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Cleveland International Film Festival Expands Virtual Reality Perspectives Exhibit

photo from Pearl

The 41st Cleveland International Film Festival kicks off Wednesday, with hundreds of films from around the world.  For the second year , the film fest will also offer “Perspectives,” a free virtual reality festival running in a storefront at Tower City.  The response last year was so positive, organizers have expanded it from four days to 11.  WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia spoke with the film fest’s Mallory Martin, who curates “Perspectives."

Martin says there are two-dozen virtual reality and multimedia projects this year, which range from films to "Choose Your Own Adventure" stories to videogames. All of the content aims to “bring the world to Cleveland,” according to Martin. She finds that the goal of many virtual-reality productions is to create empathy through more of an active viewing experience.

Visitors will again be able to leave comments at the “Perspectives” exhibit this year, with much of the content shown on Samsung phones. Two films – “Pearl” and “Out of Exile: Daniel’s Story” – will be “room-scale” viewing experiences.  (The former was an Oscar-nominee and boasts a local connection through Director Patrick Osborne).

"Perspectives" will be open every day of the festival and is in the same location as last year.  Admission is free and does not require a #CIFF41 pass.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.