VENICE, Italy, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- Short film "Arden's Wake" by American Eugene YK Chung won the Best Virtual Reality Award at the 74th Venice Film Festival Saturday evening.
The prize was the highest recognition for projects running in the competitive VR section devoted to VR works only, which the Venice Festival has launched for the first time ever this year.
"Arden's Wake" is a 16-minute-long animation feature telling the story of a little girl who lives with her father on the water.
All of the three prizes were delivered by the president of the VR jury, American director John Landis, at an awarding ceremony preceding the announcement of the major Golden Lion Award.
Eugene Chung thanked the festival's organizers for "taking a chance and a leap of faith on virtual reality."
"This is a new art form, and it is an incredible honor that the world's oldest film festival has embraced for the first time this art form in official competition," he said.
A Best VR Experience Award (for interactive content) went to "La camera insabbiata" by artists Laurie Anderson and Hsin-Chien Huang, a VR installation that allows viewers to lose themselves in a fully interactive, and immersive animation journey.
A Best VR Story Award (for linear content) went to "Bloodless" by South Korean filmmaker Gina Kim. Based on a true story, the 12-minute-long VR film tells of the last moments of life of a sex worker, who was brutally killed by an American soldier in a U.S. army camp-town in South Korea in the early 1990s.
Venice is the first major film festival in the world to have launched a competitive section for virtual reality works only.
With 22 titles in the competition, the VR program allowed visitors to experience the newest applications of the VR technology in three different ways: a theater where to watch screenings on rotating white chairs allowing for a 360-degree view; secondly, oculus stand ups to watch interactive works; and finally, installations.
The VR section closed on Sept. 5, registering over 3,000 visitors, according to organizers.