Taiwan VR Productions Shine on Global Stage


The 76th Venice International Film Festival officially began on August 28. Global virtual reality innovation leader, HTC VIVE, has been recognized by the Venice Film Festival, and set a new record after five of its original VR productions were selected for the Venice Virtual Reality competition section.

On the evening of August 29 Venice local time, HTC VIVE ORIGINALS President Szu-Ming Liu led director Midi Z, director Wei-Liang Chiang, artist Miwa Komatsu, composer Kay Huang and actor Chun-Yao Yao onto the red carpet. HTC VIVE has successfully combined new media technologies and visual art creations to showcase Taiwan’s VR innovation capabilities on the global stage. The selected productions have not only received praise from international filmmakers, they have also been the subject of international media coverage. In addition, of the 39 selected and nominated productions at the Venice Film Festival this year, VR interactive art INORI was specially chosen to appear first on the red carpet.

President Szu-Ming Liu remarked: “Thank you, Venice Film Festival, for the incredible recognition and hospitality!” Hsiao-hsien Hou, executive producer on VR films 5×1, added: “Being selected by the Venice Film Festival is already the greatest honor. Big congratulations to them.” The Venice Film Festival Awards Ceremony is scheduled for September 7.

HTC VIVE ORIGINALS’ five productions nominated for this year’s Venice Virtual Reality competition section include INORI, VR films 5×1 – O, 5×1 – Only the mountain remains, VR animation Gloomy Eyes, and VR film 5×1 – The Making of.

The HTC VIVE ORIGINALS team officially hit the red carpet at 6 p.m. on August 29 with crowds cheering on both sides. The team behind VR interactive art INORI was particularly chosen among 39 selected and nominated productions to be the first to step onto the red carpet. The work was also selected as the opening piece for the festival’s VR exhibit.

President Liu said of the honor: “Thank you, Venice Film Festival, for the immense appreciation for INORI. This shows HTC VIVE ORIGINALS has been recognized by the top international film festival for its production capabilities and global collaboration, and also marks the fruition of the VR content industry’s chain from IP to production and manufacturing.”

Red carpet first-timer and Japanese contemporary artist Miwa Komatsu said: “This is my first time on a red carpet, so I’m very nervous. Everyone is really nice and told me not to worry, but they’re more nervous than I am! Since I was the first one to walk down the carpet, I wanted to take it seriously and do it well.”  Kay Huang, accomplished composer and first-time VR music composer, remarked: “Every single day in Venice is a surprise!”

Director Midi Z’s VR film 5×1 – The Making of was selected for the non-competitive Best of VR section. This was his fourth time at the VeniceFilm Festival, but he said, humbly: “I’m here to learn and observe other VR productions like a kindergarten pupil. VR has a lot more possibilities, and I’m deeply interested in the unknown.” Midi Z continued: “The film industry is already very developed, but VR is only just beginning and has endless potential. I used to study computer science, and in an industry filled with the unknown such as the VR, it’s definitely worthwhile to try.” Midi Z will continue to promote his film Nina Wu on press trips in more than 30 countries.

Nominated in the Venice Virtual Reality competition section for his VR production 5×1 – Only the mountain remains, it is director Wei-Liang Chiang’s first nomination at the VeniceFilm Festival. Chiang said: “Thank you to HTC and the Golden Horse Awards for giving me the opportunity to step onto Venice Film Festival red carpet.” Actor Chun-Yao Yao added: “Being able to attend the Venice Film Festival is such a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

President Szu-Ming Liu revealed the next plan, he said, “In order to connect the content with commercial channels, HTC VIVE ORIGINALS will initiate Content Management and Blockchain Authentication System, creating a future path for the HTC VIVE ORIGINALS Theater Management System (TMS). This system will help content creators, cultural creative workers, and offline channels to integrate their recourses. It will allow content and business channels to effectively work together and to increase business collaborations.”

Hsiao-Ching Ting, chairperson of the Taiwan Creative Content Agency, announced the policy: “TAICCA, which is to be founded this year, will be a partner to all VR creators. TAICCA is also the driver of Taiwan’s National Development Fund. This association will assist in industry development through international co-investment. While those in the content development industry continue to face challenges in technology, funding and business models, in Taiwan, intermediary organizations such as TAICCA and businesses in the industry have already formed an active content ecosystem.