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Carlow Arts Virtual Reality Film Festival Takes Viewers on a Mars Round Trip

Carlow Arts Festival has recently announced a virtual reality (VR) film festival titled ‘From the Arctic to Australia’. Interested viewers can visit the YouTube channel of the Carlow Arts Festival to watch the virtual reality-based film. It is expected to be available from 1st to 31st August.

The Carlow Arts Festival this year is following up on its 2019 virtual reality efforts with the festival. Camille Donegan, the XR producer, has made his comeback by organising several 360-degree films that let viewers experience international locations. The immersive experiences will take them across several destinations ranging from the Arctic to Australia, and even to the landscapes of Mars. Viewers can enjoy vivid immersive journeys from the comfort of their own homes.

Viewers can purchase a virtual reality headset from the festival’s website. These can be used with their smartphones to get the most optimal VR-based cinematic experience. The festival’s organisers have put in their efforts to source the most breathtaking movies that viewers can enjoy with their headsets. The VR headset can also be used for any other type of 360-degree content.

One of the VR films named Extravaganza focuses on a puppet character within a provocative puppet show setting. Celestial Motion, another offering from The Guardian, is another feature delving into the workings of the solar system. Passenger is another film that has viewers sitting in a taxi as they are guided on a tour of the continent by a virtual character. 2nd Step is a standout film that takes viewers on a space journey to Mars from the Moon and more.

One of the Carlow Arts Festival films. Image source: carlowartsfestival

Gloomy Eyes, featuring narration by Colin Farrell, is an animated VR offering with six degrees of freedom and real-time 3D. Its story is about the sun becoming tired of human beings, and making the decision to never rise again. The festival also made a recent announcement about giving away 30 licences for its Gloomy Eyes VR experience. It can be availed through Steam and enjoyed on HTC Vive, Rift and Oculus Quest headsets.

Jo Magnan, the director of the festival, said that the VR film festival is a way of focusing on addressing the restrictions imposed upon artists by the current global situation. According to Magnan, present circumstances have made it convenient for the organisers to offer virtual reality content through digital and online modes to viewers. Magnan explained that festivals like theirs with far lower budgets than major international festivals are generally at a disadvantage. According to her, VR as an immersive technology is helping them to bring works such as the Alexander Whitley Dance Company’s Celestial Bodies, and the Colin-Farrell narrated Gloomy Eyes to life. Magnan emphasised that the CARLOW is pushing the edge of the innovation for festivals. She said that the company is relying on technology that diversifies the experiences of viewers. Magnan is enthusiastic about the festival becoming its strongest with respect to the new developments.

Interested viewers can buy the affordable cardboard VR headset from the Carlow Arts Festival website.

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