Animated documentaries are exploding in popularity and artistic importance, and they are also emerging at the forefront of virtual reality experiences. In VR, documentary filmmakers can immerse audiences within the story, challenging perspectives and creating new avenues for representation.

Animated documentaries have always been a hybrid art form, embracing a wide range of techniques and technologies, exploring new frontiers in storytelling. No wonder, then, that these kind of fact-based stories make for exceptional VR experiences, and that audiences and critics alike find them so compelling.

Since 2012, the ANIDOX program, founded by award-winning filmmakers Michelle and Uri Kranot together with The Animation Workshop (TAW), has been fostering the animated documentary movement. ANIDOX is a natural fit for TAW, which has been educating and supporting animated filmmakers for decades, working toward the highest standards in creative and artistic achievement, while also building industry partnerships and helping to develop the economic future of the animated arts. And the Kranots bring a unique perspective, experience, and passion for animated documentaries and the filmmakers who create them.

Egg by Martina Scarpelli was developed at the ANIDOX residency.

The spectacular success of ANIDOX, and the power of telling stories that emerge from real life, has been instrumental in advancing the art of animated documentaries in Europe. In the past 7 years, ANIDOX has fostered the development of exceptional, award-winning animated documentary films like Martina Scarpelli’s Egg and Soetkin Verstege’s Mr. Sand. According to Klara Grunning, film commissioner for documentary features, shorts, and digital storytelling at the Swedish Film Institute: “[ANIDOX] is to my knowledge the most successful, creative and important initiative of its kind, inspiring new types of storytelling, technique/new technology, collaboration and artistic expression – to develop, explore and strengthen the marriage of animation and documentary filmmaking.”

In September, the Viborg Animation Festival in Denmark will feature this unique program on ANIDOX Day, which will include talks, panel discussions, and special screenings. ANIDOX Day will be an exploration of the art, technologies, and human stories that make these films uniquely compelling.

Soetkin Verstege’s Mr. Sand is another successful project developed with the support of ANIDOX.

Because VR is increasingly important as a way to tell stories and share experiences, ANIDOX and Viborg Animation Festival are also proud to announce that this year will be the inaugural year of the ANIDOX:VR award, recognizing excellence in factual and visual storytelling in VR and emerging media formats. Winners will be awarded a cash prize and a residency grant for developing new works.

This year’s Viborg Animation Festival will offer an opportunity to experience exceptional VR experiences from around the world, and honor important contributions to the art form with the VR award. Submissions for the ANIDOX:VR award are open now at Anidox.com/anidoxvr, and catch the ANIDOX Collective’s new film The Sinking of the Truth at ITFS in Stuttgart this April.

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