Eight Oculus VR for Good Films Selected by SXSW Film Festival

Oculus Blog
Posted by Oculus VR
February 7, 2017

Fresh off their preview last month, we’re excited to share that eight of the first 10 films to come out of our VR for Good Creators Lab have been selected for the SXSW 2017 Film Festival. Even better, they’re coming to Gear VR next month!

The festival runs March 10–18 in Austin, TX. Today, we want to introduce you to the innovative VR films helping to spread awareness of the important work done by our nonprofit partners.

Amor de Abuela

Narrated by a Guatemalan grandmother, Amor de Abuela invites its viewers into the homes and lives of two unique children—one who reaps the benefits of solar power and one who doesn’t. The film shares insight into a life without light to raise awareness of the one in seven people worldwide living without access to electricity.

Filmmaker Jessie Hughes collaborated with Global BrightLight Foundation, under the mentorship of Annie Hanlon from Here Be Dragons.

In Harmony

For kids in East Los Angeles, music isn’t just an artform—it’s the key to overcoming the odds. When Deonte and Amy’s high schools cut their music programs, The Harmony Project steps in with mentoring and music training. In Harmony shows how the programs strengthen the students’ cultural and family bonds, keep them out of trouble, and give them the inspiration and support to pursue their college dreams.

Elliot Dillman worked with the nonprofit to share its story, with guidance from Variable Labs’ Barry Pousman.

Notes to My Father

Flooded by memories of life in an Indian brothel, Ramadevi writes a letter to her father, who unintentionally set things in motion by marrying her off to a man she didn’t know. The marriage failed and she was sold into sexual slavery, without her father's knowledge. Inspired by conversations with survivors of human trafficking, Notes to My Father is a story of love, grief and reconciliation.

My Choices Foundation teamed up with filmmaker Jayisha Patel and mentor Gabo Arora of Lightshed to bring their mission to life.

Out of the Blue

Out of the Blue tells the inspiring story of a Mexican reef brought back from the brink of death due to overfishing. A family of fishermen in Cabo Pulmo, the Castros sacrifice their source of income and food by making a revolutionary decision: ban fishing in their own waters to encourage marine life to return.

Filmmaker Sophie Ansel partnered with Pelagic Life to tell this unique story, with help from Oculus Creative Producer Yelena Rachitsky.

Rise Above

Rise Above details one girl’s journey of empowerment as she confronts and overcomes abuse. As part of her recovery, she receives support and therapy from NYC-based Womankind (formerly New York Asian Women’s Center).

The nonprofit worked with filmmaker Ben Ross, while Facebook’s Megan Summers provided mentorship.

See Beyond Labels

Nearly seven in 10 Americans experience some form of discrimination, yet 85% of Americans consider themselves to be unprejudiced. See Beyond Labels invites you to examine implicit bias by peering into the lives of six different individuals. Look into their eyes, challenge your assumptions, and rethink bias.

Love Has No Labels and filmmaker Sarah Hill worked with Kamal Sinclair of New Frontier at Sundance Institute to shed light on ageism, ableism, and more.

Use Your Imagination

Use Your Imagination is a VR musical told from the perspective of a child with autism who discovers comfort, community, and confidence through music and the arts. Written and performed by young artists on the autism spectrum, the music shares the story of Spectrum Laboratory and its mission of empowerment.

The nonprofit collaborated with filmmaker Roberto Drilea, while Tribeca Film Institute’s Opeyemi Olekumi provided mentorship.

Women on the Move

Women on the Move shares the story of Fatchima, whose childhood in rural Niger was a difficult mix of poverty, drought, and isolation. After joining a women’s financial empowerment program two decades ago, she’s been able to save money and unlock a better future for her granddaughter, Nana, who now attends school and has dreams that Fatchima never had growing up.

Filmmaker Shannon Carroll partnered with CARE to spread awareness of long-term solutions to poverty, with the help of Matter Unlimited’s Rob Holzer.

Just the Beginning
If you’ll be at SXSW next month, we hope you’ll catch some VR for Good screenings and be inspired to get involved with a cause that ignites your passion. Can’t make it to Austin? You’ll be able to experience all eight films on Gear VR soon.

Stay tuned for the launch of VR for Good’s 2017 Creators Lab!

— The Oculus Team