An Interactive History of
Virtual Reality Nonfiction

Produced by
Virtual Realities: Immersive Documentary Encounters

While cinema offers an optical illusion of movement, Virtual Reality offers a new generation of illusion - a powerful sense of being there within a scene.

Virtual Reality nonfiction 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. The VR Mediography project is compiling a detailed history of this new form of interactive experience, examining where it has come from, how it is developing and where it is heading.

The mediography currently contains 458 VR nonfiction titles released between 2012 and 2019.

Latest Additions

How are we choosing what to include?

As an emergent medium, VR nonfiction 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.

Random Selection

A Timeline of VR Nonfiction

Our timeline charts the emergence of VR nonfiction content since 2012. The timeline shows when and where VR nonfiction titles where released, highlights important events, identifies award winning pieces and charts the increasing visibility of VR nonfiction content on the programmes of leading international film festivals.

Browse the Timeline ›

How much VR nonfiction content is out there?

Based on 458 titles catalogued so far, this chart shows how production numbers for VR nonfiction content have changed since the earliest known examples in 2012:

Film festivals and awards

VR nonfiction is an increasingly visible fixture at leading international film festivals. According to our dataset, these are the most prominent 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 7
2016 Home: Aamir Erfan Saadati, Rufus Norris & Toby Coffey 3 3
2016 Home - An Immersive Spacewalk Experience Kate Bartlett & Tom Burton 2 4
2017 After Solitary Cassandra Herrman & Lauren Mucciolo 2 3
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
2018 The Sun Ladies Celine Tricart 1 5
2017 Bloodless Gina Kim 1 3
2016 Collisions Lynette Wallworth 1 3

Who is creating VR nonfiction 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.

Aaron Bradbury   Amaury La Burthe   Andrew Somerville   Angel Manuel Soto   Ari Palitz   Averie Timm   Barry Pousman   Ben C. Solomon   Ben Ross   Benoît Lichté   Brittany Neff   Celine Tricart   Charlotte Mikkelborg   Chris Milk   Cory Tran   Danfung Dennis   Darren Emerson   David Darg   David Gelb   David Whelan   Eline Jongsma   Elise Ogle   Eliza McNitt   Eric Strauss   Evan Grothjan   Francesca Panetta   François Blouin   Félix Lajeunesse   Gabo Arora   Georgy Molodtsov   Graham Roberts   Imraan Ismail   James Hedley   Jane Gauntlett   Jason Drakeford   Jeff Orlowski   Jeremy Bailenson   Jesse Ayala   Jessica Brillhart   John Durrant   Jonathan Williams   Jörg Haaßengier   Jürgen Brügger   Kel O'Neill   Lindsay Branham   Lucy Walker   Lynette Wallworth   Marshall Curry   Matteo Lonardi   Max Salomon   Mitch Turnbull   Navid Khonsari   Nicole Jackson   Nonny de la Peña   Oscar Raby   Patrick Meegan   Paul Raphaël   Raphael Beugrand   Ricarda Saleh   Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy   Shehani Fernando   Stephanie Riggs   Tarik Benbrahim   Tyson Sadler   Vassiliki Khonsari   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 director listing.

Where is VR nonfiction being produced?

Our dataset currently contains titles released from 58 countries. The top 5 producers of VR nonfiction are:

Country Titles Released % of dataset
USA 232 51
United Kingdom 89 19
Canada 31 7
France 27 6
Australia 16 3

How is the duration of VR nonfiction content changing over time?

According to our data, the length of a VR nonfiction title ranges from 1 to 40 minutes, with an average of 8.7 minutes. This chart shows how the length of VR nonfiction titles has changed over time.

More to come!

This resource remains under active development and will continue to grow as our analysis continues.