“Dreaming of Lebanon” – an interactive VR milestone

Virtual reality is a powerful tool for promoting empathy and understanding. VR makes it possible to put oneself in the shoes of others and develop a deeper understanding of different perspectives. Well-known examples such as “Notes on Blindness” or “Clouds Over Sidra” have already shown how VR can be used impressively to tell people’s stories in a very personal and new way.

Today, a few years later, VR technology has evolved quite a bit. As a viewer, you can now interact with your counterpart independently and create your own access to a story. The 3D experience is now also breathtaking.

The brand new interactive VR documentary “Dreaming of Lebanon”, a production of the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA), won the prize in the “International Production” category at the XRC 23 awards ceremony on 10 November 2023.

We at vr4content are very proud of this success, as we were able to make a personal contribution to this important project with the Unity Lead in the area of responsibility.

This documentary film is an immersive journey from the very personal perspective of three young Lebanese “dreamers”. Rafik, an artist from Tripoli, Josephine, a mother and philanthropist, and Batoul, an environmental chemist, tell vividly how they experienced the catastrophic 2020 explosion in Beirut harbour, how they are now dealing with the economic and social aftermath and what they hope for the future of their country with very personal visions.

Working on “Dreaming of Lebanon” was and is an act of courage and resilience. These impressive young witnesses have told their important stories that need to be heard, and we stand behind them in solidarity. Our thoughts are always with them in these difficult times when the Lebanon team and the entire country are once again facing great challenges.

It has never been more important than today, in the name of humanity and respect, to develop an understanding of ALL realities of life worldwide in order to counteract the smouldering xenophobia whenever possible. We believe that the “Dreaming of Lebanon” project, in its clever conception, allows the necessary space for hope that we all long for.

“This virtual reality documentary shows the human face of Lebanon and how hope, patience and dreams can and must survive despite all the challenges, and it inspires young people to use all their potential to build a better future.” (United Nations Special Coordinator Joanna Wronecka)

For us, “Dreaming of Lebanon” is more than just an award-winning film. It is an important milestone that points the way for future interactive and immersive media projects with social relevance. The numerous positive viewer reactions prove it right.

We are truly grateful to have been part of this journey and would like to express our deepest gratitude to the entire team and especially Adrian Meyer and Martin Waehlisch Waehlisch for their trust and excellent cooperation.

We would also like to thank the team from nextReality.Hamburg e.V. who, with great personal commitment, created an event that gives important visibility to so many exciting and sustainable projects. We look forward to continuing to build cultural bridges and realise innovative, socially relevant projects.