Cannes Film Festival “pushes the boundaries of storytelling” with new Immersive category

cannes immersive

Films at the cutting-edge of technology and innovation are to get their deserved moment in the spotlight at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival, which has announced plans to dedicated a whole competition category to immersive productions. 

The Cannes Film Festival is no stranger to exploring uncharted territory in the world of cinema.  

In 2017, the prestigious festival made history by choosing Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Carne y Arena (Virtually Present, Physically Invisible) for its official selection. The groundbreaking and immersive virtual reality piece, based on real-life accounts and stories, explores the human condition of immigrants and refugees. By being selected at Cannes, Carne y Arena became the first-ever immersive piece to be presented at a major film festival.  

Now Cannes is embracing this new approach to filmmaking and storytelling, and is expanding its embrace of immersive content, with the introduction of a new category: the Immersive. 

The category celebrates productions that employ the use of new technologies such as virtual and augmented reality to create cinematic experiences that completely surround and involve audiences in new and compelling ways.   

For its inaugural selection, the Cannes Film Festival has enlisted industry experts and Festival representatives to select eight ‘In Competition’ immersive works that “utilise virtual reality, augmented reality and other cutting-edge technologies to transcend conventional storytelling and transport audiences to other worlds, narratives and eras”. Guided by the Festival’s General Delegation, these films will be joined by a selection of non-competitive movies to fully complement the overall programme.  

Over the course of the festival, which will be taking place between 15th and 24th May, the films will be screened at a 1,300m2 exhibition space at the Cannes Cineum, a cinema complex located in Cannes La Bocca, and at the Georges Méliès Campus, a centre dedicated to creative writing and film that forms part of the Université Côte d’Azur. 

The names of the films included in the Immersive Category are yet to be made public.


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Photo source: James Yarema, Unsplash