United Nations Picks up Indian Documentary in Virtual Reality, titled “Cost of Coal”

The film is based in Korba, Chhattisgarh, where about a fourth of India's coal is mined, leaving the land ravaged, air and water contaminated and lives disrupted

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Anand Gandhi. Flickr

Mumbai, October 24, 2016: United Nations’ Virtual Reality app, UNVR, has acquired Indian documentary in VR, titled “Cost of Coal”.

Anand Gandhi, best known for his directorial “Ship of Theseus”, and his team at Memesys Culture Lab are the minds behind the film, helmed by filmmaker Faiza Khan.

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It is based in Korba, Chhattisgarh, where about a fourth of India’s coal is mined, leaving the land ravaged, air and water contaminated and lives disrupted.

“We (UN) have acquired ‘Cost of Coal’ and put it on the UNVR platform. It’s the first Indian film that gets that honour,” Gabo Arora, Creative Director and Senior Advisor at the United Nations, told IANS in a group interaction.

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He was part of a session on VR at the ongoing Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star here, where the current usage of virtual reality was discussed, and how it will possibly shape the future.

Gandhi, who was also one of the panellists, said: “I am very excited about it (his film getting picked for UNVR). We (his team) are also doing a VR piece that we are shooting with actor Irrfan Khan. It is fiction. We will start shooting soon.”

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Director Shakun Batra, the founder and curator of VR at the film festival, which will conclude on October 27, said: “It is the first VR film from India to get acquired and I think that starts a whole new phase where VR is something that has return on investments. People are interested in acquiring our films in VR, that’s a big move.”

He believes that VR will be a new platform for storytellers and filmmakers. (IANS)

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