Call for applications: Virtual Realities - Immersive Documentary Encounters Commissions

In partnership with UWE Bristol, University 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.

About the call 

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

How to apply?

Please read the attached call document carefully, you can download it by clicking on the arrow in the red block on the left of this page.

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. It will immediately be saved in your downloads folder (rather than opening a new window). 

Applications are made using the online form, you can access it by clicking on the apply button in the red block on the left of this page. Please contact Jo Kimber if written applications don't suit you and you would like to apply using a different format.

The deadline for applications is Friday 28 September 2018, 5pm GMT.

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.

For more information on the wider research project visit

Please note interviews will take place on 15th and 16th October 18

Studio themes