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_Sea Prayer

Sea Prayer takes users through an animated story inspired by Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian child who faced tragedy in his journey of escaping war.

2017 Khaled Hosseini
EN Visit the project

“Inspired by the story of Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian refugee who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea, Khaled Hosseini, the novelist and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, has written an exclusive story brought to life in virtual reality. The night before a potentially fatal journey, a father reflects with his son on their life in Syria before the war – and on their unknown future.”

Francesca Panetta, co-director, to Docubase

Sea Prayer is a 360 VR film that commemorates the second anniversary of the death of the three-year-old Syrian refugee, Alan Kurdi, who tragically drowned while migrating from Syria to Greece. This animation illustrates the night before the journey that has tragically led to Alan’s death, as a father reflects with his son on their life before the war in the city of Homs in Syria and the uncertain future they are about to embark on.

Authored by novelist Khaled Hosseini, a UNHCR goodwill ambassador, Sea Prayer is a letter written in the form of a monologue. A collaboration with the UNHCR, this story is sensitively told through illustrations created by Tilt Brush accompanied by a score composed by Sahba Aminikia, an Iranian-American musician. This VR piece brings attention to the at least 8,500 refugees and migrants who have died or gone missing while attempting to cross the Mediterranean sea.

Project at a Glance :

Language : EN
Country : United Kingdom
Year : 2017
Author : Khaled Hosseini
Producer : Francesca Panetta
Team : Andrew Mason,Anette Jones,Anrick Bregman,Federico Fasce,Francesca Panetta,Kronos Quartet,Lisa Golden,Liz Edwards,Nicole Jackson,Sahba Aminikia,Shehani Fernando,UNHCR
Developers : SoWhen?
Designers : SoWhen?
Exhibition Venues : Ambulante,Bergen International Film Festival,DOK Leipzig,Future of Storytelling,Liminia VR Weekender,Milan Film Festival,Minsk International Film Festival Listapad,Movies That Matter,One World,PHI Centre Virtual Reality Garden,Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia,Tampere Film Festival,The Global Health Film Festival,The Other Art Fair Brooklyn,VIR:CINEMA,VRHAM!
Awards & Nominations : CICLOPE Film Festival Finalist for VR 2017,Halo Award - Bronze 2017,Official Selection Dok Leipzig 2017,Social Impact Media Awards - Best VR Experience & Immersive Impact Jury Prize Winner 2018,The Immersive Animation Award Nominee - VR Expo 2018,The Immersive Graphics Award Nominee - VR Expo 2018,The Immersive Story-Telling Award Winner - VR Expo 2018,Webby’s Nomination for Best Narrative Experience 2018
Funders AND Incubators : Google,UNHCRC
Trailer :


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