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Sydney, the Australian UNESCO Creative City of Film, held its third annual Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) event on 16 November.  The event featured special presentations from prominent content makers and curators including Emmy award-winner Lynette Wallworth, acclaimed writer and director Eliza McNitt, who made history at the Sundance Film Festival as the world’s first ever acquisition of a VR experience, and Raindance Film Festival’s Virtual Reality Curator, Mária Rakušanová.
Being the creative hub for cinematography, Sydney was bestowed the UNESCO City of Film award in 2010, however the industry is facing a number of challenges including gender inequality. Like many other film industries, the Australian sector has far fewer women in creative roles than men and there is a wide acceptance amongst the government and industry officials that this needs to change.
360 Vision 2017 is an invitation-only Virtual Reality Lab bringing together some of Australia’s best screen producers, directors, practitioners and artists to meet with key VR content creators and professionals for two days of inspiration, information and networking. Galway City of Film received a special invitation from its counterpart Sydney to attend the 360 Vision event held in April along with Galway-based filmmaker Paula Kehoe.
As a Creative City of Film, Sydney is launching two annual funding programmes for 2015.