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Monday, 20 February 2023

Film Festival

StoryTrails offers a virtual reality experience

StoryTrails, a one-of-kind immersive storytelling project that brings stories to life using augmented and virtual reality (VR), is set to come to Hebden Bridge. 

Taking place at Hebden Bridge Town Hall as part of Hebden Bridge Film Festival from 24-26th March, StoryTrails is a free virtual reality experience that brings together cutting-edge immersive technologies with archival moving image and oral history. 

Visitors to the StoryTrails Virtual Reality Experiences will be guided by the StoryTrails creative team, who will lead them through six different digitally created worlds using VR headsets. 

Highlights include Get Punked!, which puts users in the shoes of a rebellious teenager finding out about her mother's punk past; Off the Recordcelebrating British South Asians and their rich musical heritage and charting the rise of Bhangra and the Asian Underground, and Museum of Imagined Futures, a story of hope, showing possible futures and letting users explore how we might live in balance with nature.

"StoryTrails VR gives audiences unique access to archive footage which has been made into interactive stories. It's a bit like travelling through time," explains Maddie Bates, Programme Manager for StoryTrails, "you can get lost in the joyous daytime rave culture of Britain's South Asian community, or step into the diary of a teenager as she discovers the world of punk music. Whichever story you want to explore, just pop on the headset and dive into a new world." 

Following the festival, Calderdale libraries staff will be trained to use the technology by the StoryTrails team and project partners, The Reading Agency, so that the VR project can continue to tour libraries in the local area.

Roberta Crossley, Team Leader West Calderdale Libraries, said, "Calderdale Libraries are really excited to be working alongside Hebden Bridge Film Festival to deliver StoryTrails. It's great to be included in such an innovative project that uses virtual reality as a medium. This unique way of storytelling will give a whole different experience to people who may not normally be able to access such technology." 

Hebden Bridge Film Festival Director, Louise Wadley, said, "We are thrilled to have the opportunity to introduce audiences to this innovative new technology as part of the festival. It's an incredibly creative method of storytelling that brings us closer than ever before to the past, recreating history and connecting us with incredible stories that deserve to be told. This is the way of the future and we want Hebden Bridge Film Festival to be part of it."   

StoryTrails is free to attend and will be available as part of Hebden Bridge Film Festival on Saturday, 25th March and Sunday, 26th March at Hebden Bridge Town Hall. 

The full festival programme will be announced on 10th March and passes are now available at the Film Festival website