From Cannes to MIFF–Australian VR film returns to its birthplace

When I looked through the film list of Melbourne International Film Festival, the VR( virtual reality) film called Carriberrie caught my attention. In the first place, it is a fulldome which makes use of the advanced filmic technology. For another, the theme of the film is traditional Australian ceremonial dance and song. In Melbourne, one of the most famous cultural cities in the southern hemisphere, during MIFF, this film is quite special and worth seeing for me.

Processed with Onetake with Ginza preset.

Different from normal feature films, the venue of Carriberrie is a gallery rather than a theater. Wearing VR glasses and headphone, ten audiences were seated in a circle. As soon as the VR glasses were activated, I started the immersive journey through time and space across Australia.

According to the media release of Australian Museum in 2018, the director and producer of the film, Dominic Allen said that the Australia Museum has been a significant supporter of this film and he was thrilled to present the world premiere of it in the museum. It could be able to help audiences understand the Aboriginal and Pacific cultures. While after its premiere in Sydney, Carriberrie was selected by Cannes Film Festival and showed in the “ Next” session. After its European premiere in Cannes, Carriberrie wer shown in various kinds of film festivals including Guanajuato International Film Festival, Jena Fulldome Festival and Toulouse International Fulldome Festival.

Iordanova defined film festival as exhibition site, she points out that “ there is the informal but increasingly networked and efficient system of flow through festivals links, where a small film an obscure source can be picked up by a succession of festivals and shown consecutively in various localities, thus getting truly global exposure.”( 2009: 24). Many of the films made in independent contexts, rely on the film festival participation, could reach more audiences and further circulate in broader film market.

Return to the discussion about Carriberrie, from the perspective of the film director and producer, VR film, as a new film genre, the target audiences of it is not clear to some degree. The film needs to walk out of it original environment. In this respect, Cannes Film Festival offered a quite broad platform for the film to reach more audiences as well as the film distributors all over the world. From Cannes, Carriberrie started to circulate in the film festival circuit. In addition, in the fulldome film festivals which lie on the long tail of film festival, Carriberrie may reach its potential target audiences since those film festivals tend to share same audiences with it. From the perspective of film festivals, they need films and a supply chain of film that is ongoing yet disrupted( Iordanova, 2009). With the technological developments of film industry and the emergence of new film genre, a new feasible film festival circuit may come into being in the near future.         


Australian Museum( 2018): Australian Museum Presents World Premiere Of Carriberrie: A Virtual Reality Journey Of Aboriginal Dance And Song. Available at: [ accessed at 17th August 2018].


Iordanova, D( 2009). “The Film Festival Circuit.” Film Festival Yearbook 1: The Festival Circuit. Ed Iordanova, D and Rhyne, R. St Andrews, Scotland: St Andrews Film Studies, pp 23-39.

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