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National Theatre & National Film Board Canada

About The National Theatre and The National Film Board Canada

In autumn 2016, the National Theatre’s Immersive Storytelling Studio began a collaboration with National Film Board Canada, one of the world’s leading documentary, animation and interactive producers, to explore and advance the language of creative non-fiction VR storytelling. The initial three-week phase set out to engage acclaimed theatre artists and creatives from the UK and Canada to develop work combining the strengths of each institution in creative documentary, theatre and VR production. What happens when an artist employs all three disciplines to tell a story? More importantly, which stories can be told better by specifically bringing the three crafts together?

For the first phase of the project the artists collaborated with creative technologists and developers from All Seeing Eye and had production support from the National Theatre and the National Film Board Canada. That phase finished with an eight-day production sprint in which a prototype for each of the artists’ work was developed.

For the second phase of the project we are now seeking finance and production partners for each of the prototype pieces, to move all four artists’ work forward into full production. Please contact [email protected] if you are interested in becoming a partner on any or all of these projects.

Amy Hodge
Once a Man Twice a Child.

What is it like to have Alzheimer's? This piece seeks to put the audience in a position that we might all one day find ourselves in.

Mitchell Kushman

A psychologically personalised experience that invites you to experience love, intimacy, passion and loss, in step with a virtual partner.

Jordan Tannahill
Draw Me Close

Draw Me Close has been selected for the 16th annual Tribeca Film Festival in their Storyscapes strand. Further details can be found on the Draw Me Close project page.

In this incredibly intimate piece the audience experiences life as five-year-old Jordan Tannahill. It explores the relationship with his mother who is played by a live actress in a motion-capture suite, whose movements are translated into the illustrated world as she engages with you physically in the real world.

Jo Tyabji

A compelling and immersive look at drone warfare that places you on both sides of this divisive form of combat.

David Oppenheim, Producer at National Film Board Canada (NFB), said: ‘The NFB has a rich history of documentary storytelling and creative experimentation. We’re excited to bring that experience to bear to help define the language of documentary VR. This partnership with the NT is an important part of our upcoming explorations in this space and we are delighted by the unique possibilities opened up by combining the traditions of our respective organisations.’

Toby Coffey, Head of Digital Development at the National Theatre said: ‘I have long admired the work of the NFB – they are one of the most critically acclaimed storytellers in the industry. It is very exciting that we are partnering on this project and that we will get to explore together documentary theatre and verbatim theatre using these new forms of immersive storytelling.’