Brut, Cannes’s new official partner, is bringing the world’s biggest film festival in the metaverse with Epic Games’ hit vidgame Fortnite.
Under the ground-breaking experiment, the festival’s famous backdrop will be recreated in Fortnite, allowing gamers to experience Cannes through the eyes of three different characters: a journalist, who will father material and conduct interview; an actor, who will do an audition with a major director, take part in a photocall and walk the red carpet; or a director who will have to find the pages for a script that have been lost across the city, send them to a producer, gather the team together and climb the steps of the Palais for a film premiere. Other additional quests will be available and will cover more engaged subjects like climate change or issues around inclusion and diversity in the film industry.
Each character will have its own storyline and some quests to follow that will lead players to stroll the Promenade de la Croisette with friends, discover the Palais des Festivals, pose for pictures on the red carpet, climb the famous steps, unlock hidden locations and collect Fortnite special effects.
Here is an exclusive teaser promo of the gaming experiment:
The immersive operation is one of the several tech-driven initiatives spearheaded by Brut to make the Cannes Film Festival more accessible to a wider audience, including younger demos.
“It was important to us to be able to steer the Cannes Film Festival into a format used by the next generations. The largest film festival in the world should be accessible to everyone: video game platforms are the perfect way to engage with this generation,” said Guillaume Lacroix, co-founder and CEO of Brut, a value-driven app whose backers include James Murdoch and François-Henri Pinault.
“For months, Brut has been developing specific expertise in these new formats. For us, it’s the natural extension of our commitment to new technologies. Brut is in the process of building an exciting metaverse in which we’ll play a key role,” added Lacroix.
Vysena, the celebrated French studio specialized in virtual maps, has reproduced an exact model of numerous aspects of the setting from the Croisette, the Palais des Festivals and its famous steps with the help of the city of Cannes. The maps will boast the ultra-realistic, Brut-style visual and audio universe.
During the Cannes Film Festival, Brut will also host a House of Creators and will bring about 100 creators from across the world to the Croisette where they’ll meet high-profile filmmakers, actors and agents in small groups. The digital powerhouse also announced last week a partnership with Emily Yang, a pioneering NFT artist known as Pplpleasr, to organize a fundraiser on May 2. Proceeds from the sales of 75 NFT’s will benefit the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative whose aim is to support young female creators.
Variety's Elsa Keslassy contributed to this post.