Oculus’ virtual reality film Henry wins an Emmy


Henry the lonely hedgehog now has an Emmy to keep him company

For a few years now virtual reality filmmakers have fought for recognition and acceptance among traditional directors and studios and last night, Oculus’ film making arm, Story Studio, got a taste of the kind of validation they’ve been looking for – an Emmy for their animated VR experience Henry.


Oculus and the story of their lonely hedgehog Henry


The award, for Outstanding Original Interactive Program, isn’t the first Emmy to be given to a VR project – that distinction goes to the Sleepy Hollow VR experience – but it is the first original VR short to be given such an honour. It is also, according to Story Studio creative director Saschka Unseld, “what every story teller hopes for – to have the world validate the risks we were worried to take.”

Henry, released last year and directed by Pixar vet Ramiro Lopez Dau, tells the story of a lonely hedgehog who throws himself a birthday party. It’s a fairly simple tale, but it set out to prove there could be an emotional connection fostered in VR that was different than what viewers experience looking at movies or TV. When you look at Henry in Henry, he looks back, and it’s simultaneously intense and heartbreaking.


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“From the start we’ve wanted to show that VR is an art form – a place that welcomes storytellers and that even at this very, very early stage it can be a powerful tool for storytelling,” Dau says.

“This Emmy validates that vision. We hope this represents a tipping point for the VR industry.”

Oculus Story Studio’s next project, Dear Angelica, is slated for release later this year.

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers” and a “Young Kurzweil,” is the founder and CEO of the World Futures Forum and the 311 Institute, a global Futures and Deep Futures consultancy working between the dates of 2020 to 2070, and is an award winning futurist, and author of “Codex of the Future” series. Regularly featured in the global media, including AP, BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, Discovery, RT, Viacom, and WIRED, Matthew’s ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past six years as one of the world’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive, sustainable future. A rare talent Matthew’s recent work includes mentoring Lunar XPrize teams, re-envisioning global education and training with the G20, and helping the world’s largest organisations envision and ideate the future of their products and services, industries, and countries. Matthew's clients include three Prime Ministers and several governments, including the G7, Accenture, Aon, Bain & Co, BCG, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, E&Y, GEMS, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Lego, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, T-Mobile, and many more.

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