5th edition

Programme Description


The Biennale College Cinema – Virtual Reality (BCC-VR) is a programme developed by La Biennale di Venezia to navigate the Virtual Reality.

In its approach to fully exploring the aesthetic and narrative opportunities offered by this new form BCC-VR provides filmmakers and creative professionals from a wide range of backgrounds, with the skills to prepare them to fully engage with 360° interactive immersive future.

With the support of experts and international specialists in the field, BCC-VR will help independent filmmakers and creative professionals from all over the world to appropriate the medium of VR and learn how to adapt their knowledge to VR in a fluid transitional way.

In the process participants will acquire the specific know-how around 360° immersive storytelling that will redefine the relationship between story and audience.

BCC-VR aims to support the development of 6 Italian projects and 10 international projects presented by director/producer teams and up to 30 minutes duration, at concept stage, helping them to advance their projects covering creative, production, audience/market and financial concerns.


As part of the programme we aim to financially support the production of up to 3 VR projects with € 60,000 each to premiere at the Venice International Film Festival in 2021 and to present those projects that has not accessed the grant, at the Venice Production Bridge as part of the Gap Financing Market activities.

Biennale College Cinema – Virtual Reality programme is realized thanks to the support of Ministero per i beni e le attività culturali e per il turismo and the training activities are realized thanks to the Creative Europe – Media program.


The films will be funded by a grant of La Biennale di Venezia.



Description of the phases of the Biennale College Cinema – Virtual Reality

The Biennale College Cinema – Virtual Reality is a unique opportunity for creative professionals to receive training, project development, production support and festival presentation through a series of workshops. The Biennale College Cinema – Virtual Reality is a creative community that provides a space during this 5th edition for up to 6 Italian teams and 10 international teams, to come together and work with an invited team of international experts and tutors. By exploring the new creative language and the possibilities presented by VR, participants will get the opportunity to:

- Develop involving stories and projects utilising 360 degree immersive experience

- Acquire the technical know-how required to produce VR projects from planning and production through to completion

- Establish networking and knowledge sharing between experts and fellow participants and explore the international market for VR.


Selected project teams have to commit to this programme: fulfil the requirements of the Biennale and meet the required deadlines; contribute their experience and ideas to the community of creatives attending the college; and provide materials and information for further dissemination to a wider audience through use of the Biennale College Cinema website.


First phase:  Biennale College Cinema – Virtual Reality | Italia

Biennale College Cinema – Virtual Reality will organize a workshop that takes place in Venice in October from 9th to 13th (arrival day: October 8th , departure day: October 14th th ) for 6 projects presented by director/producer team, both Italian, selected through the call Biennale College Cinema – Virtual Reality | Italia.

Classes will be taught in English by International tutor, will be focused to develop and define the concept. On the base of what learnt during the workshop,  the 6 teams will be asked to deliver specific updated documents to be presented by 16th November 2020; the evaluation of these updates materials will constitute the base of the additional selection of two projects.

These two teams will be invited to attend a 7 days workshop in Venice in January 2021, along with 10 projects selected through the International Call, launched in September 2020.

The results will be notified to the teams by mid December 2020.


Second phase: Biennale College Cinema – Virtual Reality | International

During the 77th Venice International Film Festival an International Call will be launched to selected 10 VR projects presented by a director/producer team, coming from all over the world.

Biennale College Cinema – Virtual Reality will organize an International workshop, taking place in Venice in January 2021(13th – 19th ; arrival day: January 12th – departure day: January 20th).  From this moment on the activities of the Italian and International calls flow into the same path.

In the seven days of the first workshop the project teams work with a dedicated group of tutors including story developers, creative technologists/visual advisors, a producer and pitch trainer to fully develop their projects from all perspectives.

The core training is complemented by a programme of presentations given by invited guests focusing on different aspects of VR production.

To equip the producers and directors with the knowledge of how to introduce their projects to potential partners the International workshop includes a pitch-training module.

Project teams get the opportunity to practice these skills in preparation for the final presentation of all the projects on the last day of the workshop to La Biennale.

After the international workshop all 12 teams have to work on their projects and deliver updated materials by 8th February 2021. On receipt of these materials the Venice International Film Festival Director will select up to 3 VR projects to attend the second international development workshop and to be considered for further production support. The Director’s decision will be notified by the end of February 2021.

The projects that will not continue to the second international workshop will receive on-line follow-up and the project teams will be invited to attend the Venice Production Bridge in September 2021.


Third phase

The selected teams will be invited to a second workshop to be held in Venice from 2nd to 5th March 2021 (arrival day: March 1st, departure day: March 6th). The aim of this workshop is to focus on the production of the selected projects.

Each project team will have a dedicated tutor and a range of professionals to draw on to work on all aspects of the project in preparation for production in the coming months.

Up to 3 teams will receive a grant of up to 60,000 euros and between March and mid-August, over a five-month period, the team/s will proceed to produce and complete their project. At this time the project team/s will sign the final contract with the Biennale and the schedule of payments will be agreed.

Team/s will be expected to deliver updated documents and actualized budgets, and schedule breakdowns to release payments. They will also be required to provide reports on their progress and on possible sponsor/supporter with the Biennale College  Cinema – VR leaders.

The selected VR project/s must be submitted by the 16th of August 2021 in order to be presented at the 78th Venice International Film Festival in 2021.


Fourth phase

The Biennale College Cinema – Virtual Reality culminates in the participation of all project teams participating in the international workshop in January at the Venice Production Bridge in September 2021. The event will include the exhibition of the completed VR works/s and inclusion of those projects that hadn’t accessed the grant, in the event Venice Gap – Financing Market. The event in Venice is designed to showcase the projects and participants and provides an opportunity to find partners, potential commissions and generate debate around the impact of VR on the market and changing professional practices and business models.

For further information we invite you to visit the page FAQ – VR.
For further questions, please write an email to:


La Biennale di Venezia reserves the right in any case to modify, cancel or interrupt the initiative described above, in that the announcement or the selection do not constitute a binding contract for the same, nor do they entail the right to the reimbursement of any expense other than those specified above.



Dates, Venues and Timeline

23 March 2020 – Launch of Call Biennale College Cinema – Virtual Reality 5 | Italia

31 May 2020 (23:59 CET) – Deadline for applications BCC – VR 5 | Italia

End of August 2020 – BCC VR Italia results will be notified via e-mail to the applicants.

6 September 2020 – Launch of Call Biennale College Cinema – Virtual Reality 5 | International

9-13 October 2020 – workshop BCC VR 5| Italia (arrival day: October 8th – departure day: October 14th)

28 October 2020 (12:00 noon CET) – Deadline for applications Call BCC – VR 5 | International

16 November 2020 – deadline to receive updated materials BCC VR 5| Italia

Mid-December  2020 – result of the selection will be notified to the BCC VR 5 | International applicants.

First International Workshop | Venice,  13-19 January 2021 (travel days 12 – 20)


Following first workshop:


8 February  2021 – deadline to deliver updated materials BCC VR 5 | International.

End of February – results of the selection will be notified to the participants.

Second International Workshop | Venice,  2 – 5 March 2021 (arrival day: March 1st , departure day: March 6th).

16 August 2021 – deadline to deliver the completed VR film at the 78th Venice International Film Festival.

September 2021 – attendance of  international project teams at the Venice Production Bridge, 78th Venice International Film Festival.