Content creation studio Tomorrow Never Knows, in partnership with the 2017 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Nobel Media and Saul Zaentz innovation Fund in Film and Media Studies at Johns Hopkins University, have revealed a virtual reality (VR) experience The Day the World Changed.
The VR experience is being co-created by by award-winning filmmaker and VR pioneers, Gabo Arora and Saschka Unseld, with producer Jennifer Tiexiera involved in the project as well. The interactive experience leverage the latest technologies with rare survivor testimonies from Hiroshima to bring the terror of nuclear war to vivid life. The experience, The Day the World Changed is set to premiere in the Virtual Arcade at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival between April 20 until April 29th.
“Over the years, we have been desensitized to the consequences of nuclear war,” said Arora. “We are living in a time when our Commander-in-Chief and leaders of other nations are openly calling for more nuclear weapons, taunting each other over their capabilities. Our intention with this work is to give voice to those victims of nuclear war asking the world to face this shared history and to recognize the true horror of these weapons.”
The experience began life as an original commission by Nobel Media to showcase the work of the 2017 Novel Peace Prize-winning organization ICAN, a campaign coalition that works to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons.
“We find ourselves at one of the most dangerous moments since the dawn of the Atomic Age. It’s at moments like this that we must collectively look back and understand that nuclear weapons are quite simply indiscriminate weapons of mass murder,” said ICAN executive director, Beatrice Fihn. “The Day the World Changed isn’t just a story about the past, it is also about our future—it reminds us that these weapons are still here, threatening us, but we can do something about it.”
With that in mind, The Day the World Changed is an experience that presents a powerful historical record re-imagined through new technology via three interactive chapters. The first of these explores what led to the United States government to develop and drop the world’s first atom bomb on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6th, 1945. The second chapter will dive into the aftermath of the bombing as users walk through the ruins of Hiroshima’s only remaining building, and view authentic artifacts left over from that day. The third, and final chapter, takes viewers to the present day as viewers explore the madness that ensued as the world raced to develop ever-more nuclear weapons.
The Day the World Changed is an experience that seeks to pay tribute to the victims of Hiroshima while recognizing those currently affected by nuclear weapons testing in today’s fraught geo-political climate, proving that change is possible with the right tools and information.
“The Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund prides itself on elevating and empowering voices that have been ignored, voices that aren’t afraid to push the envelope and explore the complexities of what drives us as a society and as individual beings,” said executive producer and director of the Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund in Film and Media Studies at Johns Hopkins University Annette Porter. “We are honored to support and participate in this monumental project.”