Nicholas Cage VR Experience, The Gallery & Space Pirate Trainer Among Cinequest Film & VR Award Winners

If you haven’t already gathered from the dramatic upswing in posts on VRFocus about it, virtual reality (VR) is definitely finding a home in amongst the independent film festivals. Last night might have seen the results from this year’s Academy Awards (aka The Oscars), but this weekend also saw the results from another award ceremony settled. Not in Tinseltown but care of Silicon Valley based organisation Cinequest. They’re midway through this year’s event which runs until Sunday March 11th, but they have already passed judgement on the most recent edition of the Cinequest Film & VR Festival’s awards for the medium of immersive entertainment.

As you might surmise from that it isn’t just films, documentaries and so forth that are celebrated as part of the awards. But all manner of creative media that uses virtual reality (VR) technology as well as the people involved in it. Some familiar names cropped up this year in the twenty award categories that recognised “achievement in storytelling, technical artistry and immersive design”.

A full list of winners has now been published and you can read these below:

Best VR Film, Feature
Speed Kills VR Experience
Starring Maverick Spirit Award recipient John Travolta and Katheryn Winnick, speedboat racing champion and multimillionaire Ben Aronoff (Travolta) leads a double life that lands him in trouble with both the law and drug lords. Directed by Travis Cloyd. Produced by Travis Cloyd, Guy Griffithe, Richard Del Castro and TopDogVR.

Best VR Sci-Fi
The Humanity Bureau VRevolution
Starring Nicolas Cage, this dystopian thriller set in the near future sees the world facing serious environmental problems as the result of global warming. The standalone episodic virtual reality series released on March 2nd, followed by the theatrical film release of the sci-fi action-thriller, The Humanity Bureau on April 6th. The Humanity Bureau VRevolution was directed by Rob W. King and Josh Courtney. Produced by Travis Cloyd. Josh Courtney, Kevin DeWalt and Rob Bryanton. Written by Dave Schultz and Travis Cloyd.  The experience is a Mind’s Eye Entertainment Presentation. Distributed by OneTouchVR.

The Humanity Bureau / Nicolas CageBest Cinematography
Boxes (Directed by Matt Naylor)
James is tasked with clearing out the last boxes from his childhood home after his father’s death, but memories are recalled in painful vignettes in this empowering story.

Best Documentary
Revoked (Directed by Stevo Chang)
In an American future, when the President revokes the green card of Iranian-born Jane Manesh, she must flee to Canada with the help of her childhood friend.

Best Social Activism
Behind the Fence (Directed by Lindsay Branham & Jonathan Olinger)
The Rohingya Muslims must survive a Government led campaign to eliminate them.

Best Educational VR
Meeting Rembrandt: Master of Reality (Directed by Bridget Erdmann & Ingejan Ligthart Schenk)
What if you had the chance to meet the famous 17th century master painter? Get close up and personal as he changes history forever with his controversial painting, the Night Watch in this immersive experience.

Best Short VR Film
Best Storytelling
La Camila (Directed by Jak Wilmot)
When the storms of nature threaten her very existence, a young shepherd girl, Camila, struggles to fill her papa’s shoes and create new clouds for the dying world below.

Best Action VR
Space Pirate Trainer (Directed by Dirk Van Welden, I-Illusions)
Hone your offensive and defensive battle skills with awesome space age weaponry against an ever-increasing barrage of killer fighting drones.

Best Episodic VR Game
The Gallery – Episode 2: Heart of the Emberstone
After receiving your Gauntlet, you must travel to a long-forgotten world where the past holds many secrets and reveal the true intentions of the dark figure in the Starseed.

The Gallery Heart of the Emberstone screenshot 4

Best Music Video
Apex (Directed by John Albert, Wevr)
A surreal, apocalyptic vision set to an original score from artist and musician Arjan van Meerten.

Best Animation VR
Best Production Design / Art Direction
Allumette (Directed by Eugene Chung, Penrose Studios)
Allumette tells a story about love, sacrifice and a deep bond between a young girl and her mother in a fantastical city in the clouds.

Best Sports VR
To the Top (Directed by Richard Matey, Electric Hat VR)
A platforming game that gives you the freedom to move across the environment’s obstacles with superhuman abilities.

Best VR Experience
Best Sound Design
FORM (Directed by Richard Matey, Electric Hat VR)
FORM is a puzzle adventure, mixing classic gameplay inspired by Myst and The Room, with surreal and spectacular visuals akin to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Best VR Game
Karnage Chronicles (Directed by Thorbjoern Olsen, Nordic Trolls)
A high fantasy RPG where you play a Murkwraith on a mission to defeat enemies of the lands and restore order to shape your future.

Best VR Interactive
Manifest 99 (Directed by Bohdon Sayre, Adam Volker, Flight School Studio)
Journey into the afterlife aboard a mysterious train inhabited by a murder of crows in this ominous and eerie experience.

Manifest99 header

Most Innovative VR
Gary the Gull (Directed by Tom Sanocki, Limitless Entertainment Ltd.)
Developed by veterans from Pixar, Gary the Gull is VR Animated Interactive short film that puts you in the story. Respond to Gary’s questions by nodding, shaking your head, talking, and see how your decisions affect the story’s telling.

VR Visionary Award
Travis Cloyd
Fusing his expertise in both film and VR, Cloyd has served as cinematic VR producer for four feature films. Working with world-renowned talent like Nicolas Cage, John Travolta and Wesley Snipes, Cloyd continually bridges the gap between Hollywood and immersive storytelling, a connector and conduit between the fields of film and tech.

VRFocus will be bringing you more updates throughout the year as immersive technology continues to help creativity flourish.