They’re already home to two of Europe’s most vibrant film industries. Now France and Britain are leading the way in the region in creating VR content.
Between them, the two countries have eight of the 22 titles competing in the upcoming Venice Film Festival’s new virtual-reality section — the world’s first competitive VR strand at a film festival. Add in an entrant apiece from Italy and Denmark, and the number of European titles in the competition exceeds that of the U.S.
“The VR industry is booming in Europe, which is great for all of us,” said Sol Rogers, CEO and founder of Rewind, the British creator of “Ghost in the Shell VR,” with U.S. banner Here Be Dragons, and “Home: A VR Spacewalk,” which just picked up an award at Cannes Lions.
A report in August identified 487 virtual-reality companies operating in Europe, up from the 300 recorded in February.
But in contrast with the U.S., where virtual-reality creation is mainly being funded by deep-pocketed corporations and private investors, the VR industry in France and Britain is being driven in large part by public broadcasters, TV channels, government institutions, independent producers and tech studios.