Satore’s Cosmos Within Us Scoops Raindance Immersive Award

Photographs: Roger Alarcon

Celebrating the possibilities of art in virtual, augmented and mixed reality, the Raindance Immersive Awards – presented by Bose – recognises ‘creative excellence and technical achievement’ in 10 categories.

Raindance is the only UK festival which acknowledges immersive storytelling on this scale, with the prize-winners being selected by an international panel, including Bose’s Lead Experience Engineer, Chuck Freedman.

This year’s top Immersive accolade ‘Spirit of Raindance’ was awarded to Cosmos Within Us. Directed by Satore’s Tupac Martir, the piece explores the notion of memory loss. This immersive experience is the first VR project by Satore Studio, created in conjunction with co-producers, a_BAHN and Satore Tech. Shown via live production, the film uses the skills of voiceover artists, musicians and a composer working within a 360-audio sound design.

Martir says: “It is a great honour to receive this award, as it recognises a very long and intense process, a true Indie project which everyone at Satore poured their hearts into, creating the best possible experience for the viewers.

The narrative was crucial to this project. Martir continues: “It took over eight months to have a script that myself and our Creative Technologist, Sergio Ochoa, were both happy with in order to bring the experience to life. Mixing the visuals and audio for the live performance and combining them with scent and touch was something we knew could be very special if we persevered. It follows our exploration of how every element of the production is a character that serves the story, be it a musician or an actor, all the way to the headset wearer and the engine.”

Sergio Ochoa noted: “It’s a privilege to be able to show how we can move an experience forwards by integrating different technologies and workflows, which have been a great investment from our technical team in respect to R&D. To have an experience where people are able to enjoy a seamlessly viewing and feel powerful emotions without knowing that there are different technologies connected to the show, is something truly different. It’s one of the reasons I was so passionate about this project.

Although VR as a technology is in its infancy, Raindance is leading the way in championing its creators. The film’s producer, Lilian Hess commented: “To see the industry acknowledging an artistic VR performance piece like Cosmos Within Us certainly gives hope that such endeavours will continue to find financial support. The ‘Spirit of Raindance’ award was the only one in the festival that comes with a cash prize, so this certainly gives occasion to be optimistic about the future of funding in VR.”

Raindance Festival Director, Elliot Grove, explains why this live production / VR hybrid won: “Cosmos Within Us combines all of the elements Raindance considers essential to win the prestigious ‘Spirit of Raindance’ award. It combines creative and technical innovations which truly create an atmospheric and emotional journey for the viewer. This level of creativity is unparalleled in the current VR environment.”