VR Films

United Nations Virtual Reality (UNVR), uses the power of immersive storytelling to inspire viewers towards increased empathy, action and positive social change. The project supports the UN system with disseminating their content and expanding their impact in 360’ video and virtual reality. The series provides a deeper understanding for those living in the most complex development challenges, catalyzing urgency for those most in danger of being left behind if the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are not met.

The project is implemented by the UN SDG Action Campaign and includes films by UNDP, UNFPA, UN Foundation, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNOCHA, UN Women, WFP, and MINUJUSTH-UN Haiti.

@SDGAction #UNVR #SDGs

2019 Films

My destiny as a kid at risk (5:56):  Haiti, October 2019 – MINUJUSTH-UN Haiti, UN SDG Action Campaign

Immerse yourself in the neighbourhood of Cité Soleil in Port-au-Prince (Haiti), in which the youth is particularly vulnerable to the threat of violence and the lack of opportunities. The story is narrated by Ricardo, who was a kid at risk that participated in a Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration program in 2007. Twelve years later, he is a social worker working on community violence reduction (CVR) initiatives, helping kids at risk to get out of the circle of violence and build their own future by pursuing their dreams. Ricardo conveys a message of hope by underlining that, despite all the challenges, every day, with every decision, we have the power to rewrite our own destiny.

Info / Watch: English / French / Spanish / Haitian creole

2018 Films

I Am Fatmira:  May 2018 – UNDP in Europe and Asia

Fatmira Dajlani is a fierce woman, an activist and a mother. What does it mean to be Roma? Take a 360 journey into the Füshe-Krüje community through her eyes.

Guardians of the Forest (09:52): Brazil, April 2018 – Directed by Benjamin Ross & Brittany Neff, a CoReality & Scenic production.

The Amazon is burning. Decades of environmental protections have been undone and ecological devastation has accelerated to an unimaginable pace and scale. The Guardians of the Forest, a volunteer monitoring force of the Guajajara tribe, are the last line of defense for the rainforest in the heart of an industrialized Amazon. The Guardians, led by international activist Sônia Guajajara, struggle to leverage what few resources they have to fight for the life of the planet. In this immersive 360 video documentary, Sônia brings audiences on a journey into her culture and on an expedition into the rainforest to bring illegal loggers to justice. Along the way, we gain deeper insight into the roots of the crisis and see the Guajajara vision for the future.

The Journey (10:00): Chad, Ethiopia, Nigeria, March 2018 – UNICEF and Picture Films Productions. Directed by Charlotte Mikkelborg

‘The Journey’ is an innovative Virtual Reality experience that engages the viewer in three young lives, following their journey as they attempt to survive, thrive and prosper in three of the toughest environments across the world – Ethiopia, South Sudan and Chad.

The story is told through different stages of childhood and youth. Amina, a 3-year old malnourished girl in remote Ethiopia receiving critical nutrition support to help her survive, Changkouth a 10-year old boy in South Sudan who has been reunified with his family, is learning again and recovering from the horrors of war and displacement, and Mani, a 19-year old in Chad, who is HIV positive and is connecting with her peers to change perspectives in her community and beyond.

The film highlights how the support and opportunities provided at pivotal moments in their young lives can make the difference between life or death, the decision to flee or not, the chance to develop and progress, or be trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty and violence.

Through a blend of stereoscopic filming and animation, the three key characters take the viewers into their world to understand the importance of those key moments that can change a life forever.

Lebanon, March, 2018 – UN Women. Directed by Nathan Beriro

Zainab and her children fled their home is Syria to seek refuge in Beirut, Lebanon. Their new lives as refugees are fraught with daily struggles but Zainab is determined to improve her family’s existence. With the help of a local initiative to improve the lives of vulnerable women, Zainab takes hold of her destiny and gives her family a second chance. Step into the world of urban refugees, and follow one family as they navigate their new reality after a harrowing flight from Syria.

Big Picture (08:45): Nigeria, January 2018 – EyeSteelFilm, UNOCHA.  Directed by Karen Vanderborght and Sandra Rodriguez

More data is being collected and shared by humanitarian actors and partners than at any other time. In Nigeria today, data helps respond to a food security crisis affecting millions of households. The challenge is to get an accurate Big Picture: making sure data is accessible, shared and analyzed to inform life saving decisions.

For more information: https://centre.humdata.org  – @humdata  – #data4humanity

2017 Films

Ready to Learn, Ready to Live (05:36): October, 2017 – UNICEF Afghanistan

A virtual reality film about one girl’s story of hope through education in Afghanistan

Building Brains, Building Futures (02:41): September 2017 – UNICEF #EarlyMomentsMatter campaign. Produced by Happy Finish. Funded by the H&M Foundation.

There is no period more critical in a child’s development than the first 1,000 days of life. Advances in neuroscience have taught us that children’s experiences and environment in the early years can be as important as genetics in influencing future health, happiness, well-being, ability to learn and earn. Check out how to make the #EarlyMomentsMatter for every child. And remember: eat, play, love!

Learn more: https://www.unicef.org/earlymoments/

Sea Prayer (07:04): September 2017 – UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the Guardian VR, Google. Written by award-winning novelist Khaled Hosseini; Illustrated in Google tiltbrush by Liz Edwards

On 2 September 2015, Alan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian refugee, drowned in the Mediterranean Sea trying to reach safety in Europe. Khaled Hosseini, the novelist and Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR and a father himself, wrote Sea Prayer in solidarity with the unimaginable loss Kurdi’s father experienced and to capture a father’s feral need to protect his children. In the story, on the eve of taking a potentially fatal sea crossing, a father reflects with his son on their life in Syria before the war – and on their unknown future.

Ground Beneath Her (06:25): Nepal, April 2017- UN SDG Action Campaign, UNDP, Here Be Dragons

On 25th April 2015, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake damaged or destroyed more than half a million homes and buildings, claiming nearly 9,000 lives, and leaving about 22,000 injured. The devastation was so severe that experts believe it may take a decade for Nepal to recover. A year after surviving Nepal´s devastating earthquake, 14 year-old Sabita struggles to balance an arduous routine of school and housework, while trying to keep dreams for her future alive.

You can help here: https://give.undp.org/give/123313/#!/donation/checkout 

Under the Net (08:28): Tanzania, March 2017- UN Foundation; sponsored by Samsung, Sumitomo Chemical, the Ariadne Getty Foundation, and Parachute Home, with support from Discovery VR and Google VR. Special thanks to Nothing But Nets partner, UNHCR, in the making of the film.

Under the Net is the first virtual reality experience brought to you by the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign. Premiering in March 2017, the film by Secret Location features an 11-year-old girl named Amisa, a refugee living in the Nyarugusu Refugee Camp in Tanzania with her mother and six siblings. Struggling to survive each day, with no protection from mosquitoes that carry malaria at night, viewers will experience Amisa’s life through her eyes. Hope abounds as her family moves into a new home, gets treatment for malaria, and she and her siblings prepare to start school in the fall – none of which is possible without the life-saving protection of bed nets.

Beyond Tanganyika (07:20): Democratic Republic of Congo, March 2017- UN Women, UN SDG Action Campaign

Finess is a refugee in the Lusenda Refugee Camp in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She left behind two daughters when fleeing her home in Burundi but never gave up hope of rescuing them. With the help of UN Women’s Safe Spaces, Finess is reunited with her children and becomes a pillar of her community.

Photo: (c) Nathan Beiro/UN Women

2016 Films


Home (09:51): D.R.C., Jordan, Lebanon, December 2016 – UNOCHA, UNICEF, Hello World Communications, with music courtesy of will.i.am

In 2016, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon traveled to more than 10 countries in five months, visiting some of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. The missions aimed to draw global attention to the urgent needs of some 130 million people severely affected by armed conflicts and natural disasters. Premiered during the Secretary-General’s final month in office, Home is an exclusive United Nations virtual reality film that offers a rare behind-the-scenes look at this journey.

Life in the Time of Refuge (10:28): Finland, December 2016 – UNHCR, Nokia, A Mad Production

Omar is a 9 year old Syrian refugee boy who suffers a debilitating hormone deficiency. Untreated for the three years that he lived as a refugee in Lebanon, last year Omar was resettled to Finland. Join his friend and fellow refugee Warda Aljawahiry as she journeys to Finland to see how he is faring in his new home.

You Are There (05:19): Kenya, October 2016- UNICEF Polio, Rotary International

Introduced by UNICEF Ambassador Ewan McGregor, and featuring the story of 9-year old Job, the last child in Kenya to have been infected by the polio virus, the viewer will join Sabina, a UNICEF-supported vaccinator, as she works tirelessly to reach every child with the life-saving and life-changing polio vaccine. The VR experience will reinforce the essential role that has already been played in the fight against polio. We’re 99% of the way there. But meeting Job, and getting some insight into his life, will remind us why this final push to reach the last 1% is so very important. http://www.unicefusa.org/rotary

Photo © UNICEF/UN033829/LabanIn-house

La Canción del Lobo Feróz (04:32): Mexico, October 2016 – UNICEF Mexico:  Concept and Production: IND http://ind.agency/ Director of Photography and 360 video: http://360gigapixel.com/ Original Score and Sound design: Attila Fodor Post production: IND Voice of Narration: Lya Zoe Vázquez Zarate

La Canción del Lobo Feroz es una historia de superación y lucha ante la adversidad, en una comunidad donde los niños se recuperan de un desastre natural y cantan una canción para sobrellevar sus pérdidas y recordar la importancia de vivir preparados para actuar en caso de emergencia. UNICEF trabaja para que los niños aprendan habilidades que les permitan hacer frente a desastres, como huracanes o inundaciones, tú puedes ayudarlos en http://bit.ly/2kLcD4m.

Born Into Exile (08:40): Jordan, May 2016 – UNFPA

Born into Exile traces the story of two women – both pregnant and due to deliver in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. Early marriage and adolescent pregnancy have become increasingly common in the camps where, 5 years into the Syrian crisis, financial difficulties have led more families to marry off their daughters before they reach 18 and sometimes as young as 12. Worldwide, 500 women die daily in crisis situations due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth. This film was created as part of UNFPA’s Safe Birth Even Here Campaign, which aims to make women’s health, safety and dignity a global humanitarian priority and mobilize action and funding to support women’s health in all humanitarian operations worldwide.

My Mother’s Wing (08:11): Gaza, April 2016 – UN SDG Action Campaign, Within, UNICEF, UNOCHA

In Gaza, foundations are built, destroyed, and built again. This virtual reality experience follows the grief of a mother coping with the death of her two children in the 2014 war, and her role as a pillar of strength, helping her family continue to have hope as they heal.

2015 Films

Growing a World Wonder (05:14): Senegal, December 2015 – Directed by Richard Nockles. A film by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, in partnership with Surround Vision.

Growing a World Wonder is an award winning Virtual Reality film about the Great Green Wall – an African-led initiative that aims to transform the lives of millions living on the frontline of climate change.

Told through the eyes of an 8 year-old girl called Binta, the film transports the viewer to the heart of a community in Senegal – one of thousands of villages across the Sahel region of Africa growing this epic, 8000km new world wonder. www.greatgreenwall.org

Waves of Grace (09:41): Liberia, July 2015 – UN SDG Action Campaign, Within, Vice Media

Liberia has endured the largest Ebola outbreak in history. As the community of West Point rebuilds, one woman seeks healing through faith. After surviving a bout with the deadly disease that stole the lives of her family, Decontee fights stigma and uses her immunity to help children orphaned by Ebola.

Clouds Over Sidra (08:38): Jordan, January 2015 – UN SDG Action Campaign, Within, UNICEF Jordan

Filmed in December 2014 in the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan, home to 130,000 Syrians fleeing violence and war. Children make up half the camp’s population. Sidra is a young girl who has lived in the Camp since summer 2013 and wants to go home.

The World Food Programme can always be found saving lives by stopping hunger on the frontlines. Whether the cause be conflict, natural disaster or poverty WFP will get food to those left furthest behind, in the most remote corners of the earth. Now you too can experience what WFP staff live and see on a daily basis in places like Yemen, north eastern Nigeria, and Iraq.

Episode 1: What is WFP doing in the war against ISIS in Iraq? Join, WFP video producer, Marco Frattini as he shows you what’s happening in a community that has been held captive by insurgents for 2 years.

Episode 2: Yemen has been on the brink of famine for years. Desperately poor with most of its food imported. Now fighting has tightened the noose of hunger around the most vulnerable. WFP Regional Director, Muhannad Hadi, gives us a personal account of what is happening to the people if Yemen.

Episode 3: How do displaced people in northeastern Nigeria survive after having fled Boko Haram with only the clothes on their backs? WFP’s Head of TV, Jonathan Dumont, takes us into camps for a firsthand look at the humanitarian response to this crises.