Oldenburg Film Festival Enters the Metaverse

Oldenburg Film Festival Enters the Metaverse
May 2023

In cooperation with metaverse platform MILC and movie critics site The Film Verdict, Oldenburg will add a virtual, immersive version of the festival for its 2023 edition.

The Oldenburg International Film Festival is entering the metaverse. The indie film fest, known as "Germany's Sundance," is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year with a new cooperation that will allow fans to enter a virtual reality version of the event.

The collaboration between Oldenburg, German metaverse platform MILC and film critics' site The Film Verdict, announced Thursday, is being billed as a way to bring "the magic of Oldenburg" and the international festival scene into the virtual world.

Oldenburg founder and festival director Torsten Neumann also noted that doing "metaverse screenings" -- showing festival films for a global audience in the virtual reality space of the MILC platform -- may be the way for international festivals to give fans worldwide access to their premieres and exclusive events.

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Currently, regulations imposed by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF), require international festivals like Oldenburg to restrict access to their world premiere screenings to local in-person audiences or individual territories. But a "metaverse premiere," Neumann argues, could be a separate event.

"Ever since the world had to move into digital isolation back in 2020, we decided to embrace new and innovative formats for the festival as welcome opportunities," said Neumann, "and the sheer idea that entering the MILC metaverse like a virtual territory that claims its own status with regard to digital film premieres could open new perspectives and support, especially for indie films, seems like an exciting path to explore."

MILC and The Film Verdict launched the first-ever metaverse-only film festival, the Alpha Film Festival, in March this year. Their cooperation with Oldenburg, MILC's Hendrik Hey and The Film Verdict's Eric Mika noted, was part of a common goal "to establish a new digital platform for independent filmmakers around the world to premiere their work and break free from the limitations of traditional digital distribution channels."