Virtual reality is quickly becoming the biggest trend in the tech world. Many people are aware of the gaming possibilities of VR, with the upcoming release of Playstation VR and multiple VR showcases at this year's E3. However, VR is also used to innovate the cinematic world as well. The Toronto International Film Festival is teaming with The Verge to bring a special pop-up showcase showcasing how filmmakers are taking advantage of VR in brand new ways.
TIFF POP 02 is the second of TIFF's three-part POP series. POP 02 is themed as Empathy + Real-World Storytelling. The purpose of the exhibit is to see the world through the eyes of someone else. Visitors will have 2 hours to visit a variety of experiences through the use of either the HTC Vive, the Oculus Rift, or the Samsung Gear. Some of the exhibits allow guests to see different worlds through a variety of perspectives: from a day in the life of yak herders in Mongolia, to the wonders of space exploration, to the history of Cuban dances, to even an animated musical taking place inside a family car. TIFF POP 02 also features powerful documentaries, ranging from the experiences 12 year-old-girl at a Syrian refugee camp, to the struggles of a woman who lost her children during the war in Gaza.
As visitors may not have enough time to visit everything TIFF POP 02 in store, we recommend 3 experiences definitely worth checking out: 6x9, a look inside the psychological toll on prisoners in solitary confinement; Notes on Blindness — Into Darkness, an experience surrounding memories through the eyes of a blind person; and The Lovely Room, where visitors can explore an abandoned underwater study.
TIFF POP 02 runs from July 15th to July 17th. Tickets are available for purchase on TIFF's website. The third and final VR event in the POP series, TIFF POP 03, is in partnership with the National Film Board of Canada and takes place August 19th-21st.