The documentary VR film by director Valeriy Korshunov, “Chornobyl: Back to the Future” unravels the history of the Chornobyl nuclear disaster and also delves into a contemporary narrative of the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant (CNPP) being seized by Russian occupiers in 2022. The film unveils a treasure trove of unique historical and contemporary footage that was previously inaccessible to the public.
The production team dedicated over 5 years to researching Chernobyl’s themes, digitizing its cultural heritage, and artifacts. Laser 3D scanning, graphic historical reconstruction technologies were employed for certain film scenes to transport the viewer back in time.
This VR (Virtual Reality) format of the film transcends traditional storytelling, allowing viewers not only to watch the film but also to become active participants, virtually reliving and experiencing the emotions tied to the Chornobyl disaster and recent events at the CNPP.
“Work on the film ‘Chornobyl: Back to the Future’ began even before the full-scale russian invasion of Ukraine. Originally, it was envisioned as a scientific and educational 360-degree stereoscopic video for VR headsets. The goal was to provide visitors with context and a genuine understanding of Chornobyl’s true history, with the main emphasis on the information component of the Chornobyl disaster, namely the role of propaganda and fakes of the Soviet Union in it.
However, everything changed on February 24, 2022 – now, it’s impossible to tell the story of Chornobyl without addressing the occupation of Ukrainian nuclear power plants by the Russians and the nuclear threat they pose to the world today. This film aims to not only uphold historical truth but also raise the question: what future awaits us if Russia’s nuclear terrorism goes unpunished?” says project director Valeriy Korshunov.
Project director Valeriy Korshunov and producer Svitlana Korshunova have already presented their VR project, “First Day,” at this year’s Venice Biennale, like winners of the Biennale Cinema College program.
The primary objective of the VR-film “Chornobyl: Back to the Future” is to raise awareness among both Ukrainian and international audiences about the current state and true history of Chornobyl. It aims to debunk Russian disinformation and propaganda, which is of utmost importance for the preservation, protection, and promotion of the cultural heritage and national memory of the Ukrainian people regarding Chornobyl.
This film was produced with the support of the Ukrainian Cultural Fund and will be made available to audiences in Ukrainian and English versions for VR headsets after its presentation at film festivals. “Chornobyl: Back to the Future” promises to offer an immersive journey that goes beyond mere storytelling, forging a powerful connection between viewers and the historical and contemporary realities of Chornobyl.
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