Virtual Reality Pop-Up at the Regent Street Cinema foyer

As film technology continues to improve, we have seen a number of advancements on the silver screen. In recent years, CGI has moved leaps and bounds, becoming increasingly realistic and indiscernible from live footage. Meanwhile, the likes of Martin Scorsese have employed de-aging visual effects in prestige cinema. Yet there remains one as-of-yet underused technology. Virtual reality – or VR – refers to a simulated experience of reality, transmitted through a headset. Thus far used primarily in video games, it opens a whole new world of cinematic possibilities.

In partnership with Regent Street Cinema, we are excited to present three distinct VR experiences at this year’s festival.


19 – 22 MARCH


An abandoned school awaits you; a place that echoes with childhood memories. Yet like a darkly surreal dream, it constantly blurs the boundaries between unsettling anxiety and the comfort of waking life. The brainchild of Maciek Szczerbowski and Chris Lavis, Gymnasia is a VR experience inspired by visionary theatre director Taduesz Kantor’s seminal play The Dead Class.


Just over 30 years ago, one of the greatest tragedies of the latter 20th century occurred. The Chernobyl nuclear disaster affected the lives of thousands across the USSR, and left the nearby city Pripyat a ghost town. Walk through a virtual Chernobyl Exclusion Zone to learn the history of the place and discover the future that was lost.


At 17:00 on 1 August 1944, the inhabitants of Warsaw decided to turn against their German occupiers. Led by the underground Polish resistance, the Warsaw Uprising was the single largest wartime operation of its kind in Europe. Join the heroes of the Uprising in this immersive VR experience.

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