Film buffs have the opportunity to enter the virtual realm and experience cinematic innovation first-hand, with the launch of a series of Virtual Reality (VR) films and experiences at this year’s Gold Coast Film Festival (GCFF).
In a GCFF first, they have formed a partnership with Byron Bay Film Festival (BBFF) to showcase five pieces of VR, including the Australian premiere of social VR experience Chorus, a world-class production straight from Sundance and SXSW.
Created by virtual reality pioneers Tyler Hurd and Chris Milk, Chorus is a cutting-edge music video production that pushes the boundaries of the virtual reality medium.
Orchestrated to the song ‘Chorus’ by French electronic music duo Justice, Chorus enables up to six people to be transformed into fantastical female warriors from different corners of the world to battle evil with dance lasers and crystals in an epic 1980s fantasy movie journey of empowerment.
Byron Bay Film Festival has been showcasing virtual reality content since 2014, illustrating great commitment to the growth of this sector in the film industry.
Byron Bay Film Festival Director J’aimee Skippon-Volke said she is proud to be partnering with Gold Coast Film Festival to bring virtual reality to yet another platform.
“We are pleased to partner with Gold Coast Film Festival because we share a geographical base and in the scope of arts, location can stop the freedom to collaborate,” Ms Skippon-Volke said.
“Gold Coast Film Festival and Byron Bay Film Festival share a passion and enthusiasm for enhancing our respective city’s culture and introducing quality virtual reality works is part of that.
“We have created a mix of diverse pieces that range from artistic and humanitarian to thrillers and we look to satisfy all tastes and what has been brought together really does represent something for everyone.”
Screen Queensland CEO Tracey Vieira said: “We are thrilled the Gold Coast Film Festival is showcasing creative work in the VR space.”
“Screen Queensland is committed to growing our local industry and unearthing new voices and stories, and creating opportunities for our industry to learn new skills including VR.
“We want to ensure our people are leaders in innovation and adopting new opportunities, digital platforms and discovery of new audiences in a global context.
“We believe that Queensland practitioners are ahead of the game in producing great experiences on the VR platform and having the technical skills needed to forge ahead into a future in content creation that is happening now and we support them on this pathway.”
The exciting VR line-up will also feature homegrown talent with the addition of Gold Coast VR production, The Peeler.
Directed by Harrison Norris and Guy Norris (co-directors of Suicide Squad VR experience), and produced by Bond University graduate Emily Tate, The Peeler is a VR thriller that takes viewers on a dark journey into a murderous psychopath’s warehouse.
Filled with blood and gore, VR participants are strapped to a hospital gurney with the only hope of survival resting in the hands of another escaped captive.
Director Harrison Norris said he is thrilled to have his work featured at the Festival and applauds Gold Coast Film Festival for providing greater community access to virtual reality.
“It is fantastic to see Gold Coast Film Festival showcasing virtual reality for the first time as we need creators to be inspired by VR and to start experimenting because that is when the magic happens,” Mr Norris said.
“Virtual reality has the ability to completely immerse you and the real power of the medium is that it can make you forget where you are.
“It is very forward thinking of the festival to include virtual reality in their program line-up and I am excited for festival-goers to not only see The Peeler but to experience VR for themselves.”
City of Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said technology and innovation are a big part of the Gold Coast’s way ahead.
“Broadening the scope to include innovative technologies is something we want to see across the Gold Coast in all industries.”
Festival-goers can enjoy five virtual reality experiences throughout the festival with Rone, A Thin Black Line and Inside Manus also making the program.
The VR program will be held at the Gold Coast Film Festival’s base of HOTA, Home of the Arts.
HOTA CEO Criena Gehrke said the venue is proud to be the home of the Gold Coast Film Festival.
“We truly love film and movies at HOTA and we’re huge supporters of innovation and contemporary approaches to art,” Ms Gehrke said.
“We also love art that is about new experiences and hands on.
“We are delighted to be home to Gold Coast Film Festival and this program where cinema and VR collide.”
For more information about the festivals full selection of virtual reality, viewing times and booking details, visit

No comments yet.