Funding boost to virtual reality filmmakers in NSW and QLD

$120,000 available to six New South Wales filmmakers that want to work with every angle

Submissions to Screen NSW’s virtual reality initiative close today, with development funding available to six projects.

The 360 Vision Virtual Reality Development Initiative, backed by Screen NSW and the ABC, is open to all filmmakers working in all genres and formats that want to make use of the medium. Up to $20,000 will be awarded to each of the successful entries.

“The initiative aims to develop the potential of this new frontier of content producing and with it, build a whole new world of entertainment and storytelling,” Screen NSW said.

360 Vision, which encompasses the initiative and a new VR app, was launched in June with an invitation-only lab at Carriageworks in Sydney.

“Virtual Reality is a space in which the world’s biggest technology and entertainment companies are starting to seriously play," said Courtney Gibson, CEO of Screen NSW, ahead of the launch.

"The time feels right for Australian producers, writers and directors of screen content to come together with technical experts from the VR world to explore the possibilities of 360 degree storytelling for Australian audiences.”

Successful applicants will be notified by August 19.

In March a similar initiative was launched by Screen Queensland in partnership with SBS.

Four successful filmmaker teams are in line to receive up to $400,000 investment to create short-form documentaries for the second season of SBS’ Untold Australia programme.

“Millions of people in the world are already enjoying Virtual Reality, experiencing scenes and stories with a 360 degree view as if they were there, in person,” said Screen Queensland CEO Tracey Vieira ahead of the initiative's submission deadline in April.

“We want to ensure Queensland practitioners are ahead of the game in producing great experiences on the VR platform and learning the technical skills needed to forge ahead into a future in content creation that is happening now.”

SBS released its own virtual reality platform – SBS On Demand VR – in April, launching with a behind the scenes tour of Heston Blumenthal’s Melbourne restaurant, The Fat Duck. The app supports iOS and Android and suggests a better viewing experience with Google Cardboard.

Screen NSW’s virtual reality platform – 360 Vision – is sponsored by Screen NSW, the ABC, Screen Australia, AFTRS and Event Cinemas and is compatible with iOS, Android and Gear VR, and powered by Sydney-based Triggar VR.

Triggar VR has previously developed virtual reality apps for clients including Airbus and the United Nations.