Oculus Rift gets test run at Montreal International Documentary Festival

The Montreal International Documentary Festival is showcasing two of the first interactive documentaries made with the new virtual reality technology, the Oculus Rift.
Fans of the documentary can try a new viewing experience with the virtual reality technology. It's set up at the UX Studio at the Cinémathèque québécoise for the duration of the Montreal International Documentary Festival. (Elie Zananiri/Dpt)

For the first time ever, the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) is screening two interactive documentaries created for the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.

Patricia Bergeron is a programmer for the new technologies section at the RIDM.

It’s not about tomorrow ... it’s right now- Patricia Bergeron, RIDM programmer

She says the festival wants to give Montrealers a chance to experience the potential of the new technology.

One of the interactive documentaries, CLOUDS, won the award for best transmedia project at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

“The equipment is fairly new and hard to get so it’s great to see it at RIDM. This is definitely what filmmaking and videogame-making is leaning towards. It’s a kind of interesting part of the future of cinema," said Elie Zananiri, interactive designer for CLOUDS.

The second documentary, Assent, by Chilean filmmaker Oscar Raby is an immersive autobiographical documentary inspired by the filmmaker's father's experience during the coup in Chile in 1973.  

There are also other projects in the works here in Montreal. The National Film Board's Digital Studio is developing two interactive documentaries that also use the Oculus Rift.

The first Oculus Rift headsets that will be available to the general public are also getting help from Montreal.

Montreal's Felix & Paul Studios produced the virtual reality demo for the at-home version of Oculus Rift  Samsung's Gear VR Innovator Edition.

CLOUDS and Assent are screening in the user experience room (the UXdoc room) set up by RIDM at the Cinémathèque québécoise for the duration of the festival to Nov. 23.