Bringing another level of reality to films. Photo: Kaleidoscope VR
Bringing another level of reality to films. Photo: Kaleidoscope VR

It started in North America. London joined last year, as with Tokyo and eight other cities around the world. Now Hong Kong is set for its first virtual-reality (VR) film festival in April this year.

“The festival will showcase to local VR creators top quality content from around the world. Not only will they benefit from what top-tier VR creators will show, they will also get a chance to present their works on an international platform in future,” said Sophie Chui, the community director behind Kaleidoscope VR in Hong Kong, which organized the festival.

The festival, which started in 10 cities across the United States in 2015 sponsored by Vrideo, a VR streaming-video startup, and Samsung among others, also ran in cities such as London, Melbourne and Tokyo in 2016.

“What differentiates Kaleidoscope from virtual reality segments presented at big film festivals such as Sundance and Tribeca is its Ted-like approach in fostering local communities,” said Chui.

Kaleidoscope appoints so-called community directors after “careful selection from a hundred applicants,” according to its press release. Community directors, who are largely volunteers, in each city are in charge of organizing the local event.

Howard Tian and Sophie Chui of Kaleidoscope VR, Hong Kong. Photo: Sophie Chui

Chui, a media professional with more than 10 years of experience in the industry, hopes that the event next month will draw “at least 100 people.”

Her team also counts Howard Tian, a local virtual reality creator whose company Go VR Immersive created a microfilm series called Infernal Affairs Series (see clip below) based on the original 2002 movie starring Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Andy Lau Tak-wah.

The response from the local VR community has been “very positive” so far and the event has drawn “lots of interest” from VR equipment manufacturers.

The dates of the festival will be released soon and tickets can be bought through Eventbrite once details are firmed up, said Chui.