Pixvana, a company powering the future of XR storytelling and immersive media, today announced that it has partnered with Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) to provide the content distribution technology for the SIFF VR Zone, where audiences will explore the best and most compelling virtual reality and 360 video content from around the world.
The SIFF VR Zone will utilize Pixvana’s VR casting, a first-of-its-kind solution, that makes it easy to manage and distribute content from Pixvana’s new SPIN Studio to multiple VR headsets. This innovative solution will allow SIFF to show its program of 360 immersive experiences to all attendees via a simple “pair-and-share” feature that securely delivers the highest quality content when the audience is ready to view.
Pixvana also released a new solution enhancement, called “Auto Play”, that transforms a streamlined experience into a seamless experience for viewers at the SIFF VR Zone. Auto Play automatically starts selected VR programming the moment a viewer puts on a headset. This eliminates the need for the viewer to use the headset remote and mitigates any chance of accidentally exiting from the VR experience.
“We’re abuzz with excitement over the VR Zone at SIFF as it’s the perfect stage for our newest product advancements aimed at delivering a truly unique and streamlined viewer experience,” said Forest Key, Founder and CEO of Pixvana. “Never has it been easier for film festivals and event coordinators to showcase VR content and ensure audiences are completely immersed in an experience from the moment they put on a headset. As an industry leader, our goal is to continue making VR as simple and convenient as possible to consume by constantly innovating around the playing and viewing experience.”
The SIFF VR Zone will run May 18 through June 10, 2018 in the Pacific Place shopping center, in the heart of downtown Seattle. The event will shine a spotlight on some of the best in global immersive and interactive content, curated from top industry film festivals from around the world, including Sundance, SXSW, and Tribeca Film Festival. Guests will have 90 minutes to explore over two dozen experiences in a diverse array of stunning and compelling immersive settings.
“At SIFF, we strive to deliver a truly cinematic feel across all of the industry’s best immersive creations–and enable viewers from around the world to experience the power of VR by showcasing the boundless qualities of filmmaking in this new medium,” said SIFF Executive Director, Sara Wilke. “Pixvana’s technology helps deliver the highest quality viewing experience for event attendees with simplicity and ease. We are excited to partner with Pixvana to power this unique film experience.”
“Long lines can be a real issue at VR events, and one of the things that causes those backups is the need to have a docent reset the headset content for each guest,” said Kim Voynar, CEO of WonderTek Labs and Producer of SIFF VR Zone. “With Pixvana’s technology and VR casting solution, there are no complicated menus to navigate through; all you have to do is sit down, pop on a headset and experience the piece you want to see immediately. Partnering with Pixvana to run our 360 video program allows us to maximize the number of pieces each guest has a chance to see during their 90-minute time slot in the SIFF VR Zone.”
Pixvana is a Seattle-based SaaS startup that powers the future of XR storytelling and immersive media. SPIN Studio from Pixvana is the first integrated platform that transforms the way customers create, edit and show VR video experiences across any device, anywhere. The company is venture-backed by Vulcan Capital, Madrona Venture Group, Microsoft, Cisco, Raine and Hearst Ventures. Pixvana’s founders have proven startup success in media technology, and hail from senior product and engineering leadership roles at Apple, Adobe, Microsoft, and Lucas films.
Founded in 1976, SIFF creates experiences that bring people together to discover extraordinary films from around the world with the Seattle International Film Festival, SIFF Cinema, and SIFF Education. Recognized as one of the top film festivals in North America, the Seattle International Film Festival is the longest, most highly attended film festival in the United States, reaching more than 145,000 annually. The 25-day festival is renowned for its wide-ranging and eclectic programming, presenting over 400 features, short films, and documentaries from over 80 countries each year. SIFF Cinema exhibits premiere theatrical engagements, repertory, classic, and revival film showings 363 days a year on five screens at the SIFF Cinema Uptown, SIFF Cinema Egyptian, and SIFF Film Center, reaching more than 175,000 attendees annually. SIFF Education offers educational programs for all audiences serving more than 10,000 students and youth in the community with free programs each year.