🤖 For Its 77th Edition, the Festival de Cannes Launches Its Immersive Competition

In 2024, the Festival de Cannes launches a new competition dedicated to immersive works.

In 2017, Alejandro González Iñárritu made history at the 70th edition of the Festival de Cannes with his groundbreaking virtual reality piece, Carne y Arena (Virtually Present, Physically Invisible) marking the first immersive work ever presented as an official selection at a major film festival. Recognized for his pioneering vision, Iñárritu received a special Academy Award for the project and continues to be a prominent figure at the Festival de Cannes (even serving as President of the Jury in 2019).

Because there are now original works that are pushing the boundaries of storytelling, the Festival de Cannes will introduce a new competition, the “Immersive Competition” for its 77th edition.

Seven years since its first immersive selection and in line with the Marché du Film’s commitment to exploring new technologies and art forms through its innovative-focused programs, the Festival de Cannes is thrilled to announce the creation of the new Immersive Competition for its upcoming 77th edition. The competition aims to spotlight the next generation of international artists who are redefining storytelling and inventing new narrative-driven experiences that move beyond the traditional two-dimensional cinema screen.

With the support of the CNC (National Center for Cinema and the moving image), the competition will feature immersive, collective and interactive works that utilize virtual reality, augmented reality and other cutting-edge technologies to transcend conventional storytelling and transport audiences to other worlds, narratives and eras.

For its inaugural edition, a committee of industry experts and Festival de Cannes representatives, under the supervision of the General Delegate of the Festival de Cannes, will select eight immersive works in competition. Additionally, a curated selection of non-competitive works, illustrating the synergy between immersive experiences and cinema, will complement the program.

The selected works will be accessible to Festival de Cannes and Marché du Film attendees throughout the Festival, from May 15 to 24. The works will be displayed in a 1300 m² exhibition space at the Cannes Cineum – the cinema complex of Cannes La Bocca – and the Georges Méliès Campus, a university institution dedicated to creative writing and film.

The in-competition works will compete for the Best Immersive Work prize. An international jury composed of notable figures from cinema and immersive art will present the award at a special closing ceremony, celebrating the creativity and innovation of immersive artists.

Alongside the Immersive Competition, the Marché du Film will continue to explore the commercial and technical aspects of the immersive sector through a lineup of conferences, expert panels, demonstrations and professional networking events.

In what promises to already be a significant year, the City of Cannes is also set to announce the launch of Cannes Immersive, patronised by artist Jean-Michel Jarre and supported by the CNC. This new program aims to position Cannes as a global hub for immersive creations and the emerging artistic domain of artificial intelligence (AI). Cannes Immersive will unfold through the launch of innovative events, strategically designed to elevate Cannes’ status as a premier destination for immersive cultural experiences, which will be seamlessly integrated into both existing and future Cannes events. Furthermore, it will establish a permanent immersive venue in Cannes, serving as a showcase for the most exceptional immersive creations, whether assisted or generated by AI.