To the best of our knowledge our own VFF is the the world's first competition for vertical films and videos, but are we the only such festival? Not quite! Here are a couple of other temples to the tall image.
Vertical Cinema commissioned a series of 10 works for the vertical screen from Austrian, Dutch and Japanese audiovisual artists. The works are made on 35mm film and projected in apposite architectural surrounds in vertical Cinemascope (their main problem was finding a projector that could function at 90º to the angle for which it was designed!) In the above picture the resemblance of the screen "monolith" to a church stained-glass window is quite extraordinary.
I was lucky enough to catch the program in Amsterdam at the beginning of 2014. Only one of the films, Pyramid Flare is what might be called 'live action'; the rest comprised abstract, chemical and structuralist explorations of the medium. Arguably though, most (except the live action film) could also have been shown horizontally; they were a series of abstract canvasses that happened to be tall. Think Gerhard Richter's Cologne Cathedral Stained Glass Windows. That's not to say it wasn’t a pretty extraordinary experience though.
You can see some short excerpts of these films (pillar-boxed, ie. with strange black bars down the side) here, and a Flickr gallery here; however the affect of the larger-than-life vertical screen is impossible to replicate on the web, of course.
9:16 Film Festival
This Adelaide-based festival commissioned seven works for vertical screening earlier this year. 9:16 is "the aspect ratio of our time" says the website. A bold claim indeed. But why not?