VR Film Series ‘IN PROTEST’ Chronicles Black Voices Behind Today’s Racial Justice Movement

Oculus Blog
September 16, 2020

Immersive films can enlighten and educate audiences like no other medium. We’ve seen filmmakers explore everything from the family dynamics of Asian Pacific immigrants to the devastation of post-war IEDs in Fallujah. Today, we’re announcing IN PROTEST: Grassroots Stories from the Front Lines, a 360° film series chronicling the unsung heroes of the Black Lives Matter movement. The project honors lives lost while calling for renewed solidarity against racial injustice in America. The first episode of IN PROTEST: Minneapolis & St. Paul is available now for free on Oculus TV.

The murder of George Floyd sparked an outcry from the Black community that’s grown into a national movement. The call for racial justice echoed from suburban communities to city streets and up to Washington, DC. IN PROTEST examines the current state of social activism and reform through 360° interviews, spatial audio, and other immersive technologies. Volume 1 in the series looks at the power of citizen activism and grassroots movements through eye-witness accounts and testimonials from the Minnesota Freedom Fighters and local firefighters and first responders.

IN PROTEST is the latest project from GRX Immersive and is being produced by a core team of Black immersive storytellers and creative professionals led by Alton Glass and Adam Davis-McGee. “As a Black Creative Technologist, it’s extremely important to bring the conversation of Black Lives Matter into the immersive space, told by Black People from a place of pride, strength and love,” says Davis-McGee. “The voices in this piece represent a continuation of our oral tradition, and VR allows for us to pass along our witnessing through an unfiltered media and safe space.”

IN PROTEST will deliver a visceral account of recent protests and marches from the viewpoint of activists braving the front lines. “I hope this project can help facilitate a reimagining where state-sanctioned murders cease to exist and we don’t have to keep reminding people why Black Lives Matter," says Davis McGee.

Each installment of IN PROTEST will focus on a different city, starting with Minneapolis and continuing to Washington, DC, and Los Angeles next. Using technologies like VR and 360° video, filmmakers explore powerful stories from each location and illuminate the on-going struggle between the Black Lives Matter movement and systemic racism in the US. “Emerging technologies like virtual reality give creators new ways to amplify their voice and push themselves to new boundaries through unique challenges in immersive storytelling," says Glass.

The first episode of IN PROTEST: Minneapolis & St. Paul is available now for free onOculus TV. Additional episodes for Minneapolis & St. Paul coming soon.