The free interactive storytelling app hosts six original experiences featuring Canadians shaping their world through creativity
Toronto, May 30 – SESQUI, a revolutionary 360° cinematic experience, launches the virtual reality app MERIDIAN VR. The mobile app explores the cutting-edge world of VR through six original stories centered around people in Canada who are using art and creativity to shape the world around them.
Linked through a central menu space designed as a virtual forest, the experiences combine animation, live action 360° video, and interactive audio. The app pushes the boundaries of participatory storytelling, using interactive elements that allow users to shape their own unique experience with each viewing.
MERIDIAN VR stories include:
- A Tribe Called Red: Indian City 360° – Coming off a world premiere at the 2017 Hot Docs Festival, this interactive video features acclaimed Indigenous DJ collective A Tribe Called Red. Filmed at Toronto’s Fort York, the 360° video uses gradient audio to mix traditional and contemporary sounds, with a dance battle between a B-boy crew and pow wow dancers.
- Polarman – Another Hot Docs premiere, Polarman is the story of Polarman, a real-life superhero from Iqaluit, Nunavut. The story follows the masked anti-bullying crusader through an interactive mix of 360° video and comic panels drawn by Canadian artists Daniel Day, Leisha-Marie Riddel and Andrew Qappik.
- Hani al Moulia: My Own Perspective – Mixing 360° video and interactive photos, the piece tells the story of Hani al-Moulia, a photographer who is legally blind. He shares his journey from Syria to a refugee camp in Lebanon, to Regina, SK., as he learns to understand the world through the lens of his camera.
- Art Alive: Pikangikum – Indigenous art comes alive in an animated mural created through a collaboration between students from the community of Pikangikum, Ontario, artist Michael Cywink and filmmaker/animator Amanda Strong. Interactive animation vividly brings to life traditional Ojibwe teachings.
- West Coast Water Ball – A collaboration between award-winning BC designer, Marian Bantjes, and innovative BC musician, Loscil, mixes video collage and generative music to immerse users in an aquatic, geodesic sphere.
- HORIZON VR – SESQUI’s signature 360° film, HORIZON is a cinematic journey across the country, celebrating the people, landscapes, and freedoms that make Canada home. For easy viewing in VR, the film has been divided into three separate chapters.
SESQUI worked closely with uForis VR and Pinnguaq, partner companies based in Iqaluit, Vancouver and Toronto, to create MERIDIAN VR, using uForis’ custom VR platform.
“MERIDIAN VR is a collaborative effort by creators and innovators from across Canada and a real labour of love,” said Joel McConvey, SESQUI Director of Digital. “The stories honour the diversity of perspectives and artistic talent of people in Canada, and celebrates imagination as an act of bravery and compassion. They combine the curiosity and social focus of documentary filmmaking with the magic of new 360° technology, to explore a range of possibilities in virtual reality storytelling, where the future really is all around us.”
MERIDIAN VR is now available for OS X and Android, for viewing on Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard. Users can download the app onto their mobile phone via the Apple App Store, Google Play, or the Oculus Store. Click here to learn more about MERIDIAN VR.
ABOUT SESQUI – THE FUTURE IS ALL AROUND US™
With a vision to see and understand Canada in new and inspiring ways: SESQUI is a revolutionary 360° cinematic journey into the heart of Canada. SESQUI aims to engage millions of Canadians through its full dome and virtual reality content, online activities and learning programs that showcase the best in Canadian arts and innovation. SESQUI is a Canada 150 Signature Initiative poised to lead celebrations in Canadian communities this year. For more information, please visit www.sesqui.ca and through our hashtag #SESQUI2017.
Hibaq Ali, Marketing Coordinator, SESQUI
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