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Sheffield Doc/Fest will partner with The European Film Market (EFM) for the first time and present one of the ‘Meet the Docs’ Conversations at the 2017 Festival. The conversation titled How to walk in someone else’s shoes: Virtual Reality ­– Empathy, Embodiment and Experience will take place on Friday 10 February. Led by Dan Tucker (Curator, Alternate Realities, Sheffield Doc/Fest), the panel will include Darren Emerson, producer and director of the virtual reality documentaries Witness 360: 7/7 and Indefinite, the latter winning the first ever VR commission at Sheffield Doc/Fest in 2016, Tilman Scheel (Managing Director, Reelport), and Liz Rosenthal (CEO, Power to the Pixel). This new collaboration between the two festivals will see EFM attend Doc/Fest in June 2017.

The Meet the Docs event will give international VR practitioners an opportunity to hear leading VR producers, creators and exhibitors discuss the power of virtual reality to trigger emotional and empathic experiences, and gain insight into their creative techniques.            

Further, there will be an opportunity for creators and producers to find out more about Doc/Fest’s soon to be launched VR and interactive commission in partnership with Liverpool’s media arts centre FACT worth £10K (increased from £5K in 2016). The winning commission will receive its world premiere at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2017. Last year’s winning project, Indefinite by Darren Emerson has since been featured by The New York Times Op-Docs in addition to having been selected for major festivals in Melbourne, Sydney and Dubai. Emerson has recently been invited to play in competition at the Cinema Nouveau Festival in Montreal.

The Sheffield Doc/Fest stand will be situated at Martin Gropius Bau (stand 39) Berlin, as part of the UK Film stand.

Attending are: Liz McIntyre (CEO & Festival Director); Melanie Iredale (Deputy Director); Luke Moody (Director of Film Programming); Dan Tucker (Curator, Alternate Realities); Nigel Fisher (Head of Talks & Sessions); Patrick Hurley (Head of Marketplace); Sylvia Bednarz (Director of Partnerships & Development) and Andrea Horakh (Film Programme Consultant, Berlin).

Alternate Realities Interactive and VR Commission information can be found here.

Meet the Docs Conversations, EFM 2017

Friday 10 February 16:00 – 17:00 (UTC+1), The White Room MGB 2nd Floor.

How to walk in someone else’s shoes: Virtual Reality – Empathy, Embodiment and Experience.

Is documentary virtual reality the ultimate empathy experience and how does it work? This growing medium offers us the chance to immerse ourselves in everything from the extraordinary experience of what it feels to go blind, the thrill of an LSD drug trip, or understand what it might be like to be detained in an immigration centre. Dan Tucker, Curator, Alternate Realities, Sheffield Doc/Fest, discusses the power of virtual reality to trigger emotional and empathic experiences with prominent VR producers, creators and exhibitors.