Category: Archives

William is a short dramatic Virtual Reality film that immerses users in the shoes of William, a Canadian Aboriginal child, who was taken away from his home and parachuted into one of the former 139 residential schools in Canada.

Not only will you witness the events he saw and experienced—you will live through these events. You will feel what he felt, act as he acted. While in William’s skin, you will experience the unthinkable. The language used in this production is NOT a real language. It intends to mimic the understanding that Indigenous children, most of who did not speak English nor French, had of their school teachers.

We had the opportunity to ask director Sonia B. Boileau a few questions about the project.

What is the theme of your project?
The core theme is Indian Residential schools. More precisely how these horrific assimilation establishments operated and the impact they had on young Indigenous children.

How did you become an immersive media content creator and why?
I do not consider myself to be an immersive media content creator actually. I create content of many mediums. We chose immersive media for this project so non-Indigenous people could have a better understanding of what our ancestors and families went through.

What was the production process for you and your team? What did you learn?
Honestly the biggest lesson I learned with this project was to treat it like theatre. You set the stage, you rehearse with your actors and then you go for it. The rest of my crew handled the technical stuff.

What is the VR/AR industry like in your region?
It’s blooming! It’s going so fast that it is very hard to keep up. Even now, the process for William (the methods and equipment used) is already outdated!

What do you have planned for the future?
I’m currently working on my second feature film. And hopefully in the near future we will be able to produce other episodes of William, in order to fully explain the impacts of the Indian Residential school system on our peoples.

What would you like to share with fellow content creators and/or the industry?
VR is such a powerful tool to get people to FEEL and not just watch. I therefore suggest that people use it wisely. Put it to good use. It has the power to change how we perceive situations, history, other cultures, etc.

Director Bio:
william vr experience - FIVARS 2018Sonia B. Boileau is a bilingual Mohawk filmmaker and graduate from Concordia University’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema in Montreal, Canada. Over the last decade Sonia has developed and produced television projects in English and French ranging from children’s programming to socially driven documentaries. Sonia won the PRIX DE LA DIVERSITÉ at the 2011 Gala des Prix Gémeaux for her documentary Last Call Indian. In 2015 Sonia’s first feature film Le Dep premiered at the prestigious Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Czech Republic. Since then it has won awards and made the official selection of several festivals around the world.

She also made a feature documentary about the impacts of the 1990 Oka Crisis called The Oka Legacy, which earned her a Golden Sheaf award at the 2016 Yorkton Film Festival, and is currently working on her second feature film Rustic Oracle. Beyond film and television Sonia is still very much involved in community-based productions that focus on the well-being of Indigenous peoples in Canada. Sonia is also the 2016 recipient of the APTN Award of Distinction given during the Montreal’s First Peoples Festival.

From award-winning erotic filmmaker Jennifer Lyon Bell, “Second Date” is a lighthearted, unscripted Virtual Reality 3D 360° portrait of two young people fumbling towards ecstasy; it is a portrait of intimacy, emotional and physical.

How did you become and immersive media content creator and why?
Virtual reality film pioneers Condition One saw my regular film work and approached me. They said they felt my work was based in intimacy and empathy, and noticed that their own approach to VR was very similar. They asked if I would consider collaborating with them to make a film about intimacy, and that I could create and direct the film myself. I am still grateful for this introduction into a new film language.

What was the production process for you and your team? What did you learn?
Shooting 360 is quite challenging in terms of the long shot length — you have to plan very carefully and then physically remove yourself from the set. Fortunately for me, my regular filmmaking style also involves tons of advance planning and then very little imposition on the improvisational acting process once rolling. So it was a really good fit for me and my crew.

What is the VR/AR industry like in your region?
The Netherlands seems to be on the cutting edge of VR. All the VR filmmakers and production people I’ve met have been enthusiastic to create community and share their knowledge.

What do you have planned for the future?
I have a new regular-cinema experimental film, Adorn, premiering in the fall. But I would be thrilled to direct another VR film if I could find some technically-savvy partners to do it with!

What would you like to share with fellow content creators and/or the industry?
The great thing about VR right now is that we are still making up the rules! Technology, film language, production style — they are all still massively in flux. It’s an exciting time. I also appreciate that mainstream VR festivals are enthusiastic about ethical, creative content that addresses sexuality. Regular cinema has become too bifurcated into camps. There is so much interesting, educational, enlightening erotic work yet to be created.

Do you think VR festivals like FIVARS are important?
I think such festivals are tremendously useful. For festivalgoers, they provide an opportunity to see VR experiences with the ideal equipment and in the best possible exhibition space. For VR filmmakers and postproduction experts, they provide a great opportunity to meet colleagues and share ideas and resources. I’ve learned so much about VR through the festival circuit. If anyone is interested to see Second Date at home, it will be available in streaming and download formats soon on my website,

Jennifer Lyon BellDirector Biography
Jennifer Lyon Bell is the American founder of independent erotic cinema company Blue Artichoke Films (Amsterdam, NL.) She creates erotic fiction films, documentaries, and experimental films which always show sexuality in an emotionally realistic way. Her award-winning films screen at international festivals, cinemas, and museums in America, Europe, Japan, and South America, attracting prizes from both mainstream arthouse film festivals and adult film festivals. The unique realism of her films has led her to be invited to show them at conferences and panels in sexology, feminism, and documentary filmmaking. Her trilogy Silver Shoes was shortlisted for the Netherlands Scientific Institute of Sexologists’ “Sex And Media Prize” — the only erotic film to ever be nominated. And her short film Headshot recently screened on primetime television for half a million viewers. Second Date is her first VR film, produced in collaboration with Condition One. Her newest film Adorn is premiering this fall. In addition to filmmaking, Jennifer enjoys giving erotic filmmaking workshops at film schools and festivals, and evangelizing for sex-positive social change.

Follow Jennifer on Social Media:
#seconddatevr #blueartichokefilms #jenniferlyonbell

Title: I’m Fine
Director: Darius Safani
Format: Augmented Reality
Genre/Niche: Psychology
Country: USA
Running Time: 1m8s

Using Augmented Reality, this piece sheds a light on the inner thoughts of those suffering with anxiety.