Cinequest Film Festival to Premiere VR Movie LIFE-GIVER in March

The start of every year sees a flurry of cinematic content thanks to film festivals around the world. Sundance has just ended while March will see the return of the Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival to San Jose and Redwood City, California. Once again virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) will have a presence with the world premiere of VR film LIFE-GIVER  taking place.


Produced by Snowcloud Films, Film i Väst and StudioV, LIFE-GIVER is an animated movie directed by Petter Lindblad and Alexander Rönnberg, following a mother’s struggle to save herself and her two daughters.

“2068 – the environmental crisis is in full effect. It has completely destroyed our planet and shattered humanity into a chaotic fight to survive. A plan was made to evacuate the planet before it became completely uninhabitable, but there was not enough room on the evacuation ships. A special travel pass was handed out to only the most privileged people. The rest were placed in internment camps. And now the last ship is about to leave,” explains the synopsis.

Set in an abandoned Stockholm, she has managed to acquire these sought after passes but to get to the evacuation ship they must cross the dangerous militarized zone, and time is running out. The film is told from the viewpoint of the youngest daughter’s memory, as she is now an old woman far out among the stars in the future.

LIFE-GIVER”We’re very happy to have been chosen to have our world premiere in the heart of Silicon Valley. It seems a fitting place to show our first VR-film at such a melting pot of technical and creative achievements. We’re looking forward to the screenings and networking with other filmmakers and distributors of VR-projects at the festival,” says producer Petter Lindblad in a statement.

After its premiere at the festival, Nordic Entertainment Group’s 360-platform Viareal will release LIFE-GIVER to the Nordic market at the end of 2020. LIFE-GIVER is slated for release on Oculus Store and SteamVR this year. Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival takes place from 3rd-15th March 2020, with the VR-programme running between 5th-8th March. For further updates keep reading VRFocus.

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.

Cinequest Film & VR Festival Set to Feature 29 VR Experiences

Later this month Cinequest will roll out its annual film and virtual reality (VR) festival which is now in its 28th year. The 2018 event, based in San Jose and Redwood City, California, is set to be bigger and better than ever when it comes to immersive experiences, with 29 pieces of VR content on show.

The Humanity Bureau / Nicolas Cage

From 27th February through 11th March 2018, the festival’s 28th season has programmed 13 days of screenings and premieres, inspiring experiences with trailblazers in film and VR, and awards presentations with icons in entertainment. The actual VR segment of the festival runs from 1st – 4th March. The content will range from films and videogames, to augmented reality (AR) experiences and more, covering a swath of the immersive industry.

In the Cinequest VR Experience Lounge, experts in the field will lead interactive workshops. In recognition of his work in VR entertainment, Travis Cloyd will be honoured with this year’s VR Visionary Award. In addition to accepting this VR honour, Cloyd will present three VR experiences at the festival: the world premiere of The Humanity Bureau VRevolution, starring Maverick Spirit Award honoree, Nicolas Cage; Speed Kills VR Experience starring John Travolta; and The Recall VR, starring Wesley Snipes.

The Recall VR Abduction Starring Wesley Snipes

“We’ve seen the power of film to not only delight and entertain, but spark awareness, create connections and galvanize communities,” said Halfdan Hussey, co-founder of Cinequest in a statement. “Our theme for this year’s festival is ‘Impact’, reflected by the exceptional films, VR,  and interactions with the torchbearers in entertainment and technology–programmed to give our audience a venue for engagement and empowerment. We’re proud to spotlight the work of internationally celebrated and emerging artists, representing a spectrum of genres, genders, ethnicities, orientations, ages and perspectives, and to enable these creators to connect with audiences in the vibrant and cosmopolitan Silicon Valley – the world’s leader in innovation.”

For those interested in going to the festival passes come in three varieties: Film Lover, Mavericks and Cinequest All Access, priced at $165 USD, $299 and $500 respectively. While each will offer varying access to the event, if you want to see any of the VR related programmes or workshops you’ll need the All Access pass. For any further updates on the festival, keep reading VRFocus.

Cinequest Film & VR Festival Passes Now Available, VR Award Winners Revealed

Taking place at the end of the month in the annual Cinequest Film & VR Festival, held in in San Jose and Redwood City, California. The event is set to feature a massive selection of virtual reality (VR) workshops, panels and cinema programmes, as well as awards, the winners of which have now been announced. 

The Cinequest VR Awards cover 19 categories from Best Overall VR Experience and Best VR Documentary to Best VR Sound Design and the Visionary Award. The awards will be presented as part of the Closing Night festivities for the Cinequest Film & VR Festival on Sunday, 12th March.

gnomes and goblins

For those interested in going to the festival passes come in three varieties: Film Lover, Maverick and VIP Access, priced at $165 USD, $250 and $500 respectively. While each will offer varying access to the event, if you want to see any of the VR related programmes or workshops you’ll need to be a VIP.

“Representing the epicenter of virtual reality, Cinequest VR exists to meet current needs and celebrate this exploding industry. Our Board feels VR looks like the inception of TV. No matter how many boxes people had in their living rooms, if all they could see was static or off-putting programs, it’s doubtful TV would have succeeded. Cinequest VR will help emerging content creators access this opportunity and will celebrate and showcase the exciting successes of today’s VR,” said Halfdan Hussey, CEO and co-founder, Cinequest.

For any further update from Cinequest, keep reading VRFocus.

Inaugural Cinequest VR Award Winners:

Visionary Award
Maureen Fan

Best Overall VR Experience
Gnomes & Goblins

Best VR Interactive
Tilt Brush

Best VR Motion Picture
Rain or Shine
Honorable Mention: Please, State Your Name.

Best VR Motion Picture – Animation

Best VR Documentary
Under the Net
Honorable Mention: Collisions

Best VR Motion Picture – Horror

Best VR Motion Picture – Fantasy & Sci-fi

Best VR Motion Picture – Family
Special Delivery

Best VR Game
The Gallery: Episode One – Call of the Starseed
Honorable Mention: Fantastic Contraption
Honorable Mention: Bound

Best VR Family Game
Job Simulator

Best VR Adventure

Best VR Live Experience
Night Fall

Best VR Immersive
The Night Cafe

Best VR Social Experience

Best VR Story or Script
The Tragic Story of Betty Corrigall

Best VR Cinematography
Toro Bravo

Best VR Sound Design
Senzo Peso

Best VR Production Design
War Knows No Nation

Cinequest Announces Five-Part VR Experience Along With Opening of Submissions For CQVR Awards

One of the few film festivals to go on in California during the beginning of next year is held by Cinequest, and it has renamed its festival so the Cinequest Film & VR Festival, and has included the addition of the Cinequest Virtual Reality (CQVR) Awards, so there is no doubt that there is a whole new acknowledgement of VR’s importance in the film industry.

There will be five parts to the CQVR event, including: 1) Audience VR exhibitions, 2) Training, Workshops, and Inspirational presentations on the How-to’s of making VR, 3) a CQVR Lounge to connect creators, innovators, and audiences, 4) Soirees, Parties, and Celebrations, plus 5) CQVR Awards to leading content, technology, artists, and innovators.


As well as this, there will also be a five-part VR experience that will be detailed early next year.

Halfdan Hussey, Co-founder of Cinequest, explained where we are at with VR and AR, and the potential for them both in the technological market: “For those in media technology and art, Virtual Reality today is like television in 1950, where a new communications technology and market aggressively emerged and needed compelling content to flourish. For me, VR hold immense excitement to bring young and youthful minds a connection with great stories and experiences. VR and Augmented Reality (AR) are powerful tools. If we use them profoundly, we can impact our future in thrilling ways.”

The CQVR Festival will take place in San Jose/Silicon Valley during 28th February until the 12th March 2017. If you are looking for more information on the event, there will be more coming out about it on 26th January 2017 about the line-up for the festival, as well as the CQVR experience.

Submissions can be made on the CQVR website.

For more on the latest events in the world of VR, as well as all the news, updates, and features in the world of VR, make sure to check back with VRFocus.