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Virtual Reality has been called the ultimate empathy machine. Our VR films have an immediate effect on viewers. Instantly immersing them into a new world, sitting with people you may not normally meet, and seeing with their eyes.

From a first-person perspective of the humanitarian crisis in Greece to a woman’s experience of living with Alzheimer’s disease, this is a whole new way of connecting with complex social issues.

We know these VR films will provide you with an incredible springboard for discussion and action.

If you don’t have a VR headset yet, there are increasingly more options coming on the market. But for an easy and cheap way to start, check out Google Cardboard.

Get access to all of the following VR experiences by subscribing to SIMA Classroom.


SIMA Classroom Refugees


Refugees is a 360 documentary about the ongoing humanitarian crisis. Thousands have left their homes in search for a better future, and in their search they encounter dangerous obstacles. We went to Lesbos, Greece, where migrants take the leap from Turkey, putting their lives at risk, and captured some of the most intense moments in thrilling virtual reality.

2016 | 7 min
Languages: English


Shot over the span of two months in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest, ‘Songs of the Vine’ is a virtual reality documentary focusing on the healing modalities, cosmovision and culture of the Shipibo, an indigenous group best known for their mastery of ayahuasca and sacred plant medicine. By immersing the viewer into the depths of the Amazon jungle, and exposing them to the songs and perspectives of Shipibo healers, ‘Songs of the Vine’ illustrates an ancient but increasingly relevant dynamic between humans and nature.

2016 | 18 min
Languages: Spanish
Subtitles: English

SIMA Classroom Songs of the Vine
SIMA Classroom Traces


Traces is a cinematic virtual reality film exploring the memories of one woman living with Alzheimer’s disease. In the film, the main character Willie White, an 88-year old woman living with dementia, recounts her time as a young girl living in the fields near Mason, Tennessee. As her words transport us back in time, traces of memory fall in and out — the old wooden farmhouse where she was raised, the coconut cakes her mom would make on Sunday mornings, her favorite white dress, the hymns she’d sing in the choir at church. Through these vibrant recollections, illustrated through re-enactments, we journey with Willie as she searches for the words to one of her favorite songs and the meaning of memory in this new and fragmented landscape.

2016 | 8 min
Languages: English


The Great Green Wall is an incredible, generation-defining project, yet the wider world seems to know very little about it. This film was created to change that, sharing its story in a way that feels spectacular, but also tangible on a human level. The Great Green Wall won’t be completed for a generation and for many of us it’s thousands of miles away, but with ‘Growing a World Wonder’, you can visit it right now, wherever you are.

2015 | 4 min

SIMA Classroom Growing World Wonder
SIMA Classroom Home


“Home: Aamir” is the first of a series of Surround Vision 360 degree films exploring the meaning of home through the stories of refugees in the Calais “Jungle”. This first film, a collaboration between the National Theatre, Surround Vision and Room One, follows a 22-year-old man escaping the threat of murder in Sudan.

2016 | 12 min
The Jungle, Calais, France
Languages: English


Film has be holding a mirror up to society since the late 1800s. Virtual reality is the latest iteration in this history of visual storytelling. Just like any media format, evaluation and criticism are necessary to push art forward to effectively and responsibly shape culture and influence society. Here, students will learn just that by acting as film festival programmers and analyzing SIMA VR films and their effectiveness for social change.


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