New York Times Virtual Reality Film Wins Award - VR Life

New York Times Virtual Reality Film Wins Award

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The New York Times was awarded the top two places in the Innovative Storytelling category of the 2016 World Press Photo Multimedia Contest for the virtual reality movie “The Displaced” and for “Greenland Is Melting Away.”

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The New York Times VR Movie Entries

“The Displaced”, which was made for Time’s VR app, tells the stories of three children from different countries who were uprooted from their homes by war and persecution.

“The media landscape is in constant flux and the future is not fixed,” said Lars Boering, who is the managing director of the World Press Photo Foundation. “While that creates enormous pressures for many, it also offers incredible opportunities to reporters and storytellers to “Greenland Is Melting Away” shows a river created from melting ice on top of Greenland’s ice sheet.


Chris Milk and Jake Silverstein were the creative directors of “The Displaced,” Ben C. Solomon and Imraan Ismail were the co-directors and Jenna Pirog and Samantha Storr the producers while the executive producers were Kathy Ryan, Patrick Milling Smith and Andy Wright. It was edited by Livio Sanchez and Ting Poo, with music by McKenzie Stubbert. Susan Dominus, Andrew E. Kramer and Marc Santora provided additional reporting, and the design director was Gail Bichler. Mr. Ismail was also the cinematographer.


According to Mr. Solomon, at any given time up to 20 people were working on the project, which used the (VR) medium in a way that “enabled people to connect more and explore these children’s lives deeper.”

Mr. Solomon, who started in 2010, as a video intern at The Times said VR filmmaking was in its infancy. “What’s truly exciting is not the things we’ve made but the ones we’ll be able to make once the technology advances even more and storytellers understand it better.”

The Times video “Greenland Is Melting Away,” which relied on photography, video and reporting by Josh Haner along with additional reporting by Coral Davenport, took second place in the same category. Derek Watkins and Larry Buchanan handled the graphic design and photo editing was done by Crista Chapman and Meaghan Looram. The video production editor was Alexandra Garcia and the editor was Hannah Fairfield.


The New York Times Magazine came first in the Immersive Storytelling category for “Desperate Crossing,” a transmedia presentation about African migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea. It featured photographs and video by Paolo Pellegrin of Magnum. Scott Anderson was the writer, Rodrigo de Benito Sanz the digital designer, Jeremy White was the graphics designer and Luke Mitchell the story editor. The photo editors were Stacey Baker and Kathy Ryan, the Magazine’s director of photography.

The website, The Intercept took first place in the Longform Category with their film about Stephen Kim, a State Department intelligence analyst who was indicted on charges of divulging classified information to a reporter, “The Surrender.” It was directed by Stephen Maing and produced by Laura Poitras, Peter Maas and Mr. Maing. The executive director was Betsy Reed.


A film about a young Syrian refugee whose story is told partly through animation of her drawings, titled “Fatima’s Drawings,”, took first place in the Shortform category. The film was made by Magnus Wennman and Jenny Svenberg Bunnel for the Swedish newspaper

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