Sundance Launches Virtual Reality Residency Program

Sundance Film New Frontier VR

The Sundance Institute is looking to nurture an entirely new type of independent artist — virtual reality filmmakers.

As part of a collaboration with virtual reality studio Jaunt, the Institute announced the launch of a cinematic virtual reality residency program “designed to empower artists on the cutting edge of storytelling.” The six-month program dubbed the “Sundance Institute New Frontier Jaunt VR Residency Program” will rely on the Institute for cultivating new artists and Jaunt for contributing cinematic VR production resources.


New Frontier at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival

The first of four artists has already been selected to participate in the six-month VR residency program, with Lynette Wallworth being selected as the first artist in. Wallworth is a Sundance Institute New Frontier alumnus and will be participating with her project Collisions, a film that examines the clash of Aboriginal and Western culture in rural Australia. The remaining three additional artists are to be selected in the coming months.

Jaunt’s creative studio arm, Jaunt Studios, is expected to be heavily involved in the program, helping artists overcome technical hurdles with their Jaunt One camera and providing additional virtual reality cinema expertise.


“Virtual reality represents an entirely new medium for entertainment and media, one where creativity is the new currency, artistic vision trumps tradition and immersion intensifies viewer emotions,” said Cliff Plumer, President of Jaunt Studios. “As we drive forward our mission is to empower the next generation of artists and filmmakers. The launch of the Sundance Institute New Frontier | Jaunt VR Residency is further proof that cinematic virtual reality is a major force in the evolution of storytelling, and of our commitment to get this technology into the hands of cutting edge filmmakers and storytellers.”

Through Sundance’s collaboration with Jaunt, the Institute is hoping to build a community of collaborators across multiple disciplines to push the boundaries of virtual reality storytelling.

Image Credit: Sundance Institute / Ryan Kobane

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Jonathan Nafarrete

Jonathan Nafarrete is the co-founder of VRScout.

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