Ten years of Jena FullDome Festival
The Jena FullDome Festival started in 2007 as one of the first festivals dedicated to the new medium. It is now the oldest and the only fulldome festival with an unbroken continuity. A core mission of the FullDome Festival has always been to encourage students to stretch the envelope of what’s possible in the dome. The FullDome Festival provides an internationally recognized platform for creative people and a forum for planetarians and fulldome folks. The purpose is to showcase recent fulldome productions and to provide an open platform to promote the art, the business and the future of fulldome. In the workshops, presentations and discussions during the Festival, the participants get to know each other and exchange experiences. Getting kindred spirits into contact, inspiring new ideas and promoting collaboration is not the least of the strengths of the Jena FullDome Festival. A number of student participants are already working as professional fulldome producers in planetariums.
Festival contributions are judged and the best are awarded by criteria of treatment, technical implementation, artistic design, creativity, originality, narrative quality, entertainment value, and general contribution to the artistic, innovative and technical advancement of the fulldome medium. The FullDome Festival presents the sought after »JANUS« award for excellence and creativity in fulldome productions and, so far, awarded more than $40,000 prize money to international fulldome producers. Till 2016, the FullDome Festival volunteered 752 events in total, from one-minute student clip to two-hour theatrical performances. Contributions arrived from 30 countries.
A new phase of development
The Jena FullDome Festival wants to encourage people to explore and embrace fulldome as an educational tool, immersive art form, and mind-altering experience also in the future. Within ten years, the festival has matured which began as a venture of committed volunteers and now starts a new phase of development as a professional organization. Growing international attention, a high degree of acceptance among experts, and bright prospects of development now make it necessary to replace sporadic and voluntary efforts with a continuous, planful enterprise. By establishing the Fulldome Festival Foundation, the founders lay the groundwork for the future. They intend to secure the Festival‘s lasting existence. Besides added flexibility and continuity, this also requires greater speed and closer international networking. The donated endowment is not sufficient, though, for funding the Festival, which keeps being dependent on additional donations and sponsoring in the foreseeable time. Therefore, the founders and organizers of the Festival aim their commitment at growing acceptance among industrial corporations, producers, institutes and educational institutions. In the interest of economic efficiency, visitors to the Festival are charged a very moderately priced fee.
Sharpen the profile
Considering the many festivals that sprang up over the last few years, we intend to consolidate the specific features of the Jena FullDome Festival. In the last years, increasing emphasis was placed on the quality of the contributions. Continuing this trend, we want to develop a festival of the best fulldome productions. We will restrict the number of feature films to twelve per festival. Every film entered will be curated; the mere nomination means a noticeable recognition of the producer. In the future, “Nominated for the FullDome Festival” will signalize an extraordinary significance. Every curator will write a review, which will be published in time for the Festival. Moreover, the festival audience will have the possibility to assess the contributions by uniform criteria. The results will be fed back to the producers; from the public response they will hopefully infer the strong and, perhaps, weak points of their productions.
We want to give more space to the presentations dealing with the latest developments and tendencies of our 360-degree medium. More time will be devoted to workshops, talks and panels. We will continue the “Frameless-Frenzy Forums” of 5-minute short contributions, a format successfully introduced in 2016, so as to offer a platform for still more players in the fulldome community.
Under the management of the Fulldome Festival Foundation, the presentation of student contributions – in the focus when the Jena Festival was founded – will remain one of the main events. A number of German universities and colleges have been participating in the Festival from the very beginning. Meanwhile, many foreign students enter into the contest for the JANUS trophy. For most students, the FullDome Festival not only offers a platform for getting into the medium but it is, unfortunately, one of the few places for public shows, if not the only possibility to present their work.
A Festival for all members of the fulldome community
Overall, our new activities aim to further increase the degree of fame of the FullDome Festival, to better do justice to the interests of producers, sponsors, as well as audiences, and to advertise the Festival with greater variety and higher quality. Trusting in sustained support by partners from the industry, we propose suitable marketing approaches in connection with the Festival. For this purpose we offer a spectrum of sponsoring options reaching from donating a prize to sponsorship for a particular session.
You can trust in the Jena FullDome Festival to remain an established, interesting and exciting event, to continue presenting attractive prizes for the best fulldome productions, and to be a unique location for international exchange among the fulldome community.