Around 2,000 people watched the premiere of Rotary International’s new virtual reality (VR) film, One Small Act, at the Atlanta Convention. It was one of the largest simultaneous viewings of a VR film.
The film follows the journey of a child whose world has been torn apart by conflict and supports the causes that Rotary champions, including polio eradication and peacebuilding. The story evoked strong emotions and sensations from the crowd.
Angus Fraser of RC Quirindi in New South Wales, Australia, one of the registrants to the event, said, “The film was great. A bit shocking; I didn’t really know what to expect from it but it was really cool. The film’s message will open up the world a bit, to make people realise there are terrible things happening and there are people trying to help — Rotary being one of the main groups doing that.”
Virtual reality allows people to “see the magic of Rotary first-hand,” said RI President John F Germ.
“This will definitely have a positive effect on people,” said Angela Ofili, of the Rotaract Club of Lekki Phase 1, Lagos, Nigeria. “Rotary has evolved, and that goes a long way towards having an impact in other people’s lives.”
‘One Small Act’ isn’t Rotary’s first VR film. I Dream of an Empty Ward, which premiered on World Polio Day 2016, takes viewers to India to follow Alokita, a young woman who was paralysed by polio as a child.
The film can be viewed with a VR viewer on Android and Apple devices, by downloading it from the ‘Rotary VR’ App.
Powerful advocacy tool
VR films can be a powerful advocacy tool, connecting with people on a visceral, personal level.
“The final push to end polio requires significant resources and emotional investment. This type of innovative technology has the potential to inspire that,” says Vincent Vernet, director of digital and publishing with Rotary’s communications team, who spearheaded the project.