by Jeanne Meyers from Laguna Beach, California in United States

CONTACT: Wendy Milette                         FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Director of Media 
[email protected]

Immersive Storytellers Celebrated as Winners in the MY HERO International Film Festival

SANTA MONICA, CA – 11/16/2017 - The winners of MY HERO's 2017 Immersive Storytelling Award were celebrated this weekend at the MY HERO International Film Festival Awards Ceremony. The award honors innovative storytellers who use Virtual Reality technology to create work that promotes activism, engagement and social good. The award comes with prizes sponsored by Oculus. This year's winners are: 

In HarmonyMY HERO

Immersive Storytelling Award - 360 Video

The first place winner in the 360 Video category is IN HARMONY, a film that features a group of Los Angeles kids who are using music as a tool for overcoming adversity. The video was produced through the Oculus VR for Good Program and directed by Elliot Dillman of Reel FX.


 MY HERO Media Director Wendy Milette with award winner Elliot Dillman 

OUT OF THE BLUE, also produced through the Oculus VR for Good Program, is the second place winner. The video tells the story of a child in Mexico whose family of fishermen are experiencing shrinking catches. They make a bold decision that changes their fate and their future.



Another honoree in the 360 Video category is BASHIR'S DREAM, Directed by Angel Manuel Soto from RYOT VR. This immersive experience tells the story of Qusai Bashir Masaama, a 14-year-old Syrian refugee in Jordan who was shot in the back by a sniper while on a candy run. 


Nonny De La Peña, a prior winner of the MY HERO Immersive Storytelling Award, helped in selecting the 2017 winners in the 360 video category of the  Immersive Storytelling Award.



Immersive Storytelling Award - Environmental

BELLA GAIA VR, by producer Kenji Williams, is the winner of the Environmental category. Bella Gaia VR is a unique, immersive experience that conveys powerful feelings of the beauty and interconnectedness of all things on Earth.

Immersive Storytelling Award - Interactive

PRIMORIDAL SOUP, directed by Ethan Summers and produced by Anne-Marie Napoli of Underground Engine, is an interactive simulated universe in which entities form and evolve at the participant's command, promoting a feeling of connectedness with interstellar and undersea life. 

The Creative team from Underground Engine accept honors at the Film Festival Awards Ceremony
(photo by Jamie Beckert)

The awards were presented at The MY HERO International Film Festival Awards Ceremony, November 11, 2017, at the Moss Theater at New Roads School. 

On Sunday, November 12, MY HERO hosted a VR Showcase designed to promote education and experience of the latest immersive technology. The event featured the Oculus VR for Good Team, which showcased VR for Good projects on Gear VR. All finalists for the 2017 Immersive Storytelling Award were showcased in Virtual Reality.


118230left to right: Chris Cain - Moderater, Angel Manuel Soto - RYOT VR, Sherrie "Shero” Robertson -Blaze VR, Tarik Benbrahim - RYOT VR, Elliot Dillman - Reel FX, Ethan Summers - Underground Engine(photo by Wendy Milette)

Immersive Storytelling 2017 winners, who are leaders in the VR field, took part in a panel titled

MY HERO Immersive Storytelling - VR for Social Good. Panelists included:

Elliot Dillman, of Reel FX, the first place winner of the Immersive Storytelling Award- 360  for In Harmony - Featuring the Harmony Project

Sherrie "Shero" Robertson, the founder of Blaze VR, an award-winning company that works in virtual reality, mixed reality and augmented reality to create imaginative and creative content. Her projects WE ARE HUMAN & THE PEOPLE UNITED were chosen as finalists in the 360 video category. 

Angel Manuel Soto - RYOT VR,  director of Bashir’s Dream, Immersive Storytelling 360 Honoree

Tarik Benbrahim - RYOT VR,  director of Catch Every Wave: Laird in VR - Immersive Storytelling 360 Honoree

Ethan Summers - of Underground Engine, Immersive Storytelling Interactive Honoree for Primordial Soup.

The MY HERO International Film Festival is part of The MY HERO Project, a 501(c)3 organization with a mission to share stories of the world’s heroes.

118223Ash Choi and Hans Iverson of Oculus VR For Good team demonstrating Oculus VR For Good content on Gear VR headsets.(photo by Wendy Milette)

The work of all the finalists can be viewed on the MY HERO website:

( These immersive 360 videos can be enjoyed with a VR Headset or Google cardboard. They can also be experienced by clicking and dragging the image around with the cursor as the video plays. 

View all winning films here:

To learn more about The MY HERO International Film Festival, visit the MY HERO website:                                                  or contact Wendy Milette at [email protected].

Page created on 11/16/2017 8:21:08 PM

Last edited 11/20/2017 7:43:35 PM

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