China saw explosive growth in the VR sector last year, but by the end of 2016 people in the industry were saying that the sector had “frozen”. Despite some noise surrounding the future of China’s VR development, this Beijing-based VR film startup last month made its way to the Venice International Film Festival.

Selected as one of the finalists in VR competition, Sandman Studios’ Free Whale is a seven-minute long sci-fi animation. The Venice International Film Festival was one of the first festivals in the world to express interest in VR and announced this year the first-ever competition for films made in VR, featuring 22 films from around the world—four of them in Chinese (three from Mainland China and one from Taiwan).

China’s VR industry is expected to expand more than fourfold in 2017 as more major players enter the industry and more content drives growth, according to research firm IDC’s forecast released this January. Alvin Wang Graylin, China Regional President of HTC Vive, also predicted earlier this month “we will be more dependent on VR devices than we are our phones today” and that “remote work via VR will become the norm.”

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Timmy Shen

Timmy Shen is a technology reporter based in Beijing. He's passionate about photography, education, food and all things tech. Send tips and feedback to timmyshen@technode.com or follow him on twitter at...