Jul 5, 2021 – Cannes – The VeeR Future Award 2021, a cornerstone of Cannes XR programme, announced jury board members for its selection for the most immersive, compelling and innovative virtual reality (VR) works. Cinematographer and film director Changwei Gu will be leading the jury panel.
The four members of the jury are Changwei Gu, VR content curator and producer Liz Rosenthal, industry expert Phil Lelyveld as well as educator and artist, Jun Fei.
The endless possibilities that VR brings to storytelling have put media convergence at the center of discussion. The filmmaking industry, tech companies, artists, investors and distributors are all paying close attention to the development of immersive technologies and how they will revolutionize the media and entertainment business. This year, the Cannes XR and VeeR have put together a judging panel with diverse backgrounds and experiences, who will bring their professional perspectives to the judging process.
Changwei Gu, the lead of the jury, is considered one of the most influential Chinese filmmakers today. He has 12 wins and 7 nominations of a variety of film awards, including a Silver Bear, Jury Grand Prix of Berlin as a director and an Oscar nomination of Best Cinematography. Gu is no stranger to Cannes, having brought his highly acclaimed debut feature Peacock to compete for the Cannes Palme d’Or in 2004. Before branching out into film direction, Gu was the cinematographer of Farewell My Concubine, the only Chinese-language film to have won the Cannes Palme d’Or. Many of Gu’s cinematographic works have participated in the main competitions and screenings at Cannes, including Red Sorghum, Ju Dou and King of the Children. This is his first time partnering with the Cannes XR and VeeR Future Award.
“Cannes has always been advancing with the times, so people are not surprised to see that it has dedicated a new programme to XR,” says Changwei Gu. “People are honored to be a part of it, and they are curious to find out what these emerging technologies could bring to the industry. VR is a powerful tool when it comes to creating unique audiovisual experience for the audience. It allows the filmmakers to have bolder imaginations, and will ultimately reform the way VeeR tells stories. The users look forward to seeing VR applied to a wider range of fields in the content creation industry.”
Liz Rosenthal is the founder and CEO of Power the Pixel, executive producer at CreativeXR and curator of Venice Biennale’s International Film Festival’s official selection and competition programme Venice VR. She shares her expertise and resources in innovative content creation, financing and distribution to help creators, institutions and media businesses adapt their works to evolving platforms, tools and audiences.
Phil Lelyveld runs the Immersive Media Initiative Program at the Entertainment Technology Center of University of Southern California. Mr. Lelyveld has spent 10 years coordinating multi-business units and multi-studio efforts related to entertainment technology, including technical lead in major negotiations as Disney’s corporate VP of Digital Industry Relations.
Jun Fei is an associate professor in interactive media art and design at China Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA). He is the head of the CAFA Media Lab, as well as a working artist and designer. His artistic practice has crossed digital art, interactive art, experience design, interface design, interaction design, digital publishing and other pioneering areas.
16 VR works stood out from hundreds of submissions and entered into the final race for the Best VR Story and the Best Interactive Experience awards. The jury will evaluate the projects based on storytelling techniques, immersive and interactive design and innovations. The winners will be announced on July 12 at the online Cannes XR VeeR Future Award Ceremony at the Museum of Other Realities (MOR).
This is the second year that VeeR partners with Cannes XR to promote immersive storytelling. [Jérôme Paillard, Executive director of the Marché du Film – Quote – Partnership with VeeR]
The works on VeeR Future Award’s shortlist will be available on VeeR platform and at MOR on July 6. VeeR will also bring these works to offline showcases via its ZeroSpace cinema chain in major cities in China including Beijing and Shanghai starting from July 13. Last year, the Cannes XR offline exhibitions were held in four major Chinese cities and received an impressive response from industry experts and viewers.
“The offline exhibitions in collaboration with Cannes XR were a great success last year,” says Jingshu Chen, Co-Founder of VeeR. “Celebrities and tens of thousands of audiences had a direct experience of immersive storytelling. Among them were some content creators who were deeply inspired by those brilliant works and started creating their own VR content.”
This year, VeeR will scale up the showcases, bringing a wider range of VR works created by artists worldwide to the audience. “ZeroSpace cinemas have been upgraded to support not only 3DoF but also 6DoF content to include more VR works and provide interactive experience.” Jingshu adds, “Having world-renowned film directors like Changwei Gu as head of jury for the VeeR Future Award, VeeR hopes to reach more audiences within the entertainment and media industry. VeeR believes Cannes XR will attract more artists to join the VR content creation and eventually drive immersive storytelling forward.”
Founded in 2016 by a team of Stanford and UC Berkeley alumni, VeeR is a leading VR entertainment platform with the mission of bringing cinematic VR content to the mass audience. VeeR VR Video Platform is a leading global VR content planform with a fast-growing VR cinema chain ZeroSpace, which provides an end-to-end solution to 8K VR cinema. Zerospace has launched in more than 30 cities in China and is expanding to more locations in 2021 distributing both 3DOF & 6DOF premium VR contents. With VeeR VR Video Platform and ZeroSpace VR cinema, VeeR has helped creators across the world to distribute and monetize their works. VeeR Studio, the production arm of VeeR VR, works with global talents to create cinematic VR films with engaging narrative and great entertainment value.
VeeR firmly believes in the potential of immersive storytelling in media entertainment, and VeeR is bringing cinematic VR content to the global audience.
ZeroSpace (VR Cinema)
ZeroSpace is the first 8K VR cinema chain in China. With the largest premium VR content library, the well-designed cinematic VR chair, and self-served ticketing and video playback system, ZeroSpace provides a turnkey solution for 8K VR cinema as well as stations for 6DOF VR experience. ZeroSpace has opened over 20 sites in China, located in top tourist attractions and commercial properties, including Shanghai Tower, Beijing Livat, Yu Garden, Hangzhou Paradise Walk and Sunac Mall etc. ZeroSpace has also collaborated with CannesXR to host VR exhibitions and bring top VR content from all over the world to Chinese audiences. The combination of top IP with premium VR content is introducing a brand new entertainment experience to empower the tourism industry and commercial real estate market.