Virtual Realities: Immersive Documentary Encounters // Project News // Mar 03, 2019.

Three immersive documentaries commissioned to research effects of Virtual Reality in nonfiction

We are delighted to announce the commissioning of three new bold and distinctive VR documentary works. The winning commissions were chosen from among over 150 applications based on their originality and innovation.

Selected from the Open Call, Transplant is a new work by producers Oscar Raby and Katy Morrison of the VRTOV studio, whose field-defining VR projects have been shown and celebrated from Sundance to Sheffield DocFest.

Transplant is set in Chile under the dictatorship of General Pinochet. Centring on the ideas of biologist and philosopher Francisco Varela, as he undergoes a liver transplant, it asks; how do we repair a damaged organism? how do we reorganise a damaged society? Transplant asks us to consider, through interactive VR, the relationship between body and mind.

The two other projects were selected from the New Voices Call, which invited applications from artists new to VR. We are delighted to be working with film-maker Lisa Harewood and creative technologist Ewan Cass-Kavanagh on their first collaboration: Love and Seawater which addresses the legacy of the separations between parents and children that have been a feature of Caribbean economic migration.

Love and Seawater will take a participatory approach to production, involving those affected by this theme in developing a VR treatment of this previously invisible aspect of global migrant culture.

Also new to VR is the award-winning writer, artist and director Victoria Mapplebeck, who has been experimenting with the frontiers of documentary and creative technology since the 1990s. Her project, The Waiting Room tells the story of her own breast cancer from diagnosis through treatment to recovery.

The VR project will explore the cultural myths and language of chronic illness, asking us to confront what we can and what we can’t control when our bodies fail us.

The official press release of this article can be read in full here: