Virtual Realities - Immersive Documentary Encounters Commissions

Image: Indefinite by Darren Emerson © VR City

In partnership with UWE BristolUniversity of Bristol and University of Bath, we are excited to invite bold and distinctive proposals to create nonfiction experiences in virtual reality. We are seeking to commission three original works, each receiving a £50k production budget and support from the commissioning and research teams.

We are open to ideas that engage deeply and creatively with the potential of VR for documentary or journalism. Proposals might ask questions of the relationship between participant and subject, reflect on the ethics of immersion, or give voice to underrepresented communities or individuals. This opportunity allows for ideas that push boundaries and challenge the orthodoxies that are emerging in immersive nonfiction. 

We are looking for projects that explore the potential of the platform to convene urgent conversations about our shared world, rather than demonstrators of the latest technology innovation. We are interested in work that takes risks, and points to future directions for the field.

Who should apply?

We are excited to hear ideas from those with direct experience of this field who are keen to build on that experience and push boundaries. We are also keen to hear bold new ideas from creative practitioners from different disciplines, particularly those whose voices are currently underrepresented in VR and in the nonfiction sector. In order to create space for both, we are offering two distinct pathways for submissions: Open call and New voices.

If you'd like to apply - please read the call document carefully. There are also some FAQs here, which we will be updating as we go. There is a full list of the questions included in the application form available here to assist you in preparing your answers. Applications are made using the online form. Please contact Verity McIntosh verity.mcintosh@watershed.co.uk if written applications don't suit you and you would like to apply using a different format.

Funded by the UK’s Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council, Virtual Realities - Immersive Documentary Encounters commissions is part of a wider collaborative research project that is examining production and user experience of nonfiction virtual reality content. The project is led by University of Bristol, with UWE Bristol and University of Bath. With partners including BBC and Guardian, researchers from human-computer interaction, psychology and documentary studies are investigating engagement, understanding and emotional reaction in experiences of immersive nonfiction. The project looks at where nonfiction VR production has come from and how technology and creative form are developing, while keeping the interests of audiences and subjects centre stage.

Closing Date: Friday, 28 September, 2018 - 17:00