of filmmaking.

The Cannes XR division has successfully established itself as a platform that celebrates innovation, artistry, and the transformative power of immersive storytelling. As the festival continues to evolve, it promises to push the boundaries of creativity and inspire new generations of immersive creators and artists.

In conclusion, Cannes XR’s debut at the Cannes Film Festival brought together an impressive array of immersive art and experiences, featuring the premiere of Banksy’s VR project and shedding light on the Russo-Ukrainian war. With its focus on emerging technologies, thought-provoking discussions, and recognition of animation specialists, the festival highlighted the immense potential of XR technologies in shaping the future of storytelling.