Cannes Takes Virtual Route

admin   June 22, 2020

After unveiling the Marché du Film Online, a stand-alone online market (22 to 26 June), the Marché du Film – Festival de Cannes has announced the reshape of Cannes XR in a digital only event dedicated to immersive technologies and works, Cannes XR Virtual.

Sharing common priorities in the given situation and sanitary crisis due to COVID-19, the Marché du Film Festival de Cannes and its partners remain committed to offering visibility to the XR community and to fostering the connections between XR artists and potential investors, said a statement.

From 24 to 26 June, Cannes XR Virtual is the destination where professionals from the traditional film-making industry, XR artistes, independent producers, leading tech companies, location-based and online distributors will come together to imagine and shape the future of movies.

Jérôme Paillard, Executive Director of the Marché du Film said: “It is a very special edition. After having prepared for a promising edition in Cannes, where for the first time we would have expanded the VR to the Palm Beach, we had to reinvent Cannes XR and find a way to put it online. I’m very impressed to see how fast, with our spectacular team and our wonderful partners, it has been possible to build a totally new concept where we will be able to show worldwide, and with optimal quality, the VR experiences that we were expecting to show in Cannes”.

In this reimagined edition, Cannes XR Virtual will be presented in different formats on several platforms: Cannes XR Virtual will be open to VR users at the Museum of Other Realities (MOR), a virtual art gallery specialized in featuring immersive work from VR artists around the world. The entire virtual programme will remain available until July 3rd via the MOR application on Steam, Viveport, or Oculus.

Cannes XR Virtual 2D live video stream shot by a virtual cameraman from the MOR, including conferences, pitching sessions and project presentations, will be accessible on the Marché du Film Online. Cannes XR Virtual 2D live video stream will also be available on the Tribeca Film Festival and Kaleidoscope websites.

VeeR 360 Cinema, the selection of 360 cinematic experiences at Cannes XR Virtual, will be showcased on the VeeR VR Video Platform A network of partner Location Based Entertainment (LBE) in several major cities in the United States, China and France will offer access to Cannes XR Virtual to journalists and guests who do not have a VR headset.

“The MOR is a perfect place to host an ambitious and stylistically challenging event like Cannes XR” says Robin Stethem, Cofounder of the Museum of Other Realities. “Creating a virtual venue that can host numerous showcases, VR arcades, 360 cinemas and networking spaces where some of the finest global digital players can meet and interact is what we love to do. The MOR is a place to connect, share, and experience virtual reality art with others, and so we hope everyone who is interested in XR creation will join us for the virtual edition of Cannes XR.”

Cannes XR Virtual will also team up with major key players in the immersive industry to put together a solid and diverse program featuring the latest creative works and technologies within the VR ecosystem.

ESSENTIAL EVENT

For its 2020 edition, the Marché du Film – Festival de Cannes’ XR program dedicated to virtual and augmented reality becomes CANNES XR VIRTUAL from June 24 to 26. This 3-day event will be entirely dedicated to players from the creative industries who use virtual and augmented reality technologies.

This unique edition will take place within the framework of the Marché du Film Online, an online market to be held from June 22 to 26. For this occasion, the Marché du Film – Festival de Cannes teams up with major key players from the immersive industry. While the MOR (Museum of Other Realities) will provide its entire virtual art gallery for the whole Cannes XR Virtual program, Tribeca Film Festival will present a selection of interactive works including six world, international, European or online premieres. VeeR VR et Positron will present a selection of XR and 360° pieces with two prizes for the winner. Kaléidoscope teams up with Cannes XR to promote works in development.

Cannes XR Virtual’s objective is to allow artists and producers in the XR industry to continue to develop their projects, and present their works despite the sanitary crisis. In total more than 55 XR pieces will be presented between projects in development and world previews.

“During this very peculiar time, the Marché du Film is more than determined to highlight the XR industry and to foster links between artists and potential investors to support creation in all its richness and diversity. We are very proud to partner with these leading partners in the XR sector.” Jérôme Paillard, Executive director of the Marché du Film

The Tribeca Film Festival, presented by AT&T, continues its long-time partnership with the Marché du Film and Cannes XR as it brings its acclaimed immersive programming online. A custom virtual showcase of XR projects curated by Tribeca will make its exclusive debut for a three-day exhibition. The line-up is curated from Tribeca Immersive’s 2020 programming, and includes select World Premieres which were intended to debut earlier this year, prior to the postponement of the 19th annual Tribeca Film Festival.

“We’re thrilled to be able to present selections from the 2020 Tribeca Virtual Arcade at Cannes XR. We are turning towards innovation as a solution in these uncertain times. While we continue to explore the future of physical exhibition, this is an exciting moment to share our immersive curation with an expanded global audience, and Cannes is the perfect partner to help us to accomplish this,” says Loren Hammonds, Senior Programmer, Film & Immersive.

Curated in association with Kaleidoscope, the Cannes XR Development Showcase is an opportunity for virtual and augmented reality titles in-development to be pitched, showcased and benefit from pre-arranged 1:1 meetings with our Decision Makers composed by emblematic industry leaders, co-producers, distributors and curators of the XR entertainment space.

Todd Shaiman – Head of Immersive Arts at Google, Colum Slevin – Head of Media, ARVR Experiences at Facebook, Ishita Kapur – Director, Mixed Reality Content and Partnerships at Microsoft, Jingshu Chen – Co-Founder at VeeR VR, Jake Sally – Head of Development at RYOT / Verizon, and Sarah Vick – Executive Producer at Intel Studios have already confirmed their participation as a Decision Maker at Cannes XR Virtual. The selected elements of the online programme will be live streamed to Kaleidoscope’s website alongside the official Cannes XR channels.

“This is the second year in a row that we collaborate with Cannes XR, and we are very proud that in 2020 our role within this prestigious event has grown” says René J. Pinnell, CEO and co-founder of Kaleidoscope. “When the COVID-19 crisis struck the market we knew we needed to react and help creators to stand on their feet again. We also offered to step in with our production expertise to make XR online gatherings attractive and socially relevant. I believe that events like Cannes XR are crucial hotspots on the global map of independent immersive creation, and play a major role in building a system of support for digital artists.”

VeeR, a leading VR entertainment platform available worldwide, will curate an innovative program, VeeR 360 Cinema. VeeR invites artistes worldwide to submit work to its inaugural VeeR 360 Cinema at Cannes XR Virtual – the Call for Projects is now open via Kaleidoscope. The selected 360 VR films will be showcased during Cannes XR Virtual at the Museum of Other Realities and via VeeR VR Video Platform for 5 days.

The winner will be presented with the VeeR Future Award and will be awarded with a cash bonus and a Premium Distribution Package worth value of 10,000 USD which includes global marketing campaign, online & LBE distribution and Chinese localization. The voluntarily participated LBE showcase will be held at VeeR ZeroSpace for 2 weeks in China, which is aimed to bring VR projects and teams to investors and media.

“It’s our great pleasure to collaborate with Cannes XR this year. During the time when COVID-19 has casted huge shadows on the immersive industry, VeeR managed to help a group of 360 filmmakers monetize their works. We are happy to share VeeR’s production strategy and distribution model to the 360 community”, says Jingshu Chen, Co-founder of VeeR, “Together with Cannes XR, we aim to find more ways to support immersive content creators, to push the limit of 360 content. With the development of 5G network in China, VR is growing faster than ever and there’s great demand for premium VR content in Chinese market. More investors start to show interests in cinematic VR content. Therefore, apart from the Online Showcase, we have also planned a LBE Showcase in China. In doing this, we hope to connect selected projects with potential investors and collaborators.”

Cannes XR Virtual will be accessible to industry professionals registered with the Marché du Film Online. Accreditations for the Marché du Film Online will open May 12 at an early bird rate of €95 until May 29 and €195 normal rate after that. Cannes XR Virtual will be open to users with a VR headset at the Museum of Other Realities (MOR). Cannes XR Virtual 2D live video stream will also be available on the Tribeca Film Festival and Kaleidoscope websites. The VeeR 360 Cinema program will be available as well on the VeeR VR Video Platform.


Driving Future of Immersive Entertainment

admin   June 22, 2020

Since 2016, Ravi Velhal, who leads Digital Media Standards, Technologies and Immersive Cinema programs globally at Intel, started bringing plethora of VR technologies and major Hollywood immersive co-productions worldwide

Since past 25 years, Intel has been at the forefront of emerging technologies used by the entertainment industry to deliver rich content and provide consumers with exciting immersive digital experiences today. Pioneered by Intel’s legendary CEO Andy Grove in the early 1990s, Intel has been driving and establishing content / technology policy and standards between the Hollywood, consumer electronics and technology providers.

Major studios, post production and visual effects companies leverage Intel technologies from creation to distribution and consumption-such as Intel® Xeon® Scalable and Intel® Core™ processors, Intel® Optane™ memory technology, 5G networking solutions, and development toolkits like SDVis for open source raytracing — to unleash the best viewing experiences for consumers.

Ravi will throw light on cutting-edge technologies for immersive and interactive content production at CannesXR 2020 and his colleague Sarah Vick, Building Shared Sense of Humanity using Volumetric Studio highlighting state-of-the-art Intel Studios, touted as world’s largest Volumetric Studio, where iconic and pioneering immersive experience such as ‘Grease- You are the one that I want’ was filmed with more than 5 trillion pixels.

Advancing story powered by tech, Intel collaborated with Sony Pictures last year to produce virtual reality experiences based on ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’, which allows participants to enjoy a web-slinging thrill ride from Spider-Man’s perspective, experience delivered first at Mobile World Congress 2019 leveraging ultra-low-latency over 5G for multiplayer VRE.

Created by the The Museum of Tomorrow, Rio de Janeiro presents RePangeia – a Technoshamanistic experience in Virtual Reality developed in collaboration with Imagined by Intel. Inspired by Tecnoshamanism, the experience seeks to engage with the perspectives of traditional indigenous Tupinambá and Tikuna tribal communities of lower Amazonian Brazilian rainforest to rethink the future to explore possibilities to create a connection between traditional ancestral knowledge using the virtual reality and volumetric technology with depth data of tribe’s ritualistic dance performance. Immersive technology offers The RePangeia ritual extends from the real world into the virtual. Before entering the Virtual World, participants take off their shoes and put on indigenous ankle rattles. In the experience, they follow the movements of the Holographic volumetrically captured Indigenous Guide in a spiritual dance. Participants can see their own hands represented as glowing energy fields in the experience. Through touch, they build up their own energy and can share energy between themselves and the guide to experience mindfulness in the Natural World around them.

Directed by Marcela Sabino, experiences such as Repangea highlights potential of immersive technologies that are available to the content creators around the world to take their story forward. Since 2016, Ravi Velhal, who leads Digital Media Standards, Technologies and Immersive Cinema programs globally at Intel, started bringing plethora of VR immersive technologies and knowhow worldwide, including Brazil and Colombia in South America and began collaborating with Brazilian content creators, studios, which led him to direct first ever Virtual Reality production of Rio Carnival Virtual Reality Experience in 2018 which was released at Marche Du Films at 71st Cannes Film Festival in 2018 ago along with Save Every Breathe-Dunkirk VRE and Prelude to LeMusk VRE Cinema by A R Rahman, two time Oscar and Grammy Winner on a Positron VR motion chair emitting scent, paved the way for dedicated CannesXR exhibition category for immersive Cinema at Cannes.

Last year (2019), Ravi and Intel team brought Grease Volumetric Song Experience (Intel, Paramount Pictures), FirstMan VRE (Universal Pictures, RYOT, CreateVR and Intel) and Scent of a Song from LeMusk Cinema VRE, with AR Rahman’s appearance at the CannesXR joint Keynote, all co-produced by Intel.

During this unprecedented time, Marché du Film as a part of 73rd Cannes Film Festival is bringing CannesXR online and virtual, highlighting the XR industry and to foster link between creators and industry partners in the XR sector online. Cannes XR Virtual (June 24-26,2020) is a three day online and virtual event dedicated to Immersive Entertainment, in order to adapt to current situation, to reshape a groundbreaking event online and in Virtual Reality, a program fully dedicated to immersive technologies and works, in connection with the art of storytelling and the film industry. At CannesXR, Ravi will be speaking about cutting-edge technologies for immersive and interactive content production (see box for more details).

Rahman & Ravi

Hands around the world project, unique way to bring immersive technology and music together for climate change awareness According to Oscar-Grammy winner A R Rahman, “Hands Around the World” it is a unique project that brings together music and technology to create awareness about climate change. There is a lot spoken about climate change, but I feel this is the time for all of us to come together and take action. Ravi Velhal from Intel, who is one of the technical advisors for my Le Musk project, pitched my name to Neil and Ken, saying AR will be the right person for this project. So, they did their research, watched my show Harmony on Amazon Prime and after that, asked me to compose a song for Hands Around The World.’ A R Rahman recorded “Hands Around the World” song in LA and launched its teaser recently during COVID crisis on Earth’s day


Camera is Most Amazing Thing Invented By Mankind

admin   February 20, 2020

Acharya venu, National Award Winner for Cinematography, one of the Berlinale Talents from India, talks about his journey and the most acclaimed work till date. Interview with Acharya Venu

Acharya Venu was born in a village in Warangal district of Telangana. While pursuing education, he realised that he has a niche for filmmaking, especially on the technical front. After earning a Bachelors of Fine Arts from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU), Hyderabad, he went on to earn a Post-Graduate Diploma in Motion Picture Photography from the prestigious Satyajat Ray Film & Televison Institute (SRFTI), Kolkata. Thereafter, he was selected to participate as one of the 24 fellows at Asian Film Academy, which was part of the Busan International Film Festival, held in Busan, South Korea, in 2013.

Which projects are you currently working on?

I am currently working on a Telugu film which is being directed by a debutant named Avaneendra. This is the first film in my mother tongue Telugu that I am shooting as a cinematographer. I am very excited about the project as I grew up watching Telugu films more than any other language.

Could you share with us your journey of becoming a cinematographer?

Before cinematography, it was camera—which I think is one of the most amazing things invented by mankind—that intrigued me the most. Camera allows you to freeze a moment of life and literally hold that moment in your hand in the form of a photograph. But, as a kid, I rarely got a chance to get my hands on this magical machine. However, when I was in the 10th grade, a professional photographer came to my village to capture images of some temples. I was lucky to meet him that day. I saw a big camera and lens and was instantly hooked to them like a child to a candy. That day I came to know that movies are shot with bigger cameras and that is what we see on the screen. From that day onwards, my interest in the machine got serious and I decided to become a cinematographer. I finished my graduation in Fine Arts at JNTU and applied for a cinematography course at the prestigious Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI) in Kolkata and got through somehow. That’s how my journey as a cinematographer began.

When you were shooting in Megalaya for Domnic Sangma’s Ma.ama, a Garo language film, you didn’t know the language. How did you manage to pull off a great job?

The place where we were shooting was called Nongthomoi, an unknown territory for me in Meghalaya. The weather there was unpredictable and the light was very inconsistent. We were a crew of only 10 members and the budget was tiny. All the actors were local people who never had any experience facing the camera before. My options were very limited and I had to create something with whatever I could get my hands on. I had to shoot in a hilly village where electricity was a luxury for most residents. The people spoke a different language and there was no script in my hand. I spent few days with the crew before we started shooting. I remember trying to interact with them in my own way to understand things better. But when we started shooting, most of the crew members became my friends. Shooting was not easy as they were not trained actors, however because they grew so comfortable with me that they were not nervous and delivered well at the end.

It’s a great surprise that you come from one of the biggest film production centres of India (andhra Pradesh), but your biggest break came from Domnic Sangma’s ‘Ma.ama’. How did it happen?

I grew up watching Telugu films and I would love to shoot the same. I am always ready to shoot anywhere and in any language. Also, the director was my senior in film school, so we had discussions about making a film together in future.

How was your experience when you bagged an award in the Shanghai Film Festival?

Euphoric, obviously. ‘Ma. Ama’(Moan) has earned me the most prestigious accolade till date. This happened in a ceremony organized on 21st June, wherein I was awarded the Best Cinematography award in Asian New Talent of the 22nd Shanghai International Film Festival. The award was given at Shanghai Grand Theater in a star-studded festival ceremony. I could interact with many filmmakers and film lovers from around the world. The jury said about my cinematography that “it’s more truthful and organic in its approach for a new cinematographer”. ‘Ma. Ama’ was among the 14 films shortlisted out of 300 entries submitted from various countries.

Who has been your major influence as cinematographer?

There are many. But among Indian cinematographers, I admire the works of mostly Santosh Sivan and PC Sriram. These are the masters who made me think about filmmaking.