Gabo Arora

The United Nations Clouds Over Sidra

Here Be Dragons presents “Clouds Over Sidra”, a virtual reality film for the United Nations in partnership with Samsung. The film was commissioned as part of the UN’s advocacy at the World Economic Forum in Davos to state and business leaders and offers a unique perspective into the lives of the world’s most vulnerable people. 

“Clouds Over Sidra” follows a twelve year old in the Za’atari camp in Jordan – home to 84,000 Syrian refugees. It follows her to school, to her makeshift tent and even to the football pitch.  “At the UN, we consistently strive to bring citizens’ perspectives into the decision making process anyway possible” said Gabo Arora, Senior advisor at the UN.  “By leveraging breakthrough technologies, such as virtual reality, we can create solidarity with those who are normally excluded and overlooked, amplifying their voices and explaining their situations.” 

It’s the first ever film shot in virtual reality for the UN, using the medium to generate greater empathy and new perspectives on people living in conditions of great vulnerability. The film’s powerful capacity to allow anyone on a global scale experience life within a refugee camp has the ability to inspire the message of hope amongst not only the millions displaced but also those motivated to act.

“Clouds Over Sidra” was created by Gabo Arora and Chris Milk using proprietary technology to craft and curate the original, immersive experience. The film will be shared at the upcoming World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on January 21st and will be simultaneously released on the Within application and iTunes.

 “Getting a sense of ‘presence’ from Virtual Reality is an incredibly powerful experience.  Doing so in such a heartbreaking place will, we hope, have a profound impact on the viewer that traditional newsreels and film making has so far failed to convey.  There is an urgency and visceral immersion to the film” said Patrick Milling Smith ofHere Be Dragons.