Pieter Van Leugenhagen
Jan 11th, 2019
Pieter Van Leugenhagen
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JANUARY 11, 2019 – Yondr won the Best Commercial Branded Entertainment award at VR FEST 2019 for its “Port of the Future.” The virtual reality experience, commissioned by the Port of Antwerp, debuted this past September at Supernova in Antwerp.
Over 30K Supernova attendees, tourists and visitors were given free admission to see the VR experience about the Port of Antwerp in a 22m dome next to the MAS over one weekend, September 27 – 30, 2018.
Port of the Future was a creative collaboration with Bas Vaerewyk of Project Bang in an assignment spearheaded by Wim Wouters for the Port of Antwerp. The goal was to showcase the Port of Antwerp’s storied history and commitment to innovative technologies of the future. The choice of a Shared VR experience allowed for a wider audience to discover immersive storytelling.
Location-based entertainment, like the Port of the Future, is also part of the growing trend for organizations to use VR for brand storytelling. Virtual reality continues to grow in popularity–thanks to interest generated by innovations like Oculus’ new Quest headset, and more viewing opportunities for the public. The recent development of in-theater VR venues, such as Dreamscape, which launched at the end of 2018 in Los Angeles (with plans to expand to four other cities), allows for more VR projects to be produced and enter the award circuit. VR-centric festivals like VR Fest are complemented by Sundance, Tribeca, Venice and SXSW, all who now have designated VR categories.
Yondr competed against entries from major motion picture studios such as Disney, Warner Brothers and 20th Century Fox, as well as VR work from France, South Africa, and India in addition to American contenders. The other finalist, “The Greatest Showman,” starring Hugh Jackman was produced by 20th Century Fox in Los Angeles. Twelve expert jury members, representing companies like Dell, Paramount, and Technicolor, selected Yondr as the Best Commercial/Branded Entertainment.
The award comes at time when Yondr is preparing to launch its own VRTL.Academy. A global platform, VRTL will offer VR production knowledge to students and professionals hoping to learn more about immersive technology and storytelling.
Says Mathias Van Dosselaer, Co-Founder of Yondr, “We’re grateful to have partnered with Project BANG and the Port of Antwerp to make such a captivating VR experience about the historic Antwerp harbor. It is terrific that our small Belgian team is recognized against such global players. It’s also good to see VR be recognized as as a powerful way to tell brand stories.”
About VR Fest: VR FEST®, the world’s first and largest Virtual Reality Festival, debuted its 5th Anniversary program in Las Vegas this January 8th to 11th at various locations on and off the Las Vegas Strip including OMNIA Nightclub at Caesars Palace Las Vegas, PlatformaVR at Bally’s Las Vegas, Hakkasan Nightclub at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino and the new Planet 13 Entertainment Complex.