We’re thrilled to be hosting the Birmingham Indian Film Festival at BOM in just a few weeks. If you love film and all things immersive, add Tuesday 2nd July from 5.30pm – 8pm to your diary.

What can you expect? 

The Indian Film Festival is a national festival with events taking place around the country and we’re proud to be hosting the Birmingham edition. Not only are we hosting, we have helped to curate a selection of immersive experiences which can be experienced through VR in the evening!

The XR experiences

We’re proud to present some fantastic XR (virtual and augmented reality) experiences at BOM for Birmingham Indian Film Festival, showcasing both local and South-Asian experiences. Keen to find out more about the experiences that will be showcased that evening? Take a look below: 

Anglo Sikh Virtual Museum  – Sikh Museum Initiative and BOM

A south-asian man stands in front of a screen displaying a virtual example of a Sikh atefact.

The Anglo Sikh Virtual Museum is a groundbreaking project by the Sikh Museum Initiative that has digitised over 25 artefacts from British collections using cutting-edge Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technology. This impressive collection features historically significant items from the 18th and 19th centuries. 

In collaboration with BOM who digitised and built the apps, the project is accessible through VR headsets and 3D touch screens across the UK. This initiative offers an immersive and interactive exploration of Sikh history and heritage. Visitors can virtually pick up historical swords and examine artefacts up close like never before, providing a unique and engaging way to connect with the rich cultural heritage of the Punjabi community. By preserving these treasures and making them accessible to a global audience, this project highlights the importance of making Indian cultural heritage more accessible in a modern, captivating format.

Empire Soldiers: A South Asian Story – MBD (METRO-BOULOT-DODO)

Empire Soldiers: A South Asian Story, is a VR film that pays tribute to the forgotten contribution of South Asian Soldiers in World War 1. Hear the captivating stories of the battlefield as you are joined by a returning soldier and share the emotional experience of the return home. As the journey continues to the present day, focus turns to the changes of the last 100 years, and the impact of migration on the world today. 

Empire Soldiers was originally developed as a Virtual Reality exhibition, touring throughout the UK to mark the centenary of the end of World War 1. Empire Soldiers: A South Asian Story, is part of a planned series of short VR films made to remember the forgotten contributions of soldiers from across the former British Empire.

Child of Empire – Project Dastaan 

Child of Empire is an animated virtual reality (VR) docu-drama experience which immerses viewers in one of the largest forced migrations in human history: the 1947 Partition of India and Pakistan. The film takes audiences through a deeply personal perspective of this epic historical event.

Two men from the Partition generation — Ishar Das Arora (voiced by Adil Hussain), an Indian Hindu who migrated from Pakistan to India, and Iqbal-ud-din Ahmed (voiced by Salman Shahid), a Pakistani Muslim who made the opposite journey — share childhood memories of their experiences while playing a board game. As the two men unpack their memories, audiences embody the experience of a 7-year-old child at key points in the migration. 

Child of Empire offers a powerful counter-narrative that lends a fresh perspective on the effects of forced migration on everyday individuals.

Darbar’s VR360 Festival: Indian Classical Music in Virtual Reality – Darbar Academy

Darbar’s VR360 Festival brings Indian classical music into the realm of Virtual Reality (VR). This innovative project uses VR technology to transport viewers to picturesque locations in India, immersing them in serene settings like temples and lakeside sunsets.Through VR headsets, viewers become the sole audience members for intimate raga performances by some of India’s finest musicians. 

This interactive experience allows users to feel as though they are truly present, with sounds and landscapes responding to their movements. Featuring both North Indian Hindustani and South Indian Carnatic music, the festival showcases vocal and instrumental performances. With cutting-edge ambisonic microphones and 8K video, Darbar’s VR360 Festival offers a unique way to experience Indian classical music, making this rich cultural heritage accessible to a global audience.

Time Travel Tram – Surfing Light Beams and Crossover Labs

Surfing Light Beams along with Crossover Labs, were commissioned by Birmingham 2022 the cultural festival for the Commonwealth Games to create Time Travel Tram – an immersive experience that brought living history into the 21st century by transporting passengers back in time on board the West Midlands Metro Tram Network.

Experienced by over 170 000 people in the summer of 2022, Time Travel Tram, retold stories about industry, the spirit of youth and music culture, eccentric pastimes and hobbies, migration and protest. Chains is about a proud tradition of fighting for freedom and how protest is at the cornerstone of creating change. But which chains are there left to break and which chains are there left to make?

Panel Discussion

Alongside the experiences, there will also be a panel discussion at Birmingham Indian Film Festival at BOM. Featuring our very own CTO Taran Singh, Harmeet Chagger-Khan, Creative Director from Surfing Light Beams, Nirmal Singh, Digital Learning Manager from Darbar Academy. More info to be shared soon. 

Join us!

Tickets for the event are free and we’ll be providing complimentary drinks and nibbles. To attend, please sign up via the eventbrite link below. 

See you on Tuesday 2nd July from 5.30pm – 8pm.

RSVP HERE for Birmingham Indian Film Festival