Annapurna Pictures Forms Virtual Reality Division

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Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures has formed a virtual reality division as part of a joint venture with VRSE.farm, a partnership with artist Chris Milk.

New venture will give filmmakers the opportunity to develop virtual reality content and explore new ways of storytelling.

The importance of Annapurna’s entry into the VR space, after having produced such films as “Foxcatcher,” “American Hustle,” “Her” and “Zero Dark Thirty,” is expected to cause other Hollywood producers to take note and consider their own forays into what’s still a new but growing arena that so far has been driven by hardware makers, not the creative community.

Milk already has partnered with Beck on “Sound & Vision,” a live-action, spherical, virtual reality film that can be viewed using the Oculus Rift headset.

VRSE.farm will provide audio and video technology and crew to select filmmakers interested in testing out new ideas, Annapurna said.

Milk’s “Evolution of Verse” is premiering at the Sundance Film Festival’s New Frontier section and will serve as the first piece to come out of Annapurna’s new VR division and the VRSE.farm partnership.

“Evolution of Verse” is also being made available to the public through the VRSE app, which will be available Friday in the Apple and Android app stores.

“Megan has the most vision and foresight of any producer working in cinema today,” Milk said. “I’m humbled and honored to be exploring the virtual reality medium alongside her. We can’t wait to help our fellow filmmakers write a completely new storytelling language.”

As a music video director, Milk has produced shorts for Arcade Fire, U2, Kanye West, Green Day, Johnny Cash, Gnarls Barkley, Chemical Brothers, John Mellencamp, Courtney Love and Modest Mouse. More recently, Milk partnered with Arcade Fire to create music-based art installations like “Summer Into Dust” in 2011, while his “The Treachery of Sanctuary” is currently touring the world with the Creators Project.

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