SBS Virtual Reality Gives A First-Person Insight Into Australia’s Culture

SBS’s virtual reality app has gotten a facelift — and launching alongside the revamp are three new VR projects.

Welcome to Garma with Ernie Dingo builds on NITV’s coverage and presents a rare insight into the remarkable Indigenous Garma Festival in Arnhem Land; A Pig’s Life with Matthew Evans is a VR exploration of the life of a pig in Australia’s meat trade and Tomorrow’s Diwali is a real-time art animation driven by SBS Radio, celebrating the significance of Diwali to Australia.

In a special partnership with the Antenna Documentary Film Festival, you can also access the international VR film Invisible — a journey into the UK’s immigration detention system.

“VR and 360 degree storytelling provides new opportunities to engage with audiences, immersing them in virtual worlds that drive an emotional connection through shared experience,” John-Paul Marin, Manager of SBS Digital Creative Labs said. “Embracing this digital innovation, SBS VR transports viewers to the very heart of unique stories, encouraging a deeper understanding of our diverse world”

Here’s a little more about the new projects:

Welcome to Garma with Ernie Dingo

The Garma Festival is a four-day festival committed to improving the state of Indigenous disadvantage and attracts an exclusive gathering of 2,500 political and business leaders from across the globe. SBS VR, working with NITV, has captured a 360 degree video featuring some of the traditional dances and other cultural events throughout the festival.

A Pig’s Life with Matthew Evans

Host of upcoming three-part SBS documentary For The Love of Meat Matthew Evans takes viewers on a virtual reality journey to experience life as a pig in Australia’s meat trade.

Tomorrow’s Diwali

Exploring what Indian festivals represent to the diverse Indian-Australian community, Tomorrow’s Diwali combines real-time art with emotive narrative from a range of community voices. Using VR’s painting tool Google Tilt Brush, visual artist Keroshin Govender takes audiences on an immersive journey, creating visual representations that reflect stories from Australia’s diverse Indian community for all Australians to embrace.


Concealed behind 20ft prison walls, on the hem of cities, thousands of people are being held with no time limit. In this psychological pressure cooker people are desperately trying to prove why they should be allowed to stay in the UK. The film hears the voices of those with first-hand experience of being detained as they lift the veil on the realities of the UK detention system.

The app itself has also had an upgrade — the playback is smoother and navigation is more intuitive. It will be available — for free — for Apple iOS and Google Android devices from tomorrow, 11 October.

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