iQIYI Inc., an innovative market-leading online entertainment service in China, announced that its original interactive virtual reality (VR) film Killing a Superstar has received the Best VR Story Award of the Venice VR Expanded category at the prestigious Venice Film Festival, representing the first time for an original VR production from China’s Mainland to receive an award from a major international film festival. A total of 31 VR productions were shortlisted in the Venice VR Expanded category, including works of top directors of films such as The Lion King, Iron Man and Madagascar.
The Venice Film Festival was founded in 1932 and is considered as one the three major international film festivals in Europe alongside Cannes International Film Festival and Berlin International Film Festival. Beginning in 2017, Venice Film Festival took the lead in setting up a separate competition unit for VR productions, and began to attract many film and television companies, creators, and artists around the world to devote themselves to new creations that differ from traditional film and television content. In 2018, the iQIYI original VR production titled The Last One Standing VR was also shortlisted for an award in the VR category at the 75th Venice Film Festival, making it the first Chinese science fiction VR film to be nominated at the festival.
As a major immersive 8K HD VR project for iQIYI this year and the first film for its VR Interactive Theater, Killing a Superstar tells the suspense-driven story of various characters being confined in a luxury villa where an unexpected homicide takes place. iQIYI’s VR team used its 360°+8K HD VR technology to create the best-in-class original VR interactive content based on an original script. The film is the first to adopt multiple parallel narratives in immersive drama, using panoramic observation and multi-viewpoint switching. By giving the audience the freedom to switch between scenes whenever, Killing a Superstar invites users to explore the film’s storyline and narrative freely. Users can also identify clues and complete tasks while watching in order to create a unique and engaging experience. The VR film supports 8K HD format and Dolby Atmos, delivering an unprecedented premium immersive VR interactive audio-visual experience. Killing a Superstar was released on July 31 to iQIYI users in China’s mainland on the iQIYI VR APP and the Qiyu all-in-one VR headset platform.
Killing a Superstar‘s recognition by the Venice Film Festival is not only a milestone for local original VR content, but also sets a new benchmark for the industry. It also demonstrates once again that iQIYI is able to empower original content innovation with technology,” Zhang Hang, Vice President of iQIYI said.
As one of the first domestic technology and entertainment companies to tap into the VR market, iQIYI has steadily established a VR lineup covering dramas, films, variety shows and gaming. To date, iQIYI has launched a number of VR interactive content derived from dramas and variety shows such as Idol Producer, iPartment Season 5. At the same time, the Company plans to continue adopting and upgrading the interactive format of Killing a Superstar and layout a 360° panoramic immersive 8K VR interactive theater by further exploring suspense materials and creating additional content of the same series.
In addition, iQIYI’s original VR game Robot Master launched in Shanghai in July this year. Its immersive entertainment sensory solutions are able to provide users with unprecedented gaming experience with senses of touch, smell, hearing, and wind, vibration, heat, gravity, etc., completely revolutionizing offline VR entertainment and further expanding the imagination of the VR market. In addition, the 5G High-tech Video-Interactive Video Technology White Paper (2020) compiled by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, with contributions by iQIYI, was published recently. VR interactive content, as an innovative expression of the VR industry, will advance the growth of the VR industry through its own traffic and IP.
Going forward, iQIYI’s VR business will continue to launch premium original interactive VR content, creating innovative audio-visual experiences powered by cutting-edge technology. The Company will also strive to explore new genres and applications for interactive VR, opening up new avenues for the burgeoning industry.