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Behind every decision is a human story.

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Debate about reproductive rights is often heated. But behind every family planning decision there is a human story. Using volumetric capture technology and creative design, this film lets us see from a different perspective the emotional and complex nature behind one woman’s Choice. In this unique VR documentary viewers will meet Kristen, a young Native American woman from Austin, TX who dreams of raising a family but instead finds herself facing a painful system that forces women into dehumanizing situations just to survive.

The Choice blends techniques from traditional documentary storytelling, personal conversation, and animation, using virtual reality and interactivity to redefine not only how we tell the stories, but how the audience experiences them and connects with the subject on a deep, emotional level.

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The Choice is a series of interactive VR experiences where women talk about their choice to have an abortion.

 

Director Joanne Popinska is a Polish-Canadian. She was deeply moved by her home country’s actions that resulted in a near-total abortion ban in Poland in 2020. The Constitutional Court ruled that abortion in cases of severe fetal abnormalities was unconstitutional. Observing attempts aiming to revoke Roe v. Wade in the United States and the new Supermajority in the U.S. Supreme Court, she interviewed Canadian and American people about their abortion experiences and the obstacles they faced.

 

The Choice blends techniques from traditional documentary storytelling, personal conversation, and animation, using virtual reality and interactivity to redefine not only how we tell the stories, but how the audience experiences them and connects with the subject on a deep, emotional level.

In this series of interactive VR experiences, women talk about their choice to have an abortion. 

 

The young Native American woman sitting opposite you in the first episode is Kristen from Texas. As you talk to her about her experience, the initially empty space around you gradually fills with animated line drawings that reinforce the story which is already so poignant. 

 

She talks about her and her husband’s longing for a child, their joy when she became pregnant, and the immense sadness when after 20 weeks it turned out that their unborn child had serious physical abnormalities. She also talks about the almost inhumanely obstructive attitudes she faced in the Texas health care system when making what was already such a difficult decision. 

 

The title thus has a double meaning—it is about the actual choice that women make, as well as the freedom of choice that they are denied in far too many parts of the world.

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NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE AT SXSW

The Choice will have its North America Premiere at SXSW 2022 this March.

 

SXSW is spotlighting reproductive rights at this year’s festival, booking as their keynote Alexis McGill Johnson, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

At this crucial moment for Roe V. Wade, VR has a psychological impact no other tool can match. Feedback has been immensely promising from test audiences and the world premiere at IDFA: even those opposed to abortion said The Choice made them reconsider their stance.

The Choice will be a part of the SXSW Film Festival and will be presented as an immersive installation as a part of the XR program.

Kristen, the documentary’s subject, will be present at the screenings to meet with attendees.

We want to acknowledge our fantastic sponsors and partners who are helping us produce our installation at the SXSW 2022 XR Experience exhibit.

The experience will be accessible to passholders from March 13-15th at the Fairmont Congressional Ballroom from 11am until 6pm. 

Without these brave organizations and companies our presence at SXSW would not be possible. We are still fundraising and intend this that installation will be the beginning of a greater impact campaign.

We are still looking for more Partners & Sponsors. If you would like to help please contact us directly.

SXSW 2022 Exhibition Sponsors

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Designed for Oculus Quest

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