Sundance Institute, Jaunt Launch Virtual Reality Residency Program

Lynette Wallworth is the first artist selected to participate in the program, which will involve making a VR short.

Sundance Institute and virtual reality startup Jaunt Studios are launching a “cinematic” virtual reality residency program.

Dubbed the Sundance Institute New Frontier | Jaunt VR Residency, the six-month program will include a grant for each participant to make a VR short film, with Jaunt providing the resources for production and post.

The first selected participant is Lynette Wallworth, whose immersive installations and films have been shown at venues including Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Smithsonian, London Film Festival and Sydney Film Festival. Three additional artists will be selected to participate in the coming months.

Wallworth's VR project is Collisions, which tells the story of Aboriginal elder Nyarri Nyarri Morgan who lived as 1000 generations before him in the remote Pilbara desert of Western Australia, until his life was dramatically impacted by a collision with Western science and technology. The VR experience will be produced by Sundance Film Festival alumnus Nicole Newnham and producer Cori Shepherd Stern.

“Virtual reality and other multimedia forms are accelerating the evolution of storytelling, and we are excited to collaborate with Jaunt Studios to provide independent artists the space and resources to experiment with these technologies,” said Keri Putnam, executive director of Sundance Institute. “We hope their unique voices, diverse perspectives and creativity will help define the potential of this new medium.”

“Our mission is to empower the next generation of artists and filmmakers," added Jaunt Studios president Cliff Plumer.