Anne Frank’s Diary has provided generations of young people with a candid glimpse of the lives of European Jews evading imprisonment and extermination by the Nazis. Now, an upcoming virtual reality film called Annewill seek to share a more visceral version of the experience.
The film, written and directed by Danny Abrahms, will be set in the secret annex where Frank and her family hid for two years. Abrahms, whose VR film First showed the Wright brothers’ first flight, said his goal is to keep the Franks’ story on the cutting-edge of storytelling to ensure that it would continue to be told.
“Anne Frank’s story has kept the memory of the Holocaust alive and promoted tolerance for generations,” Abrahms said in a prepared statement. “We are deeply committed to sharing Anne’s experience using cutting-edge modes of storytelling so that her story can live on and reach as many young people in the world as possible.”
As many reports have pointed out, the Anne Frank Foundation already offers a free 360 video tour of the house, which uses a mix of photographs and computer-rendered images. The tour, which was made for educational purposes, features facts about Anne Frank and her time in hiding, but does not tell a story.
Unlike the tour, however, the movie will create an entirely virtual version of the setting. As Abrahms pointed out in an interview with Entertainment Weekly (which also includes an early rendering of Frank’s room), the film will put viewers in the event, rather than simply showing them how it unfolded.
“To experience this film will be to immerse oneself into a place and time, to move about a room, amongst the people, and sense the moment in a way never possible before,” Abrahms said.