Virtual Reality is hands down one of the most popular technologies in today’s era. Be it games or other 3D experiences, virtual reality is trending like never before.
Recognizing the efforts in VR, the Academy awarded its first ever Oscar to a virtual reality. The Academy of the Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that it will be presenting a special Oscar statuette to Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s Carne y Arena, which translates to Virtually Present, Physically Invisible. This Mexican filmmaker, known for directing movies like Birdman and The Revenant, has won two Oscars in the past.
He created the exhibit which is now on display in various museums worldwide. It explores the human condition of immigrants and refugees over a VR experience. It aims at giving people a way to live through a part of immigrant’s journey. Based on true immigrant’s accounts, this installation has used vast spaces, sand-covered floors and cold waiting rooms to make the six-and-a-half-minute VR sequence. It represents a visionary and powerful experience in storytelling.
AMPAS president John Bailey said in a statement, “Iñárritu’s multimedia art and cinema experience is a deeply emotional and physically immersive venture into the world of migrants crossing the desert of the American southwest in early dawn light. More than even a creative breakthrough in the still emerging form of virtual reality, it viscerally connects us to the hot-button political and social realities of the U.S.-Mexico border.”
Though the Academy doesn’t have a category for virtual reality yet, this special award could pave a way for one, just the way it did by establishing Best Animated Feature category just a few years after giving out special Oscar to the Toy Story 1.