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Taiwan showcases seven virtual reality films at Venice Film Fest

Films set to present Taiwan's creative cultural power to the world

HTC Vive virtual reality headset (Pixabay photo)

HTC Vive virtual reality headset (Pixabay photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Taiwanese film industry is set to make an impression with a lineup of virtual reality projects at this year’s Venice Film Festival, which began on Aug. 28 and will run through Sept. 7.

This year, Taiwan will set a new record for the most VR film projects from a single country ever entered at the esteemed film festival, with seven entries in four categories and one out-of-competition screening. The spectacular array of next-generation film technology and creative storytelling capabilities could mark a new chapter for Taiwan as a hub for virtual reality.

The impressive showcase may also catapult Taiwan’s domestic film industry into the international spotlight. Of the seven VR productions being unveiled at the Venice Film Festival, five of them were made in cooperation with HTC Vive Originals, representing the fruits of HTC's recent investments in developing VR content for its Vive platform.

The HTC Vive Original VR films being presented this week are “O” by director Qiu Yang, “Only the Mountain Remains” by Chiang Wei-liang, “The Making of” by Midi Z, “Inori” by artist Mita Komatsu and composer Kay Huang, and “Gloomy Eyes” by French animators Jorge Tereso and Fernando Maldonado. Variety quotes the president of HTC Vive Originals Liu Szu-ming as saying that the line-up “does not represent a single win by one team, but showcases the successful VR industry cluster and announce[s] the cultural creative power of Taiwan to the world.”

The other two VR productions are from creator Huang Hsin-chien, including the interactive“Bodyless” set during Taiwan’s martial law period and the winner of best VR experience at the 2016 edition of the festival, “To the Moon.” The latter is a thrilling VR visit to the moon in made in collaboration with Laurie Anderson.

Taiwan has been making strides in VR with cutting-edge projects like the Kaohsiung Film Festival’s VR Film Lab, along with HTC’s 5×1 initiative in partnership with the Golden Horse Awards, which both seek to make Taiwan a major player in the VR film industry in the years ahead, reports Variety.

Check out some 2D samples of two of the features below.

Trailer for "Bodyless"

Trailer for "Gloomy Eyes"