Paris-based MK2 has acquired sales and distribution rights to four Cirque du Soleil virtual-reality experiences co-produced by leading Canadian VR banner Felix & Paul Studios and the multimedia production unit Cirque du Soleil Images. The deal was made for location-based rights, which entails sales and distribution to physical venues.
The four VR experiences are “Inside the Box of Kurios,” which won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Interactive Media; “KÀ The Battle Within” (pictured), which was featured in Toronto’s Cutting Edge Pop VR section; “Dreams of ‘O,'” winner of SXSW’s Outstanding Technical Achievement Award; and the newest production, “Through the Masks of Luzia,” which was recently nominated for a Canadian Screen Award in the Best Immersive Experience category.
MK2, which already runs a major arthouse distribution network in Paris, will release all four experiences at their VR cinema locations in Paris and across their network of VR Pods, whose first clients include Scandinavia’s Nordisk Film and Brazil’s Arvore.
MK2 will also license the Cirque du Soleil experiences to third-party VR cinemas and location-based entertainment centers around the world.
Sébastien Ouimet, senior manager of content and distribution partnerships at Cirque du Soleil, said the alliance with MK2 is a “natural continuation for [Cirque du Soleil] in exploring innovative ways to offer our virtual-reality experiences to new audiences and in complementing Cirque du Soleil’s live-entertainment offerings.”
He said that the world-famous performing troupe was “constantly looking for ground-breaking approaches to get off the beaten path and to build unique worlds that will enhance its audience’s journey,” added Ouimet.
After launching one of the first permanent VR facilities in Paris in 2016, MK2 expanded its international sales division to start licensing international director-driven VR content such as “Miyubi,” a scripted comedy created by Felix & Paul Studios.
“We are thrilled to pursue our collaboration with VR masters Felix & Paul Studios and contribute to making these incredibly beautiful and innovative experiences available to the fast-growing location-based audience worldwide,” says Elisha Karmitz, the general Manager at MK2, who is currently attending South by Southwest.
Karmitz said that “the idea behind these diverse VR initiatives is to build a chain of rights for distributors and improve their access to VR content through festivals, VR-dedicated facilities and digital platforms.”