3rd edition

Programme Description


The Biennale College Cinema – Virtual Reality (BCC-VR) is a programme developed by La Biennale di Venezia to navigate the most innovative and exciting technology of today – 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 existing 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 will select 12 director/producer teams to work on the development of VR projects up to 30 minutes 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 euro each to premiere at the Venice International Film Festival in early September 2019 and to present the other developed projects at the Venice Production Bridge as part of the Gap Financing Market activities.

The Biennale College Cinema – Virtual Reality programme is realized with the support the Creative Europe – Media

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

Deadline for the call for applications is 29th October 2018 (23:59 Italy time zone) and the selection of the 12 teams will be announced by the first week of December.


Description of the three 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 2 workshops.

The Biennale College Cinema –Virtual Reality is a creative community that provides a space for up to 12 teams, selected from around the world, 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 website.


First Phase

The Biennale College Cinema – Virtual Reality will organize a first workshop, to be held in Venice, from 10th to 16th January 2019 (travel days 9th and 17th). Work starts immediately after selection and each team is required to deliver updated and detailed project information in advance of the first workshop in January. This material forms the basis for the work during the workshop.

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 first 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 first workshop all 12 teams have a further three weeks to work on their projects and deliver updated materials on 10th February 2019. On receipt of these materials the Venice International Film Festival Director will select up to 3 VR projects to attend the second workshop and to be considered for further production support. The Director’s decision will be announced by the end of February 2019.

The projects that will not continue to the second workshop will receive on-line follow-up and the project teams will be invited to the Venice Production Bridge in September 2019.


Second Phase

The selected teams will be invited to a second workshop to be held in Venice from 5th to 8th March 2019 (travel dates 4th and 9th March). The aim of this workshop is to focus on the production of the selected projects.

Each project team will have 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 the end of 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 with the Biennale College – Cinema leaders.

The selected VR project/s must be submitted by the 16th of August 2019 in order to be presented at the Venice International Film Festival in 2019.


Third Phase

The Biennale College Cinema – Virtual Reality culminates in the participation of all project teams at the Venice Production Bridge in September 2019. The event will include the exhibition of the completed VR works/s and inclusion of the other developed projects in the 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.


Dates, Venues and Timeline

3rd September 2018 – Launch of call

29th October (23:59 Italy time zone) – Deadline for applications

first week of December – Selection announcement

1st Workshop | Venice – 10th – 16th January 2019 (travel days 9th and 17th)
Following first workshop

10th February deadline for all 9 project-teams to deliver updated materials

27th February Announcement of Final Selection of up to 3 teams to attend second workshop
2nd Workshop | Venice 5th – 8th March 2019 (travel days 4th and 9th March)

16th August 2019 delivery date for the 76th Venice International Film Festival

September 2019 – attendance of 5 project teams at the Venice Production Bridge, 76th Venice International Film Festival.