Eastern European XR Alliance was established by the selected VR participants of East Doc Interactive 2021 this March, reuniting founders and XR professional representatives from five countries: Romania, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Belarus. The interest towards creative XR started to grow intensively in the recent years in the region. An increasing number of participants attends XR related events and festivals which clearly shows that a small but active scene is rising. The idea of the collaboration came after discussing the needs of the power of local XR communities. The initiative was pre-launched at East Doc Platform and its extensive manifesto was publicly announced at goEast Festival of Central and Eastern European Film 2021.
Eastern European XR Alliance was created to advocate for the emerging creative XR industries of the Eastern European countries. It aims to establish strong connections between creators, promote new XR talents, build infrastructure and support international co-operations. The activity of the organisation includes project incubation, education and networking. As a long term goal, the Alliance seeks to establish funding for Eastern European XR projects.
“With a highly strong digital infrastructure, top-notch Internet speed, acknowledged film and game industries and over 150 millions of Internet users as potential audiences, the Eastern region has all the abilities to flourish creatively. There is however a strong need for visionary strategies in the short, medium and long term. We are XR archaeologists and visionary thinkers, aiming to research, initiate, collect and cherish groundbreaking practices in order to enrich the medium and its social impact. Together, we can innovate creative XR practices at an unprecedented rate.” - Ioana Mischie, XR artist, EEXRA board member (RO)
“Although there are many differences between our local industries, we have one thing in common which is the difficulty of getting access to financing. We have to find out how we can work together and build a vivid ecosystem for creators, companies and audiences. There is a growing international interest towards our region that also could support our initiative.” - Viktoria Szabo, XR producer and EEXRA board member (HU).
“Our goal is to create bridges between creative, educational and technological institutions in order to foster innovation. This strong bond between diverse entities could elevate not only the quantity, but also the quality of Eastern XR works.” - Jacek Nagłowski, XR producer and EEXRA board member (PO)
“It’s time to convert XR pieces into real competitors in the field of entertainment, education and art. Often talented authors and developers aren’t enough, we should have a distribution strategy, strong community, effective marketing, and other magic elements. So consolidating the efforts of XR professionals from the Eastern Europe is a perfect step in this direction.” Mitya Sorkin, creative producer, EEXRA board member (BY)
“Although the Alliance is fueled by Eastern talent, we aim to set up global collaborations with multi-cultural entities in order to achieve higher goals. If East Doc Platform 2021 was the starting point of the preliminary debates, our goal is to attract a network of festivals, museums, policies that could encourage Eastern initiatives further.” Jakub Pinkava, XR producer, EEXRA board member (CZ)
The main objectives of the Alliance are creative-driven, education-driven and infrastructure-driven:
- to connect the XR creative industries through networking events and collaborative initiatives
- to constantly map the evolution of Eastern European XR works
- to make Eastern European creative XR industries stronger by collecting and sharing good practices through annual reports
- to accelerate XR infrastructure in Eastern Europe by facilitating transdisciplinary platforms reuniting creatives, technology-creators and policy decision-makers
- to publicly promote XR projects Eastern Europe along with case studies to document the process
- to celebrate and support diverse XR talents from Eastern Europe
- to create original Alliance projects - scalable, anthological concepts with more Eastern European countries involved
- to design short, medium and long term strategies for the Eastern XR industry in order to be relevant globally
- to advance creative XR as a medium, with a drive for innovation, ethics and creativity.
Founding members of the Alliance are:
Ioana Mischie (RO)
Romanian-born transmedia artist (writer/director) and transmedia futurist, multi-awarded for film, VR and innovative concepts. Fulbright Grantee Alumna of USC School of Cinematic Arts and Alumna of UNATC, advanced the transmedia storytelling field as part of her doctoral study. Her films and VR works were selected at more than 150 festivals worldwide. Co-Founder of Storyscapes (NGO) and Noe-Fi Studios (neuro-VR start-up).
Jacek Nagłowski (PO)
Film producer and director, researcher and author of virtual reality works. In 2004 he founded the Centrala film production company, which to date has produced nearly thirty documentaries and feature films, awarded at international film festivals. Co-leader of VR/AR Studio of Visual Narrations Lab at Łódź Film School.
Jakub Pinkava (CZ)
Film, commercial and TV producer working for Punk Film, a Prague based production company. He co-founded Free cinema, a non-profit film education organization and pioneers immersive videos in the Czech Republic. He co-organizes East Doc Interactive in cooperation with the IDF.
Mitya Sorkin (BY)
Co-founder and creative producer of Feeling Digital, a VR/AR studio from Minsk, Belarus. He has been involved in producing immersive experiences since 2014. He worked as an interactive experience designer on dozens of projects in the sphere of art, marketing, advertising, education and entertainment.
Viktoria Szabo (HU)
Budapest based creative producer, media strategist, educator and innovation enthusiast working in the field of digital storytelling and immersive media art. She worked with many different media formats from TV to VR. She is passionate about finding new narrative formats on the verge of art and science.
Call to Action:
As a first step, the organisation is looking for collaborators from all over Europe and also partner institutions aiming to discover and advance Eastern works, talents and policies.
By June 2021, the Alliance will open the application for members and country ambassadors from Eastern Europe and XR professionals with a track record in the field will be invited to co-shape collaborative policies.