Conflict Zones, VR Documentary Storytelling and Confronting Censorship

How can VR be used to combat censorship in oppressive regimes and what are the challenges of VR documentary storytelling in the future

Director Sam Wolson will explore some of the challenges in VR documentary storytelling in this talk, drawing from firsthand experience shooting We Who Remain in a Sudanese war zone. How can VR be used to combat censorship and oppressive regimes? How do you create a narrative in a medium whose language is not yet established? How do you get VR films out to the world?

We Who Remain, which premiered this year at the South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, is the first character-driven immersive documentary shot in an active conflict zone. The 15-minute film weaves together the lives of four people – a student, a rebel soldier, a journalist, and a mother – persevering in war in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan. The film is a co-production between Nuba Reports, a pioneering journalism initiative that produces films and news from the front lines of Sudan’s conflict zones, and Emblematic Group, one of the world's foremost creators of immersive virtual, augmented, and mixed reality, in collaboration with The New York Times, AJ+ and ARTE.