Heads up for anyone going to the Venice International Film Festival next month: You may get a chance to preview some footage from a virtual-reality movie about Jesus.
The festival announced yesterday that, from September 1 to 4, they will be showing about 40 minutes of footage from Jesus VR: The Story of Christ, a 90-minute film that was shot with 360° cameras. The screenings will take place in a theatre equipped with 50 virtual-reality headsets attached to individual seats that pivot 360°.
This is how the festival’s press release describes the movie:
Jesus VR – The Story of Christ offers audiences an experience that is unparalleled in its immediacy, going back 2,000 years in time to witness the story of Jesus Christ from his birth to his resurrection, from his baptism to his first miracles, through the last hours of his crucifixion.
The Hollywood Reporter adds that the film may mark a new milestone of sorts:
Several of the people involved in making Jesus VR previously worked on Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ — and, as coincidence would have it, Gibson will also be in Venice for the world premiere of his faith-themed war movie Hacksaw Ridge.
While other films have attempted to claim the title of first VR feature, Jesus VR indeed seems to be the first high-budget VR film with a distribution strategy from festival to consumer. And Venice is front and center in its launch of new technologies, beating other top festivals to the punch.
Jesus VR might be the first full-length Bible movie — or full-length movie, period — to dabble in so-called “virtual reality”, but the makers of Ben-Hur did release a 360° video inspired by the chariot race in their film a couple of weeks ago.
Jesus VR is set to come out on various virtual-reality platforms in time for Christmas.
Click here for more information on Jesus VR’s connections to other Bible movies.