The Venice Film Festival announced the list of works selected as part of VENICE VR EXPANDED. A total of seven immersive works from Taiwan were selected, five of which entered the In Competition, one in the Special Event – Out of Competition, and one in Best of VR Expanded – Out of Competition, setting the best record for Taiwanese VR works selected for the Venice Film Festival.
The Venice Film Festival first created a VENICE VR EXPANDED category in 2016, and set up the In Competition the following year in hopes of fostering new forms of work. The Taiwanese films "The Sick Rose (病玫瑰)," "The Last Worker," "The Starry Sand Beach," "Bedlam" and "Samsara (輪迴)" were shortlisted in the In Competition. "Speak to Awaken: Ep. 2 KUSUNDA (喚說其語Ep.2庫桑達)" was selected in Special Event – Out of Competition while "In the Mist" was selected in Best of VR Expanded – Out of Competition.
Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA) held a press conference to highlight Taiwanese VR works at the 78th Venice Film Festival on July 29. The curator Michel Reilhac pointed out via video chat that many internationally co-produced shortlisted works show that language can overcome national barriers. He added that the genres and richness of the shortlisted works reflect the diversity of Taiwanese culture. Curator Liz Rosenthal indicated that this year's selected works will be displayed through online platforms.
"In the Mist" is themed around homosexual attraction in a sauna, and uses the horizontal male body to symbolize the loneliness of modern people.
Producer of "The Sick Rose” Liu Szu-ming (劉思銘) pointed out that animation of the work not only presents the aesthetics of Taiwan's traditional craftsmanship, but also creates new meaning by combining the old and the new through VR.
"Samsara" makes extensive use of the creative concept of "Embodied Cognition," enabling audience to view from the perspective of different life forms, including native Taiwanese species such as the Formosan black bear and the Taiwan blue magpie, as they interact with their surroundings according to Huang.
Bedlam producer Antoine Cardon believes that Taiwan has the best environment for technological cooperation, and the narrative of the multiverse in the work allows everyone to experience it more deeply.
In "Speak to Awaken: Ep. 2 KUSUNDA,” director Gayatri Parameswaran explores worldview and identity represented by language. Co-producer Lai Kuan-yuan (賴冠源) said that language disappearance is an international issue, and cross-border cooperation allows for more exchanges in technology and experience.