Taiwanese VR film awarded in Switzerland - Focus Taiwan

Taiwanese VR film awarded in Switzerland

Photo courtesy of Taiwan
Photo courtesy of Taiwan's representative office in Geneva

Brussels, June 10 (CNA) A virtual reality (VR) short film from Taiwan titled "Your Spiritual Temple Sucks (全能元神宮改造王)" has won the "best innovative storytelling" award at the third annual World VR Forum (WVRF) summit in Switzerland, Taiwan's representative office in Geneva reported Sunday.

According to the office, the award was announced June 9 in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, where the WVRF, an international non-profit organization, has held an annual summit and festival since 2016 to advance the virtual reality industry and explore future trends in the market.

The film depicts the story of a man who seeks help from a Taoist ritual to fix his crisis-struck marriage by asking Taoist monks to change his "spiritual temple" in the afterworld, a practice he believes will affect his real life. However, it ends up making his life worse, with some funny consequences.

When doing the Taoist ritual, people need to be blindfolded with a piece of red cloth before the Taoist monks guide them to the afterworld, said John Hsu (徐漢強), the film's director.

"The nature of this ritual is very similar to VR and that gave me the idea of translating it into a VR film," he said in an introduction to his film before its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.

Hsu added that he also incorporated some video game elements into the film because the story that protagonists can change whatever they want in a VR world "is a bit similar to a video game."

The 37-year-old said that the reason he made the film a comedy as with his previous films is that "I believe that comedy can reflect certain aspects of our society and traditions."

"The most important thing is that you can have a very pleasant experience watching the film," he added.

(By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Tang Pei-chun)


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