The documentary film VR Gostomel offers a unique immersive experience recounting the story of the inhabitants of the small town of Gostomel in the Kyiv region during the early days of the full-scale Russian invasion in February 2022. This town gained global recognition due to a crucial battle for the airport and the destruction of the legendary AN-225 Mriya aircraft. Gostomel was a home to many, where ordinary people lived, and children attended school while watching planes from their classroom windows.
Through virtual reality, the VR Gostomel project acts as a portal, immersing viewers into the wartime, allowing them to witness the battle for the airport, the devastated Military Town, the burnt Mriya, the abandoned school, and much more.
The narrative of the VR documentary film is built upon the stories of the town’s residents who walk through its streets, sharing their lives before and during the occupation. Behind every ruined building lies a deep history, narrated by the people of Gostomel, the Mriya aircraft pilots, and the relatives of those who lost their lives defending our country. Cutting-edge technology enables viewers to feel and experience this history alongside the protagonists, thanks to virtual reality.
During the project, 10 locations in Gostomel and war artifacts were scanned, five virtual environments were created, and a unique 360-degree video about wartime Gostomel was produced, to be showcased in VR headsets worldwide.
The film’s director, Valeriy Korshunov, known for his work on numerous cultural and social projects related to Chornobyl and the founder of the Ukrainian Biennale of Digital and Media Art, has already presented his VR project “First Day” at the Venice Biennale this year, winning the Biennale Cinema College.
“We captured incredible VR footage that conveys the atmosphere of Gostomel and its surreal reality. They evoke strong emotions and a sense of the reality of events. We use 360-degree cameras, 3D scanning, and drone filming, essentially documenting and preserving the consequences of war in a modern format. Buildings may be demolished or rebuilt, but memories must endure. This is crucial for history and future generations. Everything we saw there leaves a deep impact on us. It’s another side of life that we must reflect on and remember for the sake of the future,” comments the project director, Valeriy Korshunov.
The aim of the VR Gostomel project is to counteract propaganda on a sensory level. It is well-known how visits to Borodianka, Bucha, Irpin, and Gostomel affect world leaders. These places reveal the realities of war, crimes against humanity with no justification, and remind us of universal values for which we fight, emphasizing the need to support Ukraine.
The immersive VR film, VR Gostomel, allows virtual attendance at wartime events with a full sense of presence in a VR headset. Virtual reality enables people not only to see but also to feel and experience what is happening. The project’s goal is to provide viewers with the opportunity to see the consequences of war with their own eyes. It aims to engage viewers in supporting Ukraine and contribute to preventing similar tragedies in the future. Therefore, we hope this project will be shown to as many people as possible in Ukraine and around the world.
The documentary VR film VR Gostomel is produced with the support of the Ukrainian Cultural Fund and will be presented at film festivals, international conferences, and other events in support of Ukraine. Afterward, the film will be available for viewing in VR headsets and on YouTube.
Learn more about the project on the website: https://thewareffect.com/