Virtual reality looks set to be the next big thing in film-making. The programming and panels at the Marché’s annual NEXT event offered a glimpse of things to come.

Virtual reality (VR) invaded the Marché du Film in its third instalment of NEXT. Focused on the future of cinema, the section has featured a jam-packed schedule of VR programming in an outdoor patio space located at the entrance of the International Village, as well as select locations around the Croisette. 

“I am very pleased with the footfall at this year’s event,” Reilhac told Screen International. “It’s too soon to give specific numbers, but I can say the VR cinema is full each day, and tickets are selling out for the game experiences. It shows the film industry is open to the idea of alternative storytelling. VR is not here to take the place of film; it is another interactive medium that allows film-makers to tell different kinds of stories.”

Other film-makers spoke out about the challenges of stitching and 360-degree filming, concluding that the rapid progression of the field meant exploration was key. “Don’t be afraid — try anything,” said Tanna Frederick, co-director with Randal Kleiser (Grease) on VR series Defrost.