Jesus VR: The Story of Christ, an upcoming feature-length 360 film, is getting its first public preview at this year’s Venice Film Festival. Hailed as the world’s first ever feature length VR film production, the 90-minute movie depicts the life, works, and death of Jesus of Nazareth.

Jesus VR will be shown in the festival’s new VR theater, a space on the second floor of the Venice Casino that will house 50 VR headsets. The preview of the feature-length film will last 40 minutes, and will be open to festival-goers from September 1-4.

Shot in 4k by VRWERX in cooperation with Autumn VR, the film shows the entire life of Jesus as recounted in the Bible, including his birth, attributed miracles, trial, subsequent crucifixion, death, and resurrection.

Félix Lajeunesse and Paul Raphaël of Felix & Paul Studios
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Like Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ (2004), Jesus VR was filmed in Matera, Italy under the direction of Passion executive producer Enzo Sisti. Father William Fulco, a religious adviser on the 2004 depiction of the life and death of Jesus, also signed on as to consult for Jesus VR.

“We are particularly pleased about the opportunity to present the first feature film in the world made entirely for virtual reality. Jesus VR will serve to demonstrate the narrative and dramatic potential of the new technology, which has since been limited to short movies,” said Alberto Barbera, director of the 73rd Venice Film Festival. “The fact is of particular value, considering this is the year in which the recently renamed Venice Production Bridges is presenting six VR projects among the 40 proposals of audiovisual projects in search of funding, which includes films, documentaries, TV series and web series. The Venice exhibition is paying particular attention to the big changes that are helping to redefine the horizons of the production of motion pictures.”

Jesus VR will be available Christmas 2016 on all major VR platforms including Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, and the HTC Vive.

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