The Cannes Film Festival at the time of the meta-verse

This year, the Cannes Film Festival takes the take on new technologies with its new partner for this 75th edition, the online media Brut, which has gradually unveiled its system. Among the festival’s news, between a partnership with Youtube, the reinvention of Cannes in the media thanks to social networks and the presence of journalists Essi Assibu and Augustin Trapenard on the red carpet, there is one that we did not see coming: computer games.

The Fortnite universe, one of the most popular video games in the world developed by the American company Epic Games, had already hosted virtual concerts by artists such as Ariana Grande or Travis Scott, which had gathered more than 12 million spectators. , but this time, it’s the world of cinema that the video game seeks to revive. With more than 350 million players worldwide by 2020, according to the statistics portal Statista, the phenomenon is one of the best ways to achieve the privileged goal of this edition: young people.

Recreate the Croisette in Fortnite

The French studio Vysena, which specializes in developing experiences on Fortnite Creative since April 2021, has therefore taken responsibility for the re-creation of the Palais des Festival and its surroundings within the game’s metavers. This is not the first shot. testing teams in the form of realistic modeling, as several of its members had already participated in the reconstruction of an event centered around Martin Luther King’s famous speech, “I Have A Dream”.

Here, palm trees, white tents and the iconic Palais du Festival, everything seems in place to share this year’s film event with players from all over the world: “We really wanted to immerse players in the Croisette, give them the feeling of being by the sea” explains Scott Pennacchietti, team leader and co-founder of the Vysena studio. In addition to a faithful rendering of the buildings, authenticity is essential: “Brut provided us with ambient sounds that we were able to integrate into the game thanks to the agreement from Epic Games, the developer of Fortnite, while “on the visual level, we get up the stairs at night with a wall of flash with this specific sound environment of the journalists calling for the picture during the event”.

But the project is far from a simple aesthetic and particularly successful fashion phenomenon. This teamwork between the various partners, which required no less than four weeks of work, carries a strong message. “Brut would especially like to highlight the different professionals that you can meet during such events. So we were looking for the game mode that would please the player the most. After several phases of creation, we stopped at the role-playing game, where the players are free to do what they want, ”the designer continues.

La Croisette, the beach in Cannes and its famous Palais des Festivals in the background … the modeling has everything of a virtual postcard.VYSENA / RAW / EPIC GAME STUDIES

From 17 to 28 May, players can therefore experience the Cannes Film Festival directly from their screens. They have the ability to embody characters and perform quests related to cinema themes, but also ecology or diversity, strong values ​​defended by Brut and the festival. Players, in the shoes of journalists, actors and directors, will also be able to interview personalities, run castings or even search for script pages spread across the city.

A fun way to raise awareness of the festival among younger generations and make an event that is all too often considered obsolete accessible: “The effect of this kind of initiative can only be positive because it brings visibility to a new medium that reaches an audience that is difficult to reach via traditional media, “admits Scott Pennacchietti. By using social networks, public service thanks to France Télévisions and now video games, it is clear that the Cannes Film Festival is struggling to dust off its image.

A collection of NFTs as tickets?

The NFTs are slowly but surely getting their stripes in the world of culture. Brut has teamed up with Emily Yang, better known as “Pplpleasr”, to create a collection of 75 NFTs for the festival. The young woman who was a VFX artist (special visual effects) for major Hollywood movies like Zack Snyder’s “Batman V Superman” and produced an NFT cover for Fortune magazine, now delivers Croisette. However, these Cannes NFTs are more than simple non-fungible tokens, the usefulness of which is sometimes questioned: behind Emily Yang’s collection are actually hidden tickets to the Cannes Film Festival.

Divided into three categories, the NFTs offer unprecedented access to various events that focus on the life of the festival: the bronze category NFTs ($ 14,000) provides access to a red carpet and a show of your choice; silver NFTs ($ 16,000) to go to a session with “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Elvis” by Baz Luhrmann or even “Three Thousand Years Waiting for You” by George Miller; gold NFTs ($ 19,600) to attend the opening or closing ceremony and the corresponding red carpet. A tempting offer, although not all NFTs are sold out. But this approach raises questions: does it not resemble the sale of tickets, a practice which, however, is formally banned by the festival?

To avoid such ambiguity, some prefer to focus more on the charity aspect of this sale. In fact, the funds generated by the sale of NFT are donated to the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, an organization that promotes the inclusion of women in the audiovisual industry. Maybe a great way to be a part of tomorrow’s world.

Buy the Croisette? A reality

And if tickets to the festival are not enough for them, the richest can always acquire the Croisette, the old port, Île Sainte-Marguerite and its fort or even the Palais des Festivals! On June 21, the modern art auction house, Artcurial, and the company Pertimm offer to sell ten dematerialized items. “Cannes is a world-class city thanks to its events. The city continues to innovate and launches a world first by digitizing cult sites and buildings in Cannes, authenticated via NFTs, ”explains David Lisnard, Mayor of Cannes, in a press release. Buyers will then be able to integrate these features into the metaverse of their choice, and will also receive a model of the 3D model. Practice local e-commerce at the Fortville market, organize your own events in Suquet and Malmaison, discover the first underwater museum in a unique 360 ​​° experience thanks to the modeling of the underwater eco-museum Jason deCaires Taylor, the possibilities of this Cannes du Metavers will be numerous … but will no doubt come with a price.

NFT celebrates

In parallel with the Cannes competition, the first NFT film festival will be held at the city’s Casino 3.14 on 20 May. A way for cryptocurrency experts to raise awareness among audiovisual professionals about the challenges of cinema 3.0 with a series of conferences on cinema in the metaverse, the financing of independent films through virtual currency or even on the future of intellectual property productions.

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