I’m a sucker for awards shows (the Oscars are like the gay Super Bowl to me!). So I was in my element as I watched the two-part 2021 Raindance Immersive Awards, which were hosted in the social VR platform VRChat, with audiences also watching the livestream in-world in both AltspaceVR and NeosVR, as well as remotely on YouTube (the videos are below).
The Raindance Film Festival is the largest and most important independent film festival in the U.K., showcasing features, shorts, web series and music videos by filmmakers from the U.K. and around the world to an audience of film executives and buyers, journalists, film fans and filmmakers.
Powered by HTC VIVE’s Viveport and VRChat, this year’s Raindance Immersive (October 27th to November 21, 2021) comprised immersive VR games and experiences competing for jury awards, as well as the Spirit of Raindance Awards, which are selected by the festival team. Raindance is the only film festival in the world to recognize and award VR on such a scale, so this was a major event!
The Raindance Immersive Awards ceremony for 2021 was in two parts. The first part was held yesterday. The cameraman for the event was my friend (and the co-producer of the upcoming second season of the Metaverse Newscast), the talented social VR videographer Carlos Austin.
If you have never visited VRChat, I think that this 1-hour-and-40-minute video is your prefect introduction! You really get a sense of the wonderful variety and diversity of avatars which are available in VRChat, as well as a good look at the Embassy virtual world where the ceremony takes place.
Carlos deftly steers his camera around the avatars milling about and chatting with each other at the very beginning, before the event starts, and it feels as if you were in a cocktail party, overhearing bits and snippets of conversations! I loved it. (If you want to skip right to the awards ceremony proper, it starts at the 27:56 minute mark, and it runs until the 1-hour-and-13 minute mark, followed by an afterparty.)
The awards handed out in Part 1, in order, were (all links go to the description page on the Raindance Immersive website, with a promo video and more information):
- Best Immersive Game (Honourable Mention): The MetaMovie Presents: Alien Rescue
- Best Immersive Game (Winner): YUKI
- Best Multiplayer Experience: The MetaMovie Presents: Alien Rescue (here is a link to my review of this show)
- Discovery Award (Best Debut): The Pirate Queen: Night of Succession
- Discovery Award (Best Debut): VRium: Nymphs & ArtSpaceVR Presents: The Popovy Sisters
- Spirit of Raindance Award: Mycelia
The second half of the awards ceremony was today; it was again filmed by Carlos Austin (the awards ceremony proper starts at the 46:50 mark in the video if you want to skip straight to that part):
The awards handed out in Part 2 of the ceremony, in order, were:
- Best Narrative Experience (Honourable Mention): Madrid Noir
- Best Narrative Experience (Honourable Mention): Glimpse
- Best Narrative Experience (Winner): The Severance Theory: Welcome to Respite
- Best Documentary Experience: KUSUNDA
- Best Immersive World: Olympia
- Spirit of Raindance Award: Magic Heist
- Spirit of Raindance Award: Noir – Nocturne