The Virtual Reality Works of United Nations Creative Director Gabo Arora
By David Graver
One might not be aware of the fact that the United Nations has a Creative Director. And yet, Gabo Arora, the first person to hold such a title, is doing everything in his power to change that. From immersive, film-festival quality content to a dedicated app employing virtual reality functionality, Arora’s contributions have already made a creative impact—and a financial one, as well. Arora has been working with the UN (as a senior policy advisor) for over three years now, and has held the title of Creative Director since January 2015. The UNVR app debuted this September, but some of the content within has been making the festival rounds since 2015. The UN has some pretty hefty talent among their ranks, including dozens of headline-catching celebrity ambassadors. Arora isn’t attempting to disrupt their work; rather, he’s aiming to change the way all of the stories coming from the UN are told.
Yesterday, Arora aided in the premiere of another filmic work, “Home,” to guests at the UN. It’s another touching, personal documentary—this time directed by David O Hana and Charlotte Cans. This is the first film ever to feature a sitting UN Secretary-General. In the film, Ban Ki-moon greets people around the world, spreading a message of hope. It’s another idiosyncratic, human tale in a roster of works that calls to mind Brandon Stanton’s “Humans of New York.” (Arora, in fact, produced Stanton’s UN tour.) Arora, first and foremost, is a filmmaker. “Home,” which he advised on, makes that evident, as do his directorial works. But as he explains to CH, the United Nations VR division is unlike anything else on the planet: “This is a nexus of Hollywood, technology and diplomacy, perhaps the only one.”