By Elizabeth Lee
CARLOW Arts Festival has just announced a virtual reality film festival called From the Arctic to Australia.
The virtual reality cinema will be hosted on Carlow Arts Festival’s YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/c/CarlowArtsFestival_Ireland) and will be accessible for all to view from 1-31 August.
The announcement follows on from Carlow Arts Festival’s successful virtual reality strand in 2019. XR producer Camille Donegan has returned to curate the series of 360 degree films that will bring the viewer on an international exploration, from the Arctic to Australia and all the way to Mars, from the comfort of your home.
Audiences buy a headset from the festival website that works with their smartphone to replicate the experience of the VR cinema safely. Organisers have ranged the globe to source the most extraordinary films for the 3D experience that these cardboard headsets provide; plus they are entirely reusable and will work for any 360 content.
The films include a puppet trapped in a stunningly offensive puppet show in Extravaganza, explore the movement of the solar system in The Guardian’s Celestial Motion or Passenger – step into a taxi in your new Australian home and be whisked away by a wise feathered friend in this surreal stop-motion adventure.
Soar through space from the Moon to Mars and beyond with 2nd Step.
Narrated by Colin Farrell, Gloomy Eyes, an animated VR-trilogy in 6DoF (six degrees of freedom) and 3D real-time, tells the story of the sun who got tired of humans and decided to hide and never rise again.
Carlow Arts Festival is delighted to announce a giveaway of 30 licences for the wonderful Gloomy Eyes VR experience, available on Steam for Oculus Quest, Rift or HTC Vive headsets.
Festival director Jo Mangan said: “We are in a way capitalising on the lack of possibility of movement of artists at the moment. We are suddenly on a level playing field when it comes to putting together a programme of events online, digitally and through virtual reality in the home. Our relative small size when compared with international festivals with many multiples of our budget would normally be a disadvantage. But through the medium of VR we are able to bring works such as the stunning Celestial Bodies, made by Alexander Whitley Dance Company with Sadlers Wells and the Guardian, into people’s homes, while we can hear the voice of our own Colin Farrell narrate the wonderful Gloomy Eyes. We are stretching the boundaries of what a festival can be; we are leaning into tech that expands our audience experience and I believe the festival will emerge stronger than ever from the learnings of this time.”
HOW TO WATCH – GET A VR VIEWER
Don’t have a VR headset? No problem … you can still share in the VR experience. Carlow Arts Festival has a simple, inexpensive cardboard VR viewer available to purchase that will allow you enter the world of virtual reality using your smartphone and experience the 360 3D content. VR viewers are available for €10 plus postage and packaging from www.carlowartsfestival.com.