On a mission to spread Virtual Reality to and fro, Salar Shahna, WVRF’s CEO crossed the Atlantic Ocean to speak at the 6th edition of MIFA, the market section of FIFA (Festival International des Films sur Arts) in it’s 35th year, at Phi Centre, Montreal, Canada, 30 March – 1 April, 2017.

MIFA – dedicated specifically to art films, incorporated VR into the programme for the first time ever, leaping with us into the high-tech cyber age. VR was a very strong component of the market. The event was attended by the local creative bohemia from all corners of the art world: cinema, theatre, music and art, and some of the most influential figures from the Canadian Cultural Institute, SODAQ, FMC (Fonds des médias du Canada), SAT (Société des Arts et Technologie), the full house of local innovators and artists from different institutional organizations in the centre of Montreal.

The speakers were very diverse: Sophie Goupil, VR Producer from Les Poissons Volants, Marie Blondiaux, Producer from Red Corner, Alexander Knetig, Editor in Chief from ARTE and a group from Camera Lucida with a VR concert and many more.  

Shahna enlightened the attending public with his substantial, hour-long keynote: Distribution of Content for VR about the distribution of VR and all the challenges linked to it. Shahna distinguished the differences in distribution between VR films and interactive VR, presented the specificity of the Chinese market and the possible ways we can help with Chinese distribution since China was our focus this year.

As VR is still relatively new, and most of the audience did not know the details about the distribution, we gave an insightful speech to really clarify what are the options, who are the major players and how we can help China,” stated Shahna.

A big highlight of the market was the VR demo zone with Gear VR and a few contents, notably VR with Michel Reilhac, one impressive HTC VIVE demonstration about archaeology from a Canadian company.

Montreal has become a strong hub for VR innovation with the presence of strong studios like Felix & Paul and also with the venues which have permanent VR exhibitions such as the Phi Centre.

According to Shahna, MIFA gave him a good overview of the Canadian landscape for Virtual Reality production and consumption, especially the Montreal landscape, it was very useful, since Canada will be our next Country of Honour at our Annual Summit in June.