The UK premiere of GOLIATH: PLAYING WITH REALITY, a powerful and innovative VR experience about psychosis opens today at BFI Southbank until 15 May, coinciding with Mental Health Awareness Week.
The winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best VR Work at the 78th Venice International Film Festival, GOLIATH explores schizophrenia and psychosis through the true story of Goliath, an isolated man with schizophrenia who finds human connection through the world of online video games. Combining mesmerising visuals with immersive storytelling, GOLIATH offers a unique perspective on the weight of mental health, with Tilda Swinton’s narration guiding users through multiple worlds to uncover Goliath’s poignant story.
Presented as part of the BFI Expanded programme, GOLIATH is directed by Barry Gene Murphy and May Abdalla and created by the award-winning creative studio Anagram. Following its award-winning launch at the 78th Venice International Film Festival, the installation has been shown at major festivals around the world including SXSW, IDFA, Sundance and the Geneva International Film Festival.
Taking visual inspiration from the iconic aesthetic of classic video games, GOLIATH invites audiences to step into an expanded game world and explore the limits of reality, shedding an empathetic light on the condition of schizophrenia and unpacking preconceptions and prejudices around one of the most stigmatised and misunderstood of mental health conditions.
Alongside the installation, BFI + Anagram will be hosting a special evening screening and panel discussion on 11 May 2022 to explore the representation of psychosis on screen, co-curated by mental health charity Mind in Camden.
Goliath was made using Unity (NYSE: U), the world’s leading platform for creating and operating real-time 3D (RT3D) content, with the support of Meta Quest VR for Good an initiative designed to support content creators, impact innovators and inspire partners who see virtual reality as a way to make the world a better place; the BFI awarding funds from the National Lottery; Creative XR, Digital Catapult and the Arts Council England; Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée; StoryFutures Academy; and developed thanks to La Biennale di Venezia – Biennale College Cinema VR.