Growing Number Of African Filmmakers Using Virtual Reality

Growing Number Of African Filmmakers Using Virtual Reality

Two women and a man wrangle over fruits in Nairobi Berries, each one emptying the other’s core, while a poetic voice speaks over layered images of the Kenyan city. In The Other Dakar, a young girl receives a message and finds the hidden face of the Senegalese capital. In the Spirit Robot documentary, the Chale Wote Street Art Festival in Accra comes to life. And in Let This Be a Warning, a group of Africans is concerned about the arrival of an unbidden guest in their colony, raising a weighty question at the end of the film: “If black worlds exist(ed), would you be welcome in them?”

From Quartz. Story by Abdi Latif Dahir.

These short films, which were recently showcased at the German cultural center in Nairobi, share one trait: they are all virtual reality productions. They are stunning visual debuts from four African directors representing three countries, namely Ng’endo Mukii (Kenya), Selly Raby Kane (Senegal), Jonathan Dotse (Ghana), and Jim Chuchu (Kenya), respectively.

Across the world, virtual reality (VR) has gained new currency in the entertainment, gaming, and even journalism industries, generating billions of dollars in revenue. The technology is also slowly making inroads into the mainstream film community, with directors embracing VR to make immersive experiences that draw more audiences.