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Electric Africa Virtual Reality Festival - The First of its Kind


Electric Africa VR Festival is an online virtual reality festival presented by Cape Town-based NPO Electric South. The first of its kind and based in Africa, the festival will be happening online for one week from 5 to 11 November.

Virtual reality is strongly associated with gaming but is becoming more integrated into experiential storytelling. AFDA film school featured a narrative-driven virtual reality short film at one of their recent graduation film festivals, so it's becoming more of a focus. The challenge associated with this kind of storytelling is that directors usually frame shots to direct an audience's attention. Enabling the story to spread in all directions, one has to create situations that exist concurrently, focus on experience-rich atmospheres or grab one's attention so there's a clear thread to the story.

VR usually requires a special viewing headset or goggles for a more immersive experience, however this online festival is making it possible to get the 360 degree experience without one. Through the partnership with webXR platform LucidWeb, the programme is enhanced for desktop, mobile phone or VR headsets.

The Electric Africa VR Festival is committed to showcasing African artists working in the virtual reality arena, alongside international works of narrative fiction and on-fiction. This is your opportunity to discover new voices and realities. The festival includes: Another Kind of Dying: Virtual Experience (South Africa), A Visit at Cissé Films (Mali/France), Daughters of Chibok (Nigeria), the world premiere of Gr8ness (South Africa) and an African premiere for afro-surrealist VR dreamscape, Ferenj: A Graphic Memoir in VR by Ainslee Alem Robson.

The festival is geo-blocked for Africa but includes a series of freely available live talks and webinars with directors, producers, leaders in creative technologies and acclaimed artistic teams. Panelists include founder of Kenya’s BlackRhino VR, Brian Afande; Nigeria's Judith Okonkwo of Imisi3D and Daliso Ngoma, founder of African Technopreneurs.

Antoine Cayrol, co-founder of France’s leading VR company AtlasV and producer of ATOMU, together with its directors Shariffa Ali and Yetunde Dada, alumni of the 2017 Digital Lab Africa acceleration programme, will discuss their pioneering participatory movement piece which formed part of the official selection of the New Frontier Exhibitions at Sundance Film Festival 2020.