A program of short stories that would never have existed without the internet.
Virtual reality deployed in the battle against domestic violence makes the viewer an eyewitness to a dangerous situation.
Every day, three women in the United States die as a direct result of domestic violence. To put it less euphemistically, they are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends. Kiya tells the story of two sisters in South Carolina who want to protect their younger sister from her violent husband. Kiya mixes virtual and harsh reality: while the images are game-style computer animations, the audio consists of recorded phone conversations between the sisters and 911 operators. This storytelling technique makes the viewer a witness to the events in and around the victim’s home – sometimes you might feel like you’re a little too close for comfort. Director Nonny de la Peña is an experienced reporter known to some as the godmother of virtual reality journalism. Her work explores how the use of space in a narrative can influence the experience. The viewer’s first-person perspective triggers empathy and an intense sense of connection with the characters. In this way, De la Peña hopes to raise awareness of the global problem of domestic violence.
Selected for IDFA 2015 and eligible for the IDFA DocLab Award for Immersive Non-Fiction.
Presented as part of the DocLab: Seamless Reality program by IDFA and De Brakke Grond as an interactive installation from 19-29 November.
IDFA DocLab is the New Media program of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA). Since 2007, the program showcases new forms of documentary storytelling and interactive media art, both online and offline. During the IDFA Festival in November, DocLab presents a competition program for Digital Documentary Storytelling, live cinema events, interactive installations, workshops and industry panels. The program is open to all media that can be used to tell a documentary story.