Virtual reality movies come to Cannes film festival

Virtual reality films come to Cannes film festival, with directors expressing mixed feelings – some are optimistic about the genre while others see it as a 'dangerous medium.'

A picture taken from @mdelavina Twitter's account showing Baobab Studios' virtual reality film 'Invasion!' being screened to viewers in Samsung's VR Tunnel on April 16, 2016.

Updated May 20, 2016

Virtual reality movie-making made its mark at this year's Cannes Film Festival alongside the traditional film offerings. 

A couple out of the many virtual reality movies that were presented at the festival were Invasion! and Giant. The viewers were required to don a headset for all of these short productions. 

Eric Darnell, the director of the six-minute "Invasion!" movie, tells the story of a mythical world invaded by aliens then outsmarted by a rabbit.

"It's not in my mind just an extension of cinema, it is its own thing and we have to discover so much about what are the tools in our toolbox," Darnell said.

"It really is just a brand new language."

"Giant" movie director Milica Zec said that people can choose where to look and what they see when watching virtual reality movies.

"You have to think that now you have 360 degrees that you have to cover," Zec said.

"When you have a regular standard film, the screen is in front of you but here it feels like you're inside of the screen as a viewer."

Both Darnell and Zec think that virtual reality movies will one day become the norm. 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Barack Obama react as they try the virtual reality device PMD during the opening tour of the Hannover Messe in Hanover, Germany, April 25, 2016. (Reuters)

However not all directors are as optimistic, with director Steven Spielberg describing virtual reality movies as "a dangerous medium."

"The only reason I say it is dangerous is because it gives the viewer a lot of latitude not to take direction from the storytellers but make their own choices of where to look," he said in an interview.

"I just hope it doesn't forget the story when it starts enveloping us in a world that we can see all around us and make our own choices of what to look at."

Director Steven Spielberg waves after the screening of the film "The BFG" (Le Bon Gros Geant) at the 69th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 14, 2016. (Reuters)

In other signs that Cannes is embracing the new this year, it has also partly opened the door for streaming video giants, allowing Amazon to make its debut.

It kicked off with Woody Allen's "Cafe Society," one of five Amazon films selected.

TRTWorld and agencies