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The Book of Distance
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In 1935, Yonezo Okita left his home in Hiroshima, Japan, and began a new life in Canada. Then war and state-sanctioned racism changed everything—he became the enemy. Three generations later, his grandson, artist Randall Okita, leads us on an interactive virtual pilgrimage through an emotional geography of immigration and family to recover what was lost. The Book of Distance blends techniques from mechanical sculpture, film, and stage to redefine personal storytelling in virtual reality. Family archives add a haunting layer of realism. 2D and 3D hand-crafted sets reminiscent of Japanese woodblock prints, evocative character design, and seamless choreography combine with surprising moments of interaction to gently whisk us across the ocean and through the years. Okita invites us to participate in this generous act of imagination: a space of magical theatre and generational echoes. He never strays too far from our side as we move through the story’s darker moments.
|Awards and festivals| Winner: - Best Work, Japan Prize (Digital Media Division, 2020) - VR Story Award Beyond the Frame Festival (2021) - Best Storytelling XR Awards (2020) - Golden Fireball Award Kaohsiung Film Festival - VR (2020) Official selection: - Sundance Film Festival – New Frontier (2020) - Tribeca Film Festival – Tribeca Immersive (2020) - Cannes XR – Tribeca Virtual Arcade @ Cannes XR (2020) - Venice International Film Festival – Venice VR Expanded, Best of VR (2020) - Vancouver International Film Festival – VIFF Immersed - Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFAN) – Beyond Reality Exhibition (2020) - International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam – IDFA DocLab Spotlight (2020) Reviews: “The Book of Distance is the best immersive storytelling experience I've seen yet.” – Kent Bye, Voices of VR “A piece filled with beauty and longing, that looks at the past to define the present.” – XRMust “Sundance best narrative: The Book of Distance." - The Verge