Sundance Institute and Jaunt Studios announced recently a new collaborative cinematic virtual reality residency program that will allow story tellers to create unique VR-based works of art.

The program will allow four artists a residency period of six months to create short films, the first of whom being Lynette Wallworth, an Australian artist well known for her use of interactive technologies. Wallworth’s proposed VR narrative piece called Collisions will focus on the story of Aboriginal elder Nyarri Nyarri Morgan “who lived as 1000 generations before him in the remote Pilbara desert of Western Australia—until his life was dramatically impacted by a collision with the extreme edge of Western science and technology.”

The remaining three artists will be selected in the coming months, and can expect to get a hold of Jaunt VR’s entire arsenal of the cutting edge VR technology, such as the company’s new professional-grade 360 degree camera Jaunt ONE. Artists will also receive a grant (amount yet unspecified) to make their VR films, and will have access to post-production support on top of a suite of production pipeline tools from Jaunt.

jaunt one vr camera neo (1)
Jaunt ONE, formerly codenamed NEO

See Also: VR Makes Headway at Sundance Film Festival, Highlights New Cinematic Experiences

sundance_logoSundance Institute, the non-profit film advocacy organization founded by actor Robert Redford, collaborated with Jaunt Studios to bring more diverse story telling styles to New Frontier, a program that curates works within a number of diverse emerging fields, incorporating fiction, non-fiction and hybrid projects to showcase transmedia storytelling, multi-media installations, performances and films.

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Works to come out of the New Frontier program like Nonny de la Peña’s Hunger in Los Angeles, the first VR experience showcased by the program in 2012, and Chris Milk’s 2014 feature Evolution of VRSE, are helping to define the medium of virtual reality via the unique style of experienced creatives—all a part of The Institute’s mission to push the boundaries of storytelling.

'Hunger in LA' by Nonny de la Pena
‘Hunger in Los Angeles’ VR Experience by Nonny de la Peña

Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute said, “Virtual reality and other multimedia forms are accelerating the evolution of storytelling, and we are excited to collaborate with Jaunt Studios to provide independent artists the space and resources to experiment with these technologies. We hope their unique voices, diverse perspectives and creativity will help define the potential of this new medium.”

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“Virtual reality represents an entirely new medium for entertainment and media, one where creativity is the new currency, artistic vision trumps tradition and immersion intensifies viewer emotions,” said Cliff Plumer, President of Jaunt Studios.

The potential for added value to immersive film is immense with the conception of the residency program, and we’ll be following works to come out of the Sundance Institute New Frontier|Jaunt Studios collaboration in the coming months.

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