Non-Fiction VR: A Mediography

Non-Fiction VR is an emergent and rapidly evolving new medium for filmmaking that draws from - and builds upon - traditional forms of non-fiction, interactive media, gaming and immersive theatre. This website is compiling a detailed history of this new form of interactive experience. Our dataset currently contains 285 examples of non-fiction VR content released between 2012 and 2018.

How are we choosing what to include?

As an emergent medium, non-fiction VR is attracting highly experimental works that sometimes do not fit neatly into what might be considered 'traditional' filmmaking. Our search strategy is therefore deliberately broad, including organic search (english language), social media and the programmes of leading international film festivals. At this early stage in our research, we are including any VR piece that self-presents as non-fiction, or is referred to by a third party as a piece of non-fiction VR.

Latest Additions

What themes are being explored in non-fiction VR?

According to our dataset, these are the themes that are being explored by non-fiction VR makers (weighted by frequency of occurrence). Select a theme to see the titles associated with it:

2015 Paris Attacks   Aborigine   Abortion   Adventure   Ageing   Aleppo   Amazon Rainforest   Animal rights   Apiculture   Archeology   Architecture   Art   Asylum   Australia   Autism   Aviation   Basketball   Beavers   Behind-the-scenes   Berlin   Blindness   Calais Jungle   Capitalism   Cerebral Palsy   Chernobyl   Cinema   Climate change   Cochlear Implant   Conservation   Cuba   Cults   Cyber Warfare   Cycling   Dance   Disaster   Discrimination   Dolphins   Domestic violence   Drugs   Earthquake   Ebola   Ecology   Education   Engineering   Entertainment   Environment   Epilepsy   Ethnic cleansing   Exploitation   FGM   Famine   Female empowerment   Ferguson   Fiji   Film Production   First World War   Food banks   Foreign Legion   Ganges   Gaza   Gender equality   Gender identity   Grand Canyon   Hacking   Hearing   Heritage   History   Homelessness   Human rights   Indigenous peoples   Infancy   International Space Station   Interview   Ireland   Ivory trade   Jaguars   Jewellery   Korean demilitarized zone   Language   Library   London 7/7 Attacks   Loneliness   Los Angeles   Magic   Mars   Mental health   Migration   Military   Mongolia   Music   Myalgic encephalomyelitis   Myanmar   NASA   Nairobi   Native Americans   Natural disaster   Natural history   Nature   Nepal   New York   Nuclear testing   Oceanography   Paleontology   People smuggling   Performance   Policing   Poverty   Prejudice   Prison   Protest   Racism   Radicalisation   Railway   Recycling   Refugees   Rehabilitation   Religion   Renewable Energy   Retrofuturism   Robotics   Rohingya   Safari   Science   Scotland   Sex Trade   Sexual assault   Sexuality   Solitary confinement   Somalia   South Sudan   Space exploration   Speed   Sport   Sudan   Surfing   Syria   Technology   Terrorism   Testicular Cancer   The Holocaust   Tibet   Torture   Tourism   Travel   UK Royal Family   Virtual Reality   Visual impairment   Volcanos   Voodoo   Wall   War & Conflict   Water   Womens rights   Zoology  

How much non-fiction VR content is out there?

Based on 285 titles catalogued so far, this chart shows how production numbers for non-fiction VR content have changed since the earliest known examples in 2012:

Film festivals and awards

Non-fiction VR is an increasingly visible fixture at leading international film festivals. According to our dataset, these are the most prominent non-fiction VR titles in terms of festival appearances and awards received:

Year Title Director(s) Awards Festival
2016 Notes on Blindness: Into Darkness Amaury La Burthe, Arnaud Colinart, James Spinney & Peter Middleton 3 6
2016 Home: Aamir Erfan Saadati, Rufus Norris & Toby Coffey 3 2
2016 Home - An Immersive Spacewalk Experience Kate Bartlett & Tom Burton 2 3
2017 After Solitary Cassandra Herrman & Lauren Mucciolo 2 2
2017 Munduruku: The Fight to Defend the Heart of the Amazon Grace Boyle & James Manisty 2 1
2016 Behind the Fence Jonathan Olinger & Lindsay Branham 2 1
2016 6x9: A Virtual Experience of Solitary Confinement Francesca Panetta & Lindsay Poulton 1 5
2016 Collisions Lynette Wallworth 1 3
2013 Assent Oscar Raby 1 3
2016 DeathTolls Experience Ali Eslami 1 3

Who is creating non-fiction VR content?

These are the most prolific directors / creators in our dataset*, weighted by the number of titles credited to them. Select a director to view their filmography, collaborators and awards.

Amaury La Burthe   Andrew Somerville   Angel Manuel Soto   Ari Palitz   Ben C. Solomon   Benjamin Roffee   Celine Tricart   Charlotte Mikkelborg   Chris Milk   Cory Tran   Danfung Dennis   Darren Emerson   David Darg   David Gelb   Eliza McNitt   Eric Strauss   Francesca Panetta   Félix Lajeunesse   Gabo Arora   Georgy Molodtsov   Graham Roberts   Imraan Ismail   James Hedley   Jane Gauntlett   Jason Drakeford   Jeff Orlowski   Jeremy Bailenson   Jessica Brillhart   Lucy Walker   Lynette Wallworth   Marshall Curry   Nicole Jackson   Nonny de la Peña   Oscar Raby   Paul Raphaël   Raphael Beugrand   Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy   Stephanie Riggs   Taliesin Gilkes-Bower   Tyson Sadler   Yasmin Elayat   Zach Richter   Zahra Rasool   Ziv Schneider  

* For brevity, we only directors who are credited with more than one title are included. For a comprehensive list, view the full film listing.

Where is non-fiction VR being produced?

Our dataset currently contains titles released from 45 countries. Of the 285 titles in our dataset, the leading non-fiction VR producing countries are: USA (55%) , United Kingdom (18%) , Canada (7%) , France (4%) & Australia (3%) .

How is the duration of non-fiction VR content changing over time?

According to our data, the length of a non-fiction VR title ranges from 1 to 40 minutes, with an average of 8.6 minutes. This chart shows how the length of non-fiction VR titles have changed over time.

More to come!

This resource remains under active development and will continue to grow as our analysis continues. Keep an eye on the changelog for updates. Until then, why not explore our Non-fiction VR timeline ›.