Clouds Over Sidra, was shown at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January, where a series of state and business leaders were given the chance to watch it and also at the Ted (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference in Vancouver.
For the public, watching the film was a very touching experience. One could easily believe that he or she is walking alongside the children and experience the details of their lives as if you were with them. Just a reach of your hand you believe you can touch them!
The movie shows the life for refugees from one child’s perspective, 12-year-old Sidra, who spends her time in the makeshift school, or meeting her friends and watching children playing football on a rubble pitch near her home, in the refugee camp. An estimated four million Syrians have become refugees since the conflict began, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), of whom a million are children.
Film-maker Chris Milk tried to use technology as a futuristic empathy tool that would rather interconect two worlds. The movie project was made in partnership with the UN and Samsung, which supplied the Gear VR headset. It was made using a 360-degree camera with scenes then stitched together.
Film-makers are increasingly seeing the benefit of using virtual reality to give viewers a far more empathetic view of things than has ever been possible before.
Virtual reality realism in other movies
Rose Troche’sfilm about sexual assault on college campuses, used Virtual reality to invite viewers to experience the reality of rape both from the male and female perspectives.
Nonny de la Pena’s “immersive journalism” is already well known,for the piece Hunger in Los Angeles, and the Project Syria.
VR has been delivering according to the promisses made a long tome ago, in the last year. More recently,various companies have been coming out with a series of announcements and demonstrations that prove the technology is almost ready for mass-market adoption. Sony, Samsung and the Facebook-owned Oculus Rift all have headsets that provide a good consumer experience.
Virtual reality, as a journalistic medium, might just prove to be working out and follow a similar trajectory as newspaper, radio and television.