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Participant Media and Industry Distribution Leader, Within, Partner on Participant's "This is Climate Change" Virtual Reality Series


New Four-Part Series Directed by Danfung Dennis and Eric Strauss, and Co-Produced by Participant and Condition One, Builds on 2017's Immersive Melting Ice VR Episode

LOS ANGELES, CA (January 19, 2018) – Participant Media announced today that it will expand its virtual reality experience, Melting Ice, into a four-part series titled, This is Climate Change. The project, from San Francisco-based production company Condition One and directors Danfung Dennis and Eric Strauss, adds three more, 10-minute, immersive experiences through which climate change is felt urgently around the globe. Participant has teamed up with WITHIN, the premier destination for innovative, entertaining and informative story-based virtual and augmented reality, to distribute the series. The series will launch later this year on the WITHIN app, which is available on iOS, Android and all major VR headsets.

Participant’s expansion of Melting Ice into a fully-fledged series furthers the company’s VR strategy and mission of telling compelling and impactful stories across all platforms alongside best-in-class distribution of its content.

David Linde, Participant’s CEO, stated, “By utilizing this innovative medium to demonstrate the catastrophic effects of global warming, Participant continues to invest in new ways to engage our audience in driving global change. Melting Ice was a great first step for us into VR, and we look forward to furthering our relationship with Danfung and WITHIN to offer up three new experiences that will bring attention to the urgent topic of climate change. I’ve known Chris and have been a fan of his for years now, and I know we both agree—it’s about time!”

"We're thrilled to continue the partnership with Participant to urgently convey the warning signs of climate change and its devastating effects,” said Danfung Dennis. “We brought our cameras to some of the most remote and beautiful parts of the world to create a unique and immersive series. By harnessing the power of VR, we can now translate the abstraction of climate change into a viscerally felt experience."

WITHIN’s founder Chris Milk added, “We are incredibly excited to work with Participant to help bring This Is Climate Change to the world. Climate change is a crisis which affects us all. We hope to use our platform to reach a global audience and to use this powerful VR series to educate and encourage our viewers to take the necessary action to help save our planet.”

Melting Ice, which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival as a New Frontier Showcase, had an in-theater activation last year in conjunction with the theatrical release of Participant Media’s An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power in New York and Los Angeles. In Melting Ice, Al Gore takes viewers on a transcendent exploration into the devastating consequences of climate change on Greenland's ice sheet. As viewers enter the immersive VR experience, they find themselves standing under collapsing glaciers, next to raging rivers of ice melt and witnessing rising sea levels—all visceral warnings of our planet's future.

This week, Participant Media’s documentary Kailash opened the 2018 Sundance Film Festival to a widely enthusiastic audience response. In the festival, the company will also be showcasing acclaimed documentarian Steve James’ unscripted series, America to Me, a year-long look into one of America’s most exemplary and diverse public schools in Chicago’s suburban Oak Park. Participant’s upcoming film slate includes 7 Days in Entebbe, from Jose Padilha and Working Title; Rupert Wyatt’s Captive State; Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma; Rachel Dretzin’s documentary Far From the Tree, based on the best-selling book by Andrew Solomon; Chiwetel Ejiofor’s directorial debut The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind; On the Basis of Sex, from director Mimi Leder; and Peter Farrelly’s Green Book, starring Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali. The company’s expansion into television also includes the limited scripted drama series, Central Park Five, directed by Ava DuVernay, which will be released through Netflix.

WITHIN will also have a presence at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, where they are premiering their latest virtual reality experience, Chorus. WITHIN (formerly known as Vrse) and Milk have a long history at Sundance. In 2014, Milk unveiled the first-ever VR experience to play at the festival with “Hello, Again”—a 10-minute rendition of David Bowie’s “Sound and Vision,” performed by Beck. Since then, WITHIN and Milk have been a staple of Sundance, premiering new projects there for the past five festivals consecutively.

 

About Condition One

Condition One is a virtual reality production and technology studio delivering advanced, stereoscopic VR experiences that evoke empathy and drive social impact. Their work includes pieces for the New York Times, National Geographic, Hulu, Google and Participant Media. In 2016, CEO Magazine named Condition One as one of its "5 World Changing VR Startups.”

Founded by Academy Award nominated filmmaker Danfung Dennis, Condition One produces immersive VR films that take viewers to the front lines of the world's most compelling stories. They released the first VR film, ZERO POINT, on Steam in 2014. Their work has premiered at the Sundance Film Festival for the last three years and has focused on social and environmental issues.

Condition One’s production team hails from top-tier media outlets including National Geographic, Discovery, CNN and HBO. Their world-class computer vision and graphics engineers come from Lytro, Glu Mobile and DreamWorks. Together, they have designed and built custom 3D VR cameras and the industry's highest quality 3D-360 content creation pipeline. Condition One provides end-to-end VR production services, from development and production to stitching and mobile apps. Follow Condition One on Twitter at @Condition One and on Facebook and Instagram.

 

About WITHIN

WITHIN is the premier destination for innovative, entertaining, and informative story-based virtual and augmented reality. They bring together the best immersive experiences from the world's finest VR creators—from gripping tales set in worlds of pure imagination to documentaries taking you further inside the news than ever before. WITHIN supports all major headsets, including Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, HTC Vive, Sony Playstation VR, and Google Daydream. To get started experiencing WITHIN’s ever-growing roster of content, just download the app for iPhone or Android.

WITHIN was founded by award-winning filmmaker Chris Milk and renowned technologist Aaron Koblin with the goal of exploring and expanding the potential of immersive storytelling. We collaborate with companies including 21st Century Fox, Oculus, Google, Apple, NBC Universal, Lytro, The New York Times, Vice Media, and the United Nations, as well as artists including U2, The Chemical Brothers and OKGO to bring to life and distribute premium immersive stories in a variety of genres. (Social: @WITHIN)

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Participant MediaAbout Participant Media

Founded in 2004 by Jeff Skoll, Participant Media’s (www.participantmedia.com) content combines the power of a good story well told with opportunities for real world impact and awareness around the most pressing global issues of our time. As an industry content leader, Participant annually produces up to six narrative feature films, five documentary films, three episodic television series, and more than 40 hours of digital short form programming, through its digital subsidiary SoulPancake—all aimed at entertainment that inspires social awareness and engaging audiences to participate in positive social change. Participant’s content and social impact mandate speaks directly to the rise of today’s “conscious consumer,” representing over 2 billion consumers who are compelled to make impactful content a priority focus. Through its worldwide network of traditional and digital distribution, aligned with partnerships with key non-profit and NGO organizations, Participant is positioned uniquely within the industry to engage a rapidly growing audience while bringing global awareness and action to today’s most vital issues.

Participant’s more than 80 films, including Spotlight, Contagion, Lincoln, The Help, He Named Me Malala, The Look of Silence, CITIZENFOUR, Food, Inc. and An Inconvenient Truth, have collectively earned 56 Academy Award® nominations and 12 wins, including Best Picture for Spotlight and Best Foreign Language Film for A Fantastic Woman. Participant’s digital entertainment division, SoulPancake (www.soulpancake.com), is an award-winning provider of thought-provoking, joyful, and uplifting digital content including such widely popular series as Kid President and The Science of Happiness and reaches an audience of nearly 9 million fans. Follow Participant Media on Twitter and on Facebook and Instagram. Follow SoulPancake on Twitter and on Facebook and Instagram.