Participants explore SIFF’s VR Zone at the bottom of Westlake. Much has changed in the 44 years since the Seattle International Film Festival first launched.

But for some, the biggest change has happened in the last four years or so, with the advent of virtual reality. VR has been eking its way in front of people’s eyeballs slowly but surely: More companies, like HTC and Facebook, are venturing into the VR market; more developers across a greater variety of industries are seeing value in it.

And film festivals are no exception. “I just think people think you have to be a gamer to do it or that it’s going to be too hard for them,” said Kim Voynar, CEO of WonderTek Labs, who has partnered with SIFF to put on VR Zone, with the help of Rick Baker at SIFF.

“I want to change that for them coming into this program.” VR’s path into SIFF took a little while: They did a program called “SIFFX” in 2016, a smaller, more broadly scoped exhibition of all things at Seattle Center, and then last year there was a small pop-up in the festival lounge.

This year, the SIFF VR Zone is taking over the BCBG spot at the bottom of Pacific Place, with more than two dozen curated VR and 360 video experiences, from creators all over the world. Visitors get 90-minutes to explore whatever world they want, from “Greenland Melting” to immersive music videos from Billy Corgan and The Posies. Read more from…

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