Jesus VR: The Story of Christ, an upcoming feature-length 360 film, is getting its first public preview at this year’s Venice Film Festival. Hailed as the world’s first ever feature length VR film production, the 90-minute movie depicts the life, works, and death of Jesus of Nazareth.

Jesus VR will be shown in the festival’s new VR theater, a space on the second floor of the Venice Casino that will house 50 VR headsets. The preview of the feature-length film will last 40 minutes, and will be open to festival-goers from September 1-4.

Shot in 4k by VRWERX in cooperation with Autumn VR, the film shows the entire life of Jesus as recounted in the Bible, including his birth, attributed miracles, trial, subsequent crucifixion, death, and resurrection.

Félix Lajeunesse and Paul Raphaël of Felix & Paul Studios
See Also: Felix & Paul Studios Win $6.8M Funding to Build “Global VR Studio”

Like Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ (2004), Jesus VR was filmed in Matera, Italy under the direction of Passion executive producer Enzo Sisti. Father William Fulco, a religious adviser on the 2004 depiction of the life and death of Jesus, also signed on as to consult for Jesus VR.

“We are particularly pleased about the opportunity to present the first feature film in the world made entirely for virtual reality. Jesus VR will serve to demonstrate the narrative and dramatic potential of the new technology, which has since been limited to short movies,” said Alberto Barbera, director of the 73rd Venice Film Festival. “The fact is of particular value, considering this is the year in which the recently renamed Venice Production Bridges is presenting six VR projects among the 40 proposals of audiovisual projects in search of funding, which includes films, documentaries, TV series and web series. The Venice exhibition is paying particular attention to the big changes that are helping to redefine the horizons of the production of motion pictures.”

Jesus VR will be available Christmas 2016 on all major VR platforms including Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, and the HTC Vive.

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  • Get Schwifty!

    Talk about an ambitious project especially for the fledgling VR market…

  • hyperskyper

    I hope it turns out really well, or else there probably won’t be many more VR movies at least for a while.

  • Bryan Ischo

    But it’s just a 360 degree video. It’s not VR.

    • Get Schwifty!

      True dat…

    • Yaniv Ben David

      Indeed

  • DougP

    Re: “all major VR
    platforms”
    Zuckerberg has enough money to pay-off Jesus – this’ll become an exclusive. ;)

    • Massimo Depero

      This is why he spoke to the Pope yesterday in Rome

      • DougP

        Hehe….yeah, that & maybe to borrow some $?

    • DiGiCT Ltd

      Yeah he might pay to get the role as being Judas ROFL

      • DougP

        LOL – perfect!

  • Stankiem

    Nice, wonder if they will make this available after the film festival?

  • Odd Arne Roll

    I guess i was wrong hoping religious superstition would keep its fingers off the VR-medium for maby a year or two.

    • Jake V8

      Happy to say it’s not superstition there.. and not religious at all in the true meaning. It’s an EPIC story to showcase on VR.

    • brandon9271

      I’d probably play a VR port of Super Noah’s Ark 3D just for the LOLs

    • Duane Locsin

      well technically you can say ‘Virtual Reality’ can be a religious experience.

      That is, you live in a fantasy world.
      :p

  • Steve Biegun

    Please please please please don’t poison the well for future VR filmmakers!

    • Zach Mauch

      Do you mean poison just because it is religious or poison because christian movies have been historical bad (justified).

      • Steve Biegun

        Neither. To be clear, I have nothing against religious films. I mean that if the first feature length 360 panoramic film is made poorly, makes users nauseous, or doesn’t gain a wide audience, future developers could have a much harder time finding an audience for their own 360 panoramic films.

        That being said, sign me up for a viewing of VR Jesus Christ Superstar.

  • Foreign Devil

    Hope “Jesus VR” is not the actual name of the film.

  • Peter Hansen

    If it was stereoscopic 360 I would (painfully) accept the term ‘VR’ –
    despite the fact that there is no positional tracking, interactivity,
    computer graphics (360 is rather reproduced reality, like orange juice
    made from concentrated sirup)…

    But the fact that “Road to VR” is not able to use the term “VR” correctly makes me sad.

  • Nakor

    Great. A shitty 360 “movie” based on a thousands year old fairytale that unfortunately some morons still believe is real. The idiots that kept us back for a thousand years of scientific advancement that we could have had are now using the scientific advancement that we have had to spread more stupidity.

    • Jake V8

      What? Everything you just said was based on emotional feelings brought on by some kind of twisted religious upbringing, then rebelling most likely. You’ll try and claim it’s your supposed knowledge of science though.. good luck there buddy.

      This film will be a great start to 360 VR feature films, and I for one am fascinated by the story of Jesus, as He was proven to be a real historical figure. In fact, His death and resurrection are all proven to be real, and this is what makes it an epic story to show in VR. The reality of someone dying and coming back to life is beyond what our time, space & matter world defines as real. So if there is something beyond what we can measure with current technologies, then that’s pretty amazing.

      • brandon9271

        “His death and resurrection are all proven to be real”. Proven as in, ‘the Bible says so”? :-/

        • Jake V8

          Simple google search of evidence for Jesus is too overwhelming to dismiss. It’s too bad the religious institutions of the past and some present screwed it up so bad that what is proven real is now laughed at without thought. Conversation gets real awkward when I argue in Jesus’ favor. I mean real awkward… usually people just stop talking and move on. See if it was just a fairy tale and fake, I don’t think the conversation would be that awkward. You should see the emotions this evokes from otherwise seemingly cool and regular people. Somethings up man..

          • Nakor

            LOL. I just did a google search and here’s what I found:

            – Religious propaganda sites. One that even flat out got asked the question “Is there proof outside the bible that Jesus was real?” and they said “We don’t believe the bible should not be taken as proof.” Seriously! That’s super dumb. They clearly thought it was a good argument and I imagine you do too. That answer equates to “Nope! But BIBLE!”.
            – A wikipedia article that says “However, certain scholars, particularly in Europe, have recently made the case that while there are a number of plausible “Jesi” that could have existed, there can be no certainty as to which Jesus was the historical Jesus, and that there should also be more scholarly research and debate on this topic.”

            I did have a religious upbringing. I was intelligent enough to question what I was taught and come to the conclusion that no, there isn’t a magical sky zombie who grants wishes…because that’s dumb.

          • Mayena

            Conversation gets awkward in the same sense that a conversation will get awkward if you would defend the existence of leprechauns… And you turn that sense of awkwardness into a confirmation that you must be onto something so it must be true. It is perfectly predictable that a conversation like that would get awkward. Please open your eyes.

          • Jake V8

            Not quite. If I were to openly defend the existence of leprechauns or some other being that is made up everyone would just laugh and have a joking demeanor. Totally opposite when Jesus is brought up. Most people get quite, leave the conversation or try to relate by bringing up personal experiences that they have encountered.. usually some kind of new age’ish positive energy stuff. Again, it’s totally different. Just give it a try for yourself. Also, when you say something as abstract as “please open your eyes”.. I get it. Although, where I’m coming from, I would also say the same thing to you.

            BTW.. for what it’s worth. It all comes down to personal experience and choice. You have no idea the change in my life since I started to truly believe in Jesus. It was insane.. and that for me proved Him real.

          • Mayena

            I argue that it actually is the same as with leprechauns, with the difference that it has gone on for too long and it stopped being funny a thousend years ago because of all the damage that has been dealt in it’s name. If religion was just someones view without consequences then yes, that could’ve been just something to laugh at (like with leprechauns), yet religion is damaging individuals and society, it’s proven itself dangerous. When you top that of with the characteristic that many religious people experience criticism of their ideas as some kind of personal attack (you don’t seem to do that though), then there are plenty of reasons to go quiet or leave that kind of conversation as you state, it doesn’t surprise me at all.

            Also to answer your point about personal experiences from people and yourself: yes you probably have experienced some things but remember that the human brain/imagination/halucination is a powerfull thing. Human witness acounts are also one of the most unreliable sources to go by so don’t mistake it for truth. Don’t fall for the god of the gaps: you can’t explain what you experienced, therefore it must be god. There are plenty of other explanations if you are willing to look for them.

            I have a different experience from yours, the way my life improved since I stopped letting religious dogma influence my judgement is insane. According to your standard, that proves Him to be not real.

          • Jake V8

            Ok, cool to hear where you’re coming from. I like that kind of stuff.. people’s stories etc. Trust me.. the faith and belief I have in Jesus is quite opposite from the harsh religious realities that many many people are brought up in. Wondering.. what church or faith/denomination did you grow up in?

            You do seem pretty confident you’re right and there’s no God.. I’ll give it to ya, it’s easy to believe that. Playing on your point the brain is powerful.. you don’t doubt your own disbelief but what if your brain is actually imagining/hallucinating and the experiences you’ve had are all wrong, and there actually is a God?

            Just because you’ve had a negative experience doesn’t mean it’s not true. I’ve personally observed over the 10 or so years I started on this journey, absolutely incredible positive things (way more then not) the church has done/is doing. And I am a BIG skeptic. I’m not kidding, the stuff going on that the media doesn’t show is unreal. So again, really unfortunate about your outlook at what Christianity has done throughout the centuries. I’d argue, what your describing is not even the Christianity I have faith in. I could go on.. but.. this is a VR site.. lol

          • Nakor

            Do you worship Zeus? How about Horus? It’s laughable right? So is Jesus. It’s all made up. How many repetitions of the same silly stories can we go through before the average person starts saying “Nope, that’s dumb.”?

          • Jake V8

            Fortunately just because you say it’s a silly story, doesn’t mean it is. Zeus and Horus sure don’t have millions of churches worldwide, with their followers martyred daily for their faith in some countries, and millions of Christians worldwide serving their community and beyond in the most selfless ways, contributing to the good of society. I took a true and honest look at it all, as a big skeptic and critical thinker. I actually did just a little non-biased research on this. Funny how the news never reports this stuff. Of course they will jump on all the bad they can find.

            I worship the God of the bible because that’s the only thing that changed my life in unexplained ways I never thought imaginable, once I gave up and gave my life to Him truly. Meaning I stopped treating it as a big joke and surrendering my life to Him. Trust me, I was probably the least likely person you would ever expect to do this.. you have no idea.

            The ONLY reason you will say its dumb is because that’s the easy way out. Building any relationship takes work and lots of personal time together hashing out the difficult things, talking about it, and in time things will be revealed to those that stick with it and don’t just give up because it didn’t meet your selfish timeline. Of course it would be easy to throw in the towel and say screw it.

            Although, obviously it’s a personal choice for everyone on earth. I think I had some of the worst exposure of religion exposed to me when I was younger. If anyone should reject this as myth, it should be me. Yet here I am, writing this. Trust me, that’s a miracle in and of itself.

            Anyways, stoked to see this film in VR!!!!

          • Nakor

            Paragraph 1: They used to. That’s my point. No one cares because they had enough years to figure out that it’s stupid, but more than that, a new story came along to say “No, this is the real story!” even though every story that came before said the exact same things. Your second point is that religion is super good and just gets a bad rap? Lol. Lets see, slavery, murder, genocide, rape, child abuse, rape of children, oppression, suppression of technology and science in general (for at least a thousand years straight, thanks god), all sorts of fun bigotry like sexism and racism, and much more fun!

            Paragraph 2: You certainly do sound crazy. That would be fine if religion weren’t so damaging.

            Paragraph 3: The real reason I say it is dumb is because it’s dumb AND it’s dangerous. Religion is the number one threat to humanity. ALL of humanity.

            Paragraph 4: You claim that if anyone should reject it it should be you, and yet you appear to be stupid enough to be accepting it anyway. This is amazing to me. You want to believe in magic so bad that you ignore all of the evil things that it has done. Cognitive dissonance is incredible.

          • Jake V8

            Paragraph 1: No they didn’t you have no clue, don’t make things up. True Christianity was never involved or a part of anything you just mentioned. All those things are disgusting sins brought on by satanic spirits, parading in some of those who associate with the “religious” sect. BIG difference in fact extreme opposite from true Christianity.

            Paragraph 2: Your tone, attitude and heart towards this conversation is hard man, name calling and deviating far from the original paragraph topic sucks hard. Don’t do it!

            Paragraph 3: Digging your own grave here buddy. Just hard feelings from someone who is super hurt from growing up in a religious household. I have compassion but will stand up for what changed my life, literally stopping me from ending my life.

            Paragraph 4: Man, more name calling and just nonsense.. look, you’re pissed at religion. I get it. Posting some lame comment about how this will be a shitty VR movie and all..

            In any case, when you go to bed at night you’ll think about this conversation whether you like it or not.

            Come back man, really Jesus is calling you. Don’t keep running. You know He is real and He loves you.. you’ll say otherwise, do everything possible to convince yourself, even saying it takes no convincing.

            Love and peace man..

          • Nakor

            1) I’m not making any of this up. This is all history. Your entire story of Christ is stolen from the many religions that came before it. Also, Satan isn’t real either lol. That’s more fairytale. You can’t blame everything crappy on some made up dude with horns. That’s really dumb.

            2) What name calling? There was no name calling. I also didn’t deviate, I described.

            3) Not even sure what you are on about here. Digging my grave? Uh, sure.

            4) Name calling. There it is again. You seem to be confused as to what that means. You’re a big dummy elephant. THAT was name calling lol. Of course I’m pissed at religion. Open your eyes and see all of the abhorrent damage it has done. It’s absolutely disgusting.

            I’ll tell you what. You bring me to your god so that I can make him answer to all the absolutely horrible things that he is responsible for (were he to exist) and then I will kill him (were he to exist) in a really violent way. If he were real he would be the most evil creature in all of existence.

            Logic and reason man…

          • Jake V8

            Good chatting about this with you buddy.. would be quite an interesting conversation over some beers :)

            Have a good one..

  • Matt_Sparks

    This isn’t the first VR feature film. What about Career Opportunities in Organized Crime? Doesn’t that count? Here’s a Vice article about it from March. http://www.vice.com/read/the-first-virtual-reality-feature-film-invites-you-to-join-the-russian-mafia

    • Alex

      As the director of Career Opportunities in Organized Crime, I second this sentiment. :-)

      Check out the film here if you want to watch it:
      https://www.reelhouse.org/akibimi/mafiacareers/

      • This is a sad state of affairs. I vote that VR publications do some investigative journalism before doling out the “First in..” label.

        Not targetted at Road2VR, specifically, but at VR journalism at large.

        **edit** To be fair, I’ve re-read the headline and it does say “claims to be..”

    • britone

      no that does not count they are short movies yes not feature length movies maybe you should look at the definition of the word feature length so next time you can make a sentence that makes sense

  • Milosx

    It definitely is a Virtual Reality