A selection of VR and 360º Films features at Socially Relevant™ Film Festival NY Fifth Annual Edition

Five groundbreaking new media stories compete for first prize
By: SR Socially Relevant™ Film Festival New York
The Great White - VR Experience
The Great White - VR Experience
NEW YORK - Feb. 21, 2018 - PRLog -- SR Socially Relevant Film Festival in New York City's premier international film festival dedicated exclusively to social issues. Showcasing a lineup of 70 narrative features, documentaries, shorts, and VR/360º videos from 35 countries, the festival is as diverse as the city itself. SRFF 2018 will be held from March 16 to 22, 2018 at Cinema Village and neighboring venues. $5 early bird tickets and $100 all-access passes are available via Eventbrite in limited quantities until full price kicks-in on February 28.

The festival is proud to promote its selection of cutting-edge VR/360º experiences which push the boundaries of storytelling.  With Gear VR provided by Samsung, these works drop the viewer directly into the story, creating a sense of empathy for the characters and situations that cannot be achieved with conventional film. 10 pieces have been selected by directors from across the globe, including The Great - a VR Great White Shark Experience, which shows firsthand the grace and beauty of this misunderstood and endangered creature.

VR/360º STORIES - Official Selection
The following films screen on Sunday, March 18, from 1 pm to 4 pm at Cinema Village

Down To The Plastic Ocean

Dan Aguar

USA| 2017 | 4 min

"Down To The Plastic Ocean" takes you on a magical lyrical journey that follows a plastic toy scuba diver from a storm water drain in Athens, Georgia through the streams and rivers to the edge of the coast. This short film delivers an immersive experience from ScubyDo's point of view via 360º video, and compels the audience to reflect upon how to help keep our waterways and oceans cleaner.


My Beautiful Home

Romain Vakilitabar

USA | 2017 | 6 min 50 s

"My Beautiful Home" is a short virtual reality experience which takes place in Kibera, Africa's biggest slum on the outskirts of Nairobi. Through an empathy based approach, it seeks to change the way in which we perceive poverty in Africa. "His VR isn't about pity. It's about respect." - Discovery Channel News


New Song: A Virtual Reality Documentary

Katherine Gardner

USA | 2017 | 8 min

Hailing from the struggling nation of Mozambique, Pascoal Mafueque lived a life of crime and greed until he met American missionaries Heidi and Rolland Baker.  These altruistic individuals helped Pascoal discover hope, faith, and the dream of using his influence for good.  This VR documentary chronicles Pascoal's first-person account while also giving an immersive perspective that puts you "in" beautiful Pemba, Mozambique.


Our Nature - Honey Production

Mário Di Po

Brazil | 2017 | 5 min

Board on an adventure that shows you first hand the life inside an eucalyptus Forest in the heart of Brazil. 'Our Nature' is a collection of 360º experiences where which you join beekeepers for exclusive access into the world of honey production.  At the same time, you'll learn important information about the impact of sustainability and social responsibility inside a major corporation.


The Great - a VR Great White Shark Experience

Roy Kimhi

Mexico | 2017 | 6 min 27 s

Filmed over a tumultuous two-year period, the film follows the efforts and relationship between two unlikely peace activists: Eden Fuchs, a retired Israeli army colonel, and Ibrahim Issa, a Palestinian born in a refugee camp, are joined by the Idahoan founders of the Centre for Emerging Futures, Whit and Paula Jones at the Hotel Everest. Located in Beit Jala, this Palestinian owned business nestled between Bethlehem and Jerusalem provides a haven where both Israelis and Palestinians are equally welcome and free to meet together.


Among the remaining 70 Official Selections to be screened in the heart of Greenwich Village is a wide-reaching mix of five narrative features, 15 documentaries, 38 shorts, and more. There will also be a script-writing contest. The films represent 35 countries. Visit www.ratedsrfilms.org for schedules, film synopses and filmmaker and team member bios!

Opening night for the 2018 Festival will take place Friday, March 16, 2018, at 7:00 PM with the narrative feature film Lou Andreas-Salomé: The Audacity to be Free followed by a reception at Villanelle. The festivities continue through March 22 with varied themes, film screenings, discussion panels, workshops, networking events and after-parties at local restaurants and hosting venues.

Monday, March 19, features a keynote evening event celebrating women, in partnership with Apne Aap - an organization that rescues women and girls in India from sex-trafficking - including a series of films from India and elsewhere that promote empowering women and young girls. A panel discussion follows, lead by Ruchira Gupta.

The festival will come to a close on the evening of March 22 with a glistening Awards Ceremony and screening of the winning films at Cinema Village, and party for the filmmakers at Doux Supperclub featuring appearances from NYC local filmmakers and industry veterans.

Festival Founder and Artistic Director Nora Armani says, "We are proud to be able to support filmmakers who not only tell stories about socially relevant topics but also filmmakers who push the boundaries of the artform and who take storytelling into the 21st century and beyond."


SR Socially Relevant ™ Film Festival New York is a 501(c)3 non-profit film festival founded by actress Nora Armani. The Mission of the SR Film Festival is to shine the spotlight on filmmakers who tell compelling, socially relevant™, human interest stories, across a broad range of social issues. The festival was created as a response to the proliferation of violence and violent forms of storytelling in media and entertainment. SR™ believes in the power of cinema in raising awareness towards social issues and promoting positive social change. During its first four years, the festival showcased 207 films from 35 countries. Submissions are received from all over the world.

For more information about SRFF 2018 events and sponsors, as well as past festival editions and sponsors, visit www.ratedsrfilms.org.

For images, interviews with visiting and local filmmakers as well as to preview films contact PR Liaison Armen Spendjian atA.L.Spendjian@gmail.com

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