VR Cinema

This year, you will get the chance to broaden your horizon and visit interesting places without having to travel! The free of change VR Cinema programme offers you six different films from all around the world. During the festival, the films can be watched in Studio A at Filmhuis Den Haag at weekdays from 2 pm untill 10 pm and during the weekend from 11 am until 10 pm. The VR glasses are provided by Samsung. 

6X9: A Virtual Experience of Solitary Confinement

6×9: A Virtual Experience of Solitary Confinement  is an innovative virtual reality experience created by The Guardian about solitary confinement. “6x9” places viewers in a virtual cell, telling a story of the psychological damage of extreme isolation. Right now, more than 80,000 people are in solitary confinement in the United States. They spend 22-24 hours a day in their cells, with little to no human contact for days or even decades. Inside, as you turn your head, are the contents of a typical cell: a poured concrete bed, a poured concrete desk, a sink/toilet, five books, a letter and a roll of toilet paper. All the voices you hear are real.

Refugees

With no signs of the war in Syria ending, people continue to flee while refugees in neighboring countries lose hope of ever returning home. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the desire of moving West is growing dramatically. In an attempt to restore the humane perspective of the refugee crisis and offer new insights to the public, the VR film Refugees brings you to the shores of Lesbos, Greece. Here, hundreds of Syrian, Afghani, and Iraqi refugees are arriving every day. By combining astonishing VR videos with recordings of the erratic tirades of right-wing leaders, the film shows you an important part of the largest forced migration since the Second World War. Also, by accompanying journalist Hans Jaap Melissen on his report on the refugee crisis, you get a valuable close look from a unique vantage point. 

Home: Aamir

Home: Aamir tells the story of Aamir, a 24-year-old man from South Sudan. Following threats to Aamir’s life, his father has now sold his last valuable possessions to pay human smugglers to help Aamir escape to Europe. In 360-degree imagery, we experience Aamir’s journey by foot: through the desert, via Libya, over the Mediterranean and to the inhumane conditions of the Calais “jungle.” Aamir’s story is a production of the British National Theatre’s Immersive Storytelling Studio. It’s the first of a series of stories about refugees in Calais that explore the meaning of “home.” Actor Sule Rimi provides the voice of Aamir, whose original interview was crafted by Suhayla El-Bushra into a verbatim story. The London theater and studio are pioneering the use of VR technology and 360-degree filming in a theatrical context. In the cinema environment, this innovative application can offer new and powerful perspectives on important topics such as immigration.

Out of the Blue

Out of the Blue is an intimate journey exploring the rich legacy inherited by 8 year old Yerick, a child amongst a community of fishermen in Cabo Pulmo who became inadvertent conservationists when faced with the depletion of their marine resources. In an area once described by Jacques Cousteau as the ‘Aquarium of the World’, the fishermen families of Cabo Pulmo chose to sacrifice the source of their food and income in a revolutionary and dramatic decision: a fishing ban in their own waters in order to encourage marine life to return and find shelter. An astonishing rebirth followed, transforming the Cabo Pulmo Marine Park into a Hope Spot for the planet.

When All Land Is Lost, Will We Eat Coal?

Coal is an important part of India’s economic growth. However coal mining also comes at a cost. Communities affected by mining see their land being exploited, their forests decimated, and their livelihoods jeopardized. The communities are rarely meaningfully informed or consulted. When All Land Is Lost, Will We Eat Coal? takes you to Korba, a small district in Central India, a fourth of India's coal is mined, mostly for producing electricity. Mining over decades has left the land ravaged, the air and water severely contaminated and the lives of its people disrupted. Through the story of a tribal woman who is set to lose her land and a local activist fighting for justice, the film seeks to make a comment on the present day development paradigm from which the local people seldom benefit. 

Notes On Blindness: Into Darkness

After losing sight, John Hull knew that if he did not try to understand blindness it would destroy him. In 1983 he began keeping an audio diary. Over three years John recorded over sixteen hours of material, a unique testimony of loss, rebirth and renewal, excavating the interior world of blindness. Published in 1990, the diaries were described by author and neurologist Oliver Sacks as, ‘A masterpiece… The most precise, deep and beautiful account of blindness I have ever read.’ Alongside the premiere of the feature film, Sundance Film Festival 2016 saw the unveiling of Notes On Blindness: Into Darkness, an immersive VR project based on John’s sensory and psychological experience of blindness. The interactive experience complements the feature film. Each scene addresses a memory, a moment and a specific location from John’s audio diary, using binaural audio and real time 3D animations to create a fully immersive experience in a ‘world beyond sight’.