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A VR short film has been nominated for an Academy Award

While last year the Emmy’s recognized the Oculus Story Studio short film Henry, this year another awards ceremony is taking notice of virtual reality—the Academy Awards. Pearl, a VR short from Google, has been nominated for the 2017 Academy Awards for Best Animated Short Film. Pearl, released in 2016, stands out among the 360-degree, mobile VR, and room-scale VR tales told by Google’s Spotlight Stories. The short is directed by Patrick Osborne, the same of the Oscar-winning short Feast, which screened before the Disney film Big Hero 6 in theaters. But Pearl is a different beast than Feast, because it plops the viewer directly…

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Chrome-tinged cats come to life in this colorful VR music video

Most virtual reality music videos feel the same. They’re all impressive on a technical level, rotating 360-degrees so viewers can take in all their surroundings. Yet little of them inject the most integral feature: interactivity. That is, except for Tyler Hurd, an animator known for injecting life into those typically stagnant virtual reality music videos and making them colorful, fun, and most of all—somewhat playable like a game. At the Tribeca Film Festival last year, the animator unleashed “Old Friend,” a zany, psychedelic dance party where the player shimmied alongside a cartoonish conductor. In Hurd’s follow-up, a collaboration with Viacom NEXT, interactivity roots…

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An old, controversial science-fiction film is being reimagined for VR

Who asked for this? We’ll probably never know. But anyways: the “cult classic” science fiction film The Lawnmower Man is coming to virtual reality. Beyond the VR world already in the film, to actual VR. The 1992 film is being resurrected by the VR distribution company Jaunt, according to an announcement made at the Sundance Film Festival. “The original movie was a film of unsurpassed imagination and creativity with its ground-breaking use of VR back in 1992,” said Jim Howell, a rights holder for the project, in a press release. So far no director, cast, or other information has been announced,…