XRDOCS – Zero Edition




The growing expansion of immersive technologies, such as 360º and augmented reality, has changed the way spectators observe. It has allowed to submerge them within the films. They can now have a subjective perspective, as if they were the main character. This innovative intimate perspective has inspired a reformulation of how stories are conceived and filmed, to encourage the viewer to be part of the narrative.

The immersive technological abilities have changed documentary narratives in a way the spectator is not just an external witness anymore, but lives the story in 1st person, increasing the feeling of identification and leading to innovative forms of awareness and suggestion.

The documentary industry has used these new immersive technology’s possibilities to create a major empathy feeling towards humanitarian causes, to show perspectives never seen before, and to explain stories from a subjective point of view.



The XRDocs International Immersive Documentary Festival is a strong initiative by IDEAL Centre of Digital Arts, who, acknowledging the importance of immersive technologies within documentary narratives creates the world’s first festival about immersive documentary cinema.

For this Zero Edition, XRDocs have selected 5 documentaries rewarded at prestigious film festivals. Besides, it will make the official presentation of festival and a conference with 3 directors invited, to give a first step at the inquest and the dialogue of the new narratives and tech immersive at the documentary cinema.

XRDocs will celebrate on December 15,2020. Starting with Festival presentation at 11am with, next sessions from 12pm to 19pm. Limited capacity (30 persons per hour) and free entry. The visitor will be able to visualise the 5 XRDocs at an hour.

Battleground PolyU

Director DJ Clark
9 min.

Tensions during the Hong Kong protests reached a peak in November 2019 after a protester was shot by a traffic policeman. Students occupied university campuses across the city and blocked key highways. After a fierce battle at the Chinese University, attention turned to the blockade at Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) where students had closed off the Cross-Harbour Tunnel leading to it. Battleground PolyU is a 360 degree experience that immerses the viewer in a defining moment in the history of democracy.

VR Free

Director Milad Tangshir
10 min.

VR Free (We Are Free) is a VR documentary that focuses on the nature of the detention spaces by describing some life moments inside the Lorusso and Cutugno prisons in Turin. The film collects the reaction of some inmates during their brief meeting with 360° videos showing life outside the prison. Using VR headsets the inmates, temporarily deprived of their freedom, have virtually been able to participate in some public situations and intimate contexts that they can no longer experience, such as a Serie A match at the stadium, a disco party on a Saturday night, an underwater dive and meeting your family in a public park.

The Waiting Room VR

Director Victoria Mapplebeck
16 min.

The Waiting Room VR tells the story of Victoria Mapplebeck’s breast cancer (as patient and artist ) from diagnosis through treatment to recovery. The Waiting Room VR provides an intimate and visceral portrait of cancer treatment and its transformative impact on the body and family life. The lynchpin of the film consists of a take about the reconstruction of the director’s  last session of radiotherapy, which marked the end of nine months of breast cancer treatment. The user finds themselves in an intimate and unexpected role of bystander. This experience is counterbalanced by a CGI journey inside her body. Working with 3D artists, Victoria Mapplebeck bought to life the medical imaging she had collected throughout treatment. Cancer cells, CT scans, mammograms and ultrasound provide a 3D portrait of her body from the inside, out.

The Waiting Room VR explores chronic illness from a patient’s POV and reminds the audience of the person behind the diagnosis. The Waiting Room VR begins with a personal journey but as cancer affects one in two of us over the course of a lifetime, it also tells a very universal story.

Everest VR

Director Jon Griffith
11 min.

On the 30th April 2017 world famous climber Ueli Steck died on Mount Nuptse whilst acclimatising for one of his biggest climbs yet –climbing both Mount Everest and Mount Lhotse without the use of bottled oxygen. A year later, Ueli’s close friends Jon Griffith and Sherpa Tenji attempted to finish off his project. Tenji would try the climb without bottled oxygen whilst internationally award-winning cameraman Griffith captured the story in 8K 3D Ambisonic Audio Virtual Reality. Only 175 people have ever stood on the earth’s highest point without the use of bottled oxygen; more people have been into space than have accomplished this feat. Whilst Sherpa Tenji has already summited Everest without the use of bottled oxygen before, would he have what it takes to do it again? Follow him as he climbs higher and higher into the Death Zone, an area that contains so little oxygen that his body cannot survive for long; it’s a race against time. Join them for one of the most immersive adventure experiences ever captured. Witness what it’s like to be engulfed in a Himalayan avalanche, cross a crevasse and stare deep in its depths, be caught out in a storm, and take in the view from the top of the world.


Director Jörg Courtial & Maria Courtial
14 min.

1st Step is at once a VR documentary and fairy tale, telling the magical story of a dream come true: the Apollo missions. For the first time, viewers experience this fascinating adventure in a completely new way in VR as they get the chance to perceive the extreme dimensions of the missions in an unprecedented spatial quality through the eyes of the astronauts, e.g. the unbelievable narrowness of the command capsule, but also the surprising topography of the lunar landscape. Told from a narrator’s perspective who can hardly believe herself the miraculous nature of this incredible venture.

The film was produced by the German VR studio Faber Courtial, whose founders Maria and Joerg Courtial are passionately committed to creating unique VR experiences. 1st Step presents an exceptional richness of detail with photorealistic settings accurately reconstructed in 3D on the basis of original NASA data & with the expert advice of ESA

A project by




With the support of

Official transport company