Our Digital Selves: My Avatar is me! (2018)
Director & Producer: Bernhard Drax
In English, with English subtitles
“Our Digital Selves: My Avatar is me!” tells the story of 13 ability-diverse global citizens as they explore their identity through artistic expression and making a home for themselves in the VR Metaverse.
Filmmaker Bernhard Drax travels from Los Angeles to rural South England to explore why people ranging from 24 to 92 years of age find solace and inspiration in a user-created digital wonderland that only exists inside their computers.
Drax sends his documentarian avatar Draxtor Despres into the virtual universe of Second Life as well as next generation VR platforms like High Fidelity and Sansar where he meets a 40-something disabled Chicago native feels best represented by a colorful superhero gecko and Cody LaScala - confined to a wheelchair his entire life - who makes his avatar an exact replica of his physical self.
The film follows researchers Tom Boellstorff and Donna Davis as well as leading technologists in Silicon Valley who intend to - as they say - “design the future of social VR with disability in mind”.
As Boellstorff and Davis finish up their 3-year study on embodiment and place-making in VR, made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation, the film comes as a compressed visual compendium to a seemingly unlimited array of possibilities for human interaction via the embodied symbolism of the avatar.
Unique in its narrative approach, “Our Digital Selves” weaves together physical and virtual cinematography as the protagonists’ backstories are re-enacted via real time animation [Machinima].
*** AWARD OF RECOGNITION @ IndieFEST Film Awards++++SEMI FINALIST @ Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards+++++WINNER JUDGES CHOICE AWARD @ MONARCH FILM FESTIVAL PACIFIC GROVE, 2018 ***