September 3, 2017
September 3, 2017 — Venice, Italy — The oldest festival in the world, the Venice Film Festival is this year recognizing the fast-growing interest in Virtual Reality (VR) and the potential impact that it could make on the creative industries by featuring for the first time ever an official VR competition.
Against the backdrop of a city that could be one of the first to be affected by global warming and the rise in sea levels, the World Bank Group’s Connect4Climate program has announced today its “Uniting4Climate International Virtual Reality Pitch Competition” for climate action and climate solutions.
The competition was presented during the panel discussion “Enhanced Proximity or Alienation? The Societal Effects of Virtual Reality” co-organized with the Venice Production Bridge and the European Commission DG Connect in the context of the European Film Forum as part of the daylong event “Virtual Gets Real.”
People watching videos at the VR Island. Photo Credits: Francis James Dobbs/Connect4Climate
The Uniting4Climate International VR Pitch Competition asks for a pitch – a proposal for a VR production in the form of a 400-word description and a 1 minute sample video – that will use the particular qualities of VR to illustrate and explain to best effect climate solutions and action, inspiring the unity behind solving the climate challenge. The aim is to enable the widest possible international participation for creative people with a passionate interest in, or strong experience of, climate change action and solutions, but also an appetite for exploring the VR production experience.
La Biennale di Venezia. Photo Credits: Paula Alves Silva/Connect4Climate
Winners will be selected by a distinguished jury of preeminent directors, artists, activists and political leaders, including director Louie Psihoyos (The Cove, Racing Extinction), Italy’s Minister for the Environment, Land and Sea Gian Luca Galletti, Founder, President and Chief Executive of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation Bianca Jagger, Philanthropist and Filmmaker Susan Rockefeller, General Manager and Creative Director of Vulcan Productions Carole Tomko, Fiji’s Minister for Agriculture, Rural & Maritime Development and National Disaster Management and COP23 High-Level Climate Champion Inia Seruiratu, VR director and founder of Lightshed Gabo Arora (Clouds Over Sidra, The Last Goodbye), actress Greta Scacchi, Google’s principal filmmaker for virtual reality Jessica Brillhart, and award-winning cinematographer, director and producer Louis Schwartzberg (Moving Art: Waterfalls, Mysteries of the Unseen World).
Louie Psihoyos, Oscar-winning filmmaker. Moderator: Peter Cowie, Journalist. Photo Credits: Paula Alves Silva/Connect4Climate
At the competition’s announcement in Venice, Academy Award winning director and jury member Louie Psihoyos said, “The immersive nature of virtual reality makes it an ideal platform and a great opportunity for adventurous filmmakers and creative minds to engage the audience in the most pressing issue of our time.”
Philanthropist Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Productions is the exclusive production partner of the competition, and will produce the VR video of the winning concept. Vulcan Productions previously partnered with the World Bank Group’s Connect4Climate program to produce the spectacular large-scale architectural projection and public art display of images of climate change on St. Peter’s Basilica, which was seen by an audience of several billion people, and also served as the presenting partner of the recent Film4Climate video competition, which last year attracted more than 860 entries from 150 countries.
VR Theater at Lazzaretto Vecchio Island, La Biennale di Venezia. Photo Credits: Francis James Dobbs/Connect4Climate
The competition is allied to the “Uniting for Climate Action” universal campaign, #Uniting4Climate, highlighting the need for individual, community, Business, city, regional and country-level participation in climate action and encouraging a universal approach to climate solutions in the lead-up and through the United Nations Climate Conference (COP23) in Bonn (November 6 – 16, 2017).
Entries must be made by October 15th 2017 and the winners will be announced at COP23. For full competition rules and eligibility requirements, please visit: uniting4Climate.net
Connect4Climate, also known as the Communication for Climate Change Multi Donor Trust Fund, is the World Bank Group’s global partnership program dedicated to climate change communication. It is supported by the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, along with more than 400 partners including civil society, media networks, international organizations, academic institutions, youth groups and the private sector. Film4Climate is the official Connect4Climate initiative dedicated to greening the silver screen, with more than 160 partners from the global film industry. For more information, and to download the Connect4Climate overview report, please visit: connect4climate.org