The Australian XR Festival 2023 concluded with its inaugural awards ceremony this year, celebrating some of the world’s most innovative creative technology. The event took place at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), Melbourne, between 19th and 21st December 2023.
The Australian XR Festival Awards showcased and appreciated leading talent in the Creative Tech industries, including Gaming, Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Creative AI, Animation and Digital Arts.
With 25 finalists in the running, including industry titans such as Sony Pictures VR, XR Games, Ubisoft, Atari, and Sugar CS, among others, the awards ceremony marked the successful end of the three-day Australian XR Festival. The festival comprised industry events and an open showcase that let attendees experience global creative technology at a personal level.
The Festival Director and Founder, Matt Kirby, expressed his awe at the quality of award submissions and the public response to the festival, emphasising the enthusiasm of attendees about VR technology. “It was amazing to see the reactions of people of all ages experiencing VR for the first time and wanting to learn more about how they can get a device in their home or business," Matt Kirby noted. He also highlighted how gaming fans thoroughly enjoyed the event, particularly the massively interactive screens at ACMI.
Talent from around the globe was spotlighted across nine different categories. XR Games and Sony Pictures VR clinched the Best in Gaming category along with the Best in the World (across all categories) for their VR Shooter 'Zombieland: Headshot Fever Reloaded'.
Apart from the main categories, a special industry achievement award was bestowed on Amir Satvat, a pioneering figure in global gaming from the US. Satvat was recognised for strengthening the industry and connecting gaming community members with job opportunities.
The festival also celebrated domestic talent with the Best in Melbourne category grabbed by 'To Stop Time' from ReVerse Butcher & Kylie Supski and the Best in Australia (across all categories) award taken home by Phoria for 'Julaymba'.
Other notable winners at the festival included 'Chomp’ by Ben Nixon for Best in Animation, 'Corgi Run’ by Eddy Adams for Best in Augmented Reality Social Media Filters, and 'The Rose’ by Hilary Campilan, Chrissy Brook & Michaela Betts for Best in Creative AI.
Initiated subsequent to the enormously successful Qld XR Festival in 2021, the Australian XR Festival acknowledged the City of Melbourne for its key sponsorship and support. "We have greatly appreciated the enthusiastic support of the City of Melbourne team and we look forward to working with the City of Melbourne in the future," said the Festival Director and Founder, Mr Kirby.
This celebration of international and local talent endorses Creative Tech industries, recognises excellence, and fosters opportunities through networking and exposure.