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StoryFutures Academy

Immersive Storytelling Initiative Awards 6 Projects £300K

The projects are expected to arrive in 2022.

Last year VRFocus reported on a new collaborative initiative between UK and Canadian organisations called the ‘UK-Canada Immersive Exchange’, looking to fund XR creators projects. This week the organisers have confirmed that six projects have been awarded funding totalling £300,000 GBP ($510,000 CAD), two of which are audience-ready whilst the other four are currently in the prototype stage.

Immersive Exchange

A year-long programme organised by StoryFutures Academy, Arts Council England, the Canada Media Fund, the
Canadian Film Centre’s Media Lab (CFC Media Lab) and the Canada Council for the Arts, the ‘UK-Canada Immersive Exchange’ selected 24 participants – 12 from the UK and 12 from Canada – from 500 applications. The aim was to embrace virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) technologies, highlighting their storytelling potential.

The two ‘audience-ready’ productions were The Galaxicle Implosions and Intravene, both of which were award a total of $100,000. While the four prototype projects Acorn, Alone Together, Datum and Gloaming were each given £25,000. All the projects will be previewed in 2022.

“We were thrilled to see the breadth of co-production projects that were developed between the UK and Canadian teams,” said Laura Mingail, Program Co-Lead, UK-Canada Immersive Exchange, on behalf of the Canadian Film Centre Media Lab in a statement. “The immersive experiences that will receive funding and further support during this next stage of the UK-Canada Immersive Exchange include VR, AR and spatialaudio content that range from social impact-centric stories to wildly entertaining experiences. This range of content would not have been possible without having
started with such a diverse cohort in terms of both backgrounds and experiences.”

Immersive Exchange

UK-Canada Immersive Exchange Projects

  • The Galaxicle Implosions – “A live multiplatform, semi-improvised entertainment experience.”
  • Intravene – “An immersive sound project exploring the overdose crisis.”
  • Acorn – “An artistic experience that immerses users into the wonder of nature and the power of rewilding.”
  • Alone Together – “An artistic experience that immerses users into the wonder of nature and the power of rewilding.”
  • Datum – “A location-based augmented-audio ghost-hunt.”
  • Gloaming – “An immersive multi-site VR experience that simultaneously connects audiences at sunrise and sunset across the world.”

“We are absolutely delighted that the UK-Canada Immersive Exchange programme has led to such a brilliant set of collaborations and projects, especially under such challenging global circumstances,” added Becky Gregory-Clarke, Program Co-Lead, UK-Canada Immersive Exchange and Head of Immersive, StoryFutures Academy. “The intent behind this programme has always been to break down barriers between companies and artists working together across borders, and we are incredibly proud of the way they have embraced this challenge and of the work they’ve done together so far. We can’t wait to experience the incredible immersive worlds they create.”

While it’s going to be next year before these projects make their debut, to see current immersive storytelling in action you’ll want to take a look at the current XR3 festival going on in the Museum of Other Realities. As further updates are released for the UK-Canada Immersive Exchange projects, VRFocus will let you know.

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