Wellington tech company 8i to exhibit at Sundance Film Festival
A project by a Wellington technology company, which boasts global investors such as movie star Ashton Kutcher and Samsung, has been selected to exhibit at the Sundance Film Festival.
The 8i #100humans VR (virtual reality) project will be part of the New Frontier exhibition at the 2016 Festival, from January 21 to 31.
The festival is known as the go to place to discover independent films.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the exhibition has cultivated a reputation, emerging as the go-to source for cutting-edge cinematic innovations for art, filmmaking and multimedia technology.
8i, a consumer media platform, was founded in Wellington by Joshua Feast, Linc Gasking and former Weta digital staffer Eugene d'Eon in May 2014.
It has since expanded to Los Angeles with a new studio in Culver City.
Gasking said he was excited to bring the project to Sundance because it felt like where the VR revolution began with Nonny de la Pena and Palmer Lucky.
"It's a bucket-list moment for our creators and many of us on the 8i team."
What the team created had completely exceeded his expectation and imagination, he said.
"We're excited to share it with the Sundance community."
The #100humans project is the story of the first people who walked through 8i's doors to help invent an entirely new medium and create a new digital reality.
Using volumetric 3D video technology, the Wellington business recorded real people for virtual reality.
The technology allows viewers to walk around real humans in VR and experience a real emotional connection as if they're in the same room.
In October a group of global investors invested $20 million into the technology, which would see Wellington become the global research and development hub for 8i, with the company hiring in the capital.
The company attracted leading technology investors such as Kutcher's Sound Ventures, Samsung Ventures, Elisabeth Murdoch's Freelands Group and the discovery channel founder Andrew Hendricks.
"The reason they came on board is because this is the first time they have ever made eye-contact with someone virtually," Gasking said.