Best VR Documentaries: Watch the Emmy contenders with Meta Quest 2
VR documentaries are nominated for the Emmy again this year. You can watch them for free with Meta Quest 2.
At the end of July, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) announced the nominees for the “News & Documentary” section. Among them are four VR documentaries.
The works are nominated in two categories for the prestigious U.S. television award: Three VR documentaries in Outstanding Interactive Media and one in Outstanding Interactive Media: Innovation.
The winners will be chosen on September 28 and 29, 2022.
Which VR documentaries are nominees?
Below is a list of all nominees with VR films marked in bold.
Outstanding Interactive Media
- Kingdom of Plants with David Attenborough by Alchemy Immersive (see Oculus TV)
- David Attenborough’s First Life by Alchemy Immersive (see Oculus TV)
- Assault on Democracy by CNN Visuals
- Re-Educated by The New Yorker (see Oculus TV)
- Postcards from a World on Fire by The New York Times
Outstanding Interactive Media: Innovation
- FRONTLINE Un(re)solved from PBS
- Goliath: Playing with Reality by Oculus(see Oculus Store)
- Inaccessible Cities by AJ Contrast / Al Jazeera Digital
- POV The Changing Same: American Pilgrimage by POV
- What the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Destroyed by The New York Times
What are the VR documentaries about?
Kingdom of Plants & First Life
Both VR documentaries are based on earlier productions by world-famous nature filmmaker Sir David Attenborough. His iconic voice accompanies us on our journey into the realm of plants and prehistoric creatures. The London-based VR studio Alchemy Immersive created them in cooperation with Meta.
Kingdom of Plants consists of three five-minute episodes and takes viewers into the mysterious realm of plants. As in Micro Monsters, you shrink to the size of a fingernail and experience nature from a new, threatening perspective. Thanks to a 180-degree panorama, 3D effect and a razor-sharp image, the sometimes aggressive plants seem real enough to touch.
First Life takes VR viewers on a journey into prehistory. You experience how the first single-celled organisms that existed 3 billion years ago grew into clumps of cells and then into ever more complex creatures. Unlike Kingdom of Plants, First Life is completely virtual.
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This VR political documentary reconstructs the experiences of three prisoners of Chinese re-education camps in Xinjiang province. Based on witness testimonies, survivor sketches, and satellite photos, the VR film traces the men’s experiences. The 3D illustrations by animator Nicholas Rubin and Jon Bernson’s spatial sound compositions provide (uneasy) immersion.
The VR film is about a man with schizophrenia, who spent many years in psychiatric hospitals and finally finds social connection in gaming communities. Viewers walk with the man through various virtual worlds and realities, accompanied by the narrator Echo, voiced by Oscar winner Tilda Swinton.
Goliath was created as part of Meta’s “VR for Good” initiative.
How do I watch the VR documentaries?
You can watch Kingdom of Plants, First Life, and Re-Educated via Oculus TV.
- Open the Oculus TV link for the VR movie in question (see list above) and click “Watch Later.”
- Launch Oculus TV and switch to the “Saved” tab. You should now be able to see the VR movie. Alternatively, you can search for the movie in the Oculus TV search field.
Goliath is available as a free VR app in the Quest Store.