Virtual Reality (VR) films now seem to be a natural transition for the storytellers on reel. The enveloping experience of ‘being there’ is a powerful medium for the filmmakers to make their viewers involved in the stories on screen.

‘Right to Pray’, a documentary film by filmmaker Khushboo Ranka, is going to be premiered at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival 2016 (TIFF). The documentary is one of the five VR films to be showcased during POP VR at the festival from September 16-18, 2016. The feat will go down in history as the world’s one of the earliest and the India’s first VR narrative documentary.

The eight minutes long documentary is based on the incident in Nashik when women stormed into the sanctum sanctorum of  Trimbakeshwar temple in April this year. The event is historic as women stood up against the regressive patriarchy and fought to shun the notion of ‘impurity’ tagged on them since ages. They came together to fight for their Right to Pray. The VR experience makes the viewer feel being part of their battle.

The documentary is produced by Memesys Culture Lab, a cinema and new media studio founded by filmmaker Anand Gandhi whose “Ship of Thesus” won critical acclaim at TIFF in 2012.

“We want to use VR to help collapse the barrier of ‘otherness’ between the viewer and the audiences,” says Anand Gandhi, “because, after all, in a deeply interconnected world, there is no ‘other’.”

‘Right to Pray’ is the first of a series that Memesys plans to release as a part of its mixed reality magazine ElseVR (Khushboo Ranka is its Editor-in-Chief). The magazine will cover stories told in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, that give an immersive experience to the viewers. It will be published online as a quarterly.

So, VR lovers can expect sincere and fascinating content in not so distant future now and too Made in India!

GetVR congratulates the ‘Right to Pray’ team on this commendable feat.

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