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Sheffield Doc/Fest is proud to announce the first highlights of the Festival’s Alternate Realities Exhibition and Summit showcasing immersive and interactive storyforms.

The 2018 Doc/Fest commission worth £12,000 is awarded to Face to Face by Michaela Holland, Michelle Gabel and Ivana Jiron (pictured above, © Michelle Gabel). Two International Premiere VR projects for the Alternate Realities Exhibition are The Day The World Changed by Gabo Arora and Saschka Unseld, and Hold The World featuring a one-on-one with Sir David Attenborough – all reflecting a theme of human creation and destruction.

Face to Face

© Michelle Gabel

Face to Face, Sheffield Doc/Fest’s third Alternate Realities Commission will receive its World Premiere in the Alternate Realities Exhibition, supported by Arts Council England. This immersive and interactive experience is the story of an American mother with two daughters – whose life was forever changed by a gun accident.

 Face to Face

© Michelle Gabel

The experience takes the audience through Michelle’s incredible story building to a climax that is both profound and unexpected. Chosen from a record number of highest quality international entries, Face to Face was selected by a committee that included Sarah Ellis (Head of Digital Development for the Royal Shakespeare Company), Katy Yudin (Executive Producer of the Future of Storytelling Festival in New York) and Dun Tucker (Curator of Alternate Realities).

For the 2018 Alternate Realties Exhibition, Doc/Fest is also proud to announce two International Premiere VR projects that showcase a range of new technologies and evolutions in the emerging field of immersive storytelling:

The Day the World Changed 

The International Premiere of The Day The World Changed – from VR auteurs Gabo Arora and Saschka Unseld – is a powerful and meaningful immersive documentary that has a clear message about nuclear disarmament. Combining for the first time archive, animation, photogrammetry, 3D scanned objects and native VR tools to deliver an experience for four people at a time through HTC’s Vive VR headset. In partnership with Nobel Media and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, this is a VR documentary that showcases the potential of the new medium. 

Hold the World

The international premiere of Hold The World is a one-off virtual reality encounter with natural historian Sir David Attenborough, made by Factory 42 for Sky VR. Using the latest volumetric capture technology, Sir David is represented in virtual reality in unparalleled high fidelity, allowing a one-on-one guided journey through a series of fascinating natural history specimens that the audience can interact with, learn more about, and reflect on how the past informs the present.

Jess Brillhart

Reflecting these artists, themes and technologies, the Alternate Realities Summit returns to the Crucible Studio in Sheffield on Sunday 10 June for a day of keynote talks, presentations and debate about the art and craft of interactive storytelling. We’re proud to announce our first Summit speakers: an ‘Artist Spotlight’ on Gabo Arora, whose project The Day The World Changed is the latest in a canon of work in VR which includes the seminal Clouds Over Sidra. In addition, talks from William Uricchio, the head of MIT’s Open Doc Lab about the future of story, and Ruthie Doyle from the Sundance Institute will close the day with a new vision of inclusion and diversity in the emerging form of immersive media.

You can purchase your Festival Pass or Alternate Realities Summit-specific ticket on the Doc/Fest website now.

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The full line-up for the Sheffield Doc/Fest 2018 programme will be announced on Thursday 3 May.