Venice, first of the big autumn film festivals, is the most glamorous, attracting big stars to Europe’s most beguiling location. But this year, virtual reality technology could steal the limelight from all the talent posing on the Rialto.
The film Jesus VR – The Story of Christ, to be unveiled at the festival on Thursday, marks the biggest investment so far in bringing the immersive world of virtual reality to mainstream cinema. The US-backed film will be 90 minutes long when it is released this Christmas, but 40 minutes are to be previewed in Venice for anyone quick enough to grab a headset.
Filmed in 360 degrees, it places its audience as spectators at the nativity, and takes them right through to the resurrection. The film is Venice festival’s way of saying that the future has arrived.