VR Festival Kaleidoscope just launched a funding platform to connect and equip VR industry leaders.
Since launching in May 2015, Kaleidoscope has made its name as a premier VR showcase, exposing audiences worldwide to cutting-edge immersive content. Now, Kaleidoscope has launched a new initiative: an exclusive network for industry leaders, doubling down on the larger goal to drive the direction of premium VR art and experiences.
The new platform is currently invitation-only and restricted to 100 members, but both creators and industry leaders are invited to apply. Founder René Pinnell said keeping the platform selective means qualified industry leaders can have the first look at experimental artists and projects. He believes this connection will shape the growth of VR.
“We want people who are pushing the medium forward in new and exciting and unexpected directions,” Pinnell said, “but also who are producing content that audience will want to and will pay to see.”
Working in the film industry for many years, Pinnell noticed that a given creator’s social network was instrumental in generating new work and funding opportunities. Kaleidoscope is the opportunity to facilitate those connections.
Pinnell said that keeping the Kaleidoscope platform intimate promotes the work of creators with artistic integrity and unique perspectives.
“[Exclusivity] gives you the ability to push the industry in a direction you believe in and are excited about,” Pinnell said. “[It] gives you the authority to rebalance some things that may not be present in the traditional gaming and entertainment industries.”
Almost half of the projects on Kaleidoscope are led by women, includingUpstairs, starring Miranda July and created by Josephine Decker.
“We go out of our way to make sure it’s a meritocracy,” Pinnell said. “And making sure [Kaleidoscope is] promoting artists that really have something unique to say and something to add to this emerging cannon.”
If selected, industry leaders will pay $199/month for access to the library of artwork on the platform, exclusive events hosted by Kaleidoscope, and access to collaboration and connection with other artists and innovators. Pinnell said he hopes this will be the entryway to crowdsourcing VR art as it continues to grow as a medium.
“We try really hard to make the community of artists multidisciplinary; I think that points to the direction VR as an artform is headed,” Pinnell said. “The most interesting work—and type of work we are most excited about curating on the platform—are things that don’t sit neatly in the lineage of narrative cinema or traditional gaming, or even traditional fine art.”
To apply for the Kaleidoscope platform, visit the official website.