3. Spotlight: Women in VR
By Alice Bonasio
Celine Tricart has never shied away from tackling hard-hitting subjects using innovative technology. Her immersive documentary The Sun Ladies, for example, followed a group of Yazidi women in Iraq who escaped ISIS captivity and went on to start a female-only fighting unit.
Her thought-provoking work has been featured at Sundance Film Festival, SXSW, and most recently at the Tribeca Film Festival, where last week she was awarded the Storyscapes Award - which recognized groundbreaking storytelling told through new technologies - for her latest project, 'The Key.' The film features the voice talent of Alia Shawkat as Anna, and was created in collaboration with Lucid Dreams Productions and Oculus VR for Good Creators Lab. The director donated the $10,000 prize she received to a nonprofit, and on a further positive note, four out of the five projects in the running were from female creators or female-lead teams.
The Key placed a live actor in an interactive set, where the VR element of the experience consisted of an allegorical animation full of emotional visual metaphors. Tricart wanted to expand past standard 360-degree filmmaking to connect wit audiences who she believes have grown emotionally numb. She says that in order for more people to embrace VR stories, the industry and its creatives must find a balance between interactivity and emotional storytelling, something she believes the games industry has succeeded in doing quite well in recent years.
Which is probably why her next project will now focus on indie gaming. “To me the potential of VR was always game engine based, to bring some level of interaction is where VR thrives. The problem I’m encountering is that the more you add interactivity, the more it becomes a game which can sometimes get in the way of emotion.”
Every Tuesday we'll shine a spotlight on the female trailblazers making their mark in immersive tech. If you have a story you think we should feature, just hit reply to this email or tweet me @alicebonasio