Revelation Film Festival announces ‘XR:WA,’ a virtual reality festival

Perth’s Revelation Film Festival is back again for 2019 and this year they’re debuting a brand new virtual reality component. XR:WA is set to be nine days of specialised programming based around virtual reality (VR) and alternate reality (AR). Organisers say the event is more than just a place for screen-based industry professionals to meet. The idea of XR:WA is to develop an ‘ideas market’ where the Western Australian community can explore and interact with these new technologies.

To achieve this, the event’s programming is full of workshops, talks, screenings, 360 degree films, panels, and loads more. Revelation Film Festival’s Director and Founder, Richard Sowada explains that exploring these emerging spaces is what’s at the heart of their festival.

“With the addition of XR:WA to the film program, we have the opportunity to bring VR, AR and games to local audiences in a way that is unique to Australia in a festival context,” says Sowada. “It is a truly innovative program structured around ideas of possibility and opportunity.”

Revelation Film Festival will be full of science fiction celebration, animated short films, as well as a special appearance from Adam Pearson. We’ve taken a look at the highlights of XR:WA to help you out with your scheduling.

Spacecubed Games and Experience Emporium

This space will be a specially programmed VR/AR/MR installation featuring a variety of works that are (mostly) locally produced. There’s hours of material you can dive into and it’s all centred around having the playable, wearable, and tactile all in one space.

If you’re interested in a career in these areas: design, programming, or directing, there’ll be plenty of networking opportunities with the creators of each work attending.

Special attractions:

  • Thalu: Dreamtime is Now (VR)
  • Future Dreaming (VR)
  • Prosthetic Reality (AR)
  • Noise Drawers (AR)
  • Play Up Perth Games Zone presented by Sentient Computing

VR Exhibit: Thalu Dreamtime

This exhibit allows you to explore the spiritual underworld of the Ngarluma Aboriginal people of Northern Western Australia through virtual reality. A spirit guide will take you through the vibrant underworld where you’ll meet traditional custodians of land which is now severely threatened by the modern world — especially by mining. You’ll visit individual Thalu (sacred sites) where you can see flora, fauna, and elements before continuing onto the world of Mingkala the Creator.

Installation: On Exactitude In Science

This screening features two video installations, Godfrey Reggio’s ‘Koyaanisqatsi’ (1982) and Alan Butler’s shot-for-shot remake, ‘Koyaanisgtav’ (2017) played in sync. Butler chose Reggio’s ‘Koyaanisqatsi’ — a documentary film — as a cultural artifact and a model of what 20th Century film typically was. Butler — who will be in attendance — has used Reggio’s work as a screenplay (differing from its original intention) and transposed it into something new using Grand Theft Auto’s virtual worlds.

Untethered VR Gaming: Ready Team One

Ready Team One begins by setting the scene. It’s 2130 and you receive a request for military assistance, it’s urgent. Colony planet, Ikeda 7’s planetary shields have mysteriously been disabled, you have to answer the call by controlling your avatar combat suit — which is complete with futuristic armour and weapons.

The game is untethered, so you and your team get to roam freely (thanks to backpacks) through the alternate world. As a team you get to create strategies and work through aliens and obstacles in deep space. Ready Team One was created in Perth and features:

  • Large scale free-roam
  • Amazing visualisations
  • Full body immersion

360’ VR Showcase Cinema

The 360’ VR Showcase will have three different programs that are made up by a variety of VR experiences. The specially curated virtual reality cinema is designed to give VR new-comers a taste of what all of the hype is about. If you’re already a VR fan you’ll still get something out of it though. You’ll have the opportunity to appreciate some of the finest work being created in this space, in Australia.

The makers and artists of the experiences will be attending too so there’ll be opportunities to network and share ideas.

Works on show:

  • Rone
  • Carriberrie
  • Via Alice
  • The Antarctica VR Experience

Event: Immersive After Dark – Beer & Board Games

Perth’s own Studio Startup will host three evenings of beer and board games. Curated by Sofie Mather, this event is a chance to meet with games designers and makers and experience their works while getting to enjoy some beers — nice.

Immersive After Dark is providing the opportunity for industry professionals — and amateurs — to explore these ideas and this space in a fun environment.

To see all of the events on offer over the nine days, head here or check out dates and ticketing information below.

XR:WA 2019

Saturday, 6th July — Sunday, 14th July

Revelation Film Festival, Perth & Fremantle

Tickets: Official Website

Revelation Film Festival

Thursday, 4th July — Wednesday, 17th July

Various Venues, Perth

Tickets: Official Website