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Children of the Siege: VR Sketches

RT Creative Lab presents: VR-animated documentary short, ‘Children of the Siege: VR Sketches’, dedicated to the children trapped in the city of Leningrad during the siege by Nazi forces (considered to be the deadliest in history). The film was created to mark the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the siege and tells the story of children's sufferings through original child drawings and photos recreated in VR animation by a team of global XR artists.

Over 80 years ago the city of Leningrad in the Soviet Union faced a horrid siege that lasted for 872 days. For decades, the Museum of the History of St. Petersburg (as Leningrad is known today) has kept about 700 unique children's drawings that were created during the siege (September 8, 1941 – January 27, 1944). So for this VR documentary, we decided to bring these drawings to life using VR animation technologies together with the world’s best VR artists.

The team of VR artists - Denis "Sa1ntdenis" Semionov from Russia, Australian Stuart "Sutu" Campbell, Vladimir "VRHUMAN" Ilic from Germany and Rosie Summers from Great Britain - brought historical drawings to the virtual space. Each of them created a three-dimensional illustration in their own unique style.

  • Denis Semionov
  • Katya Motyakina
  • Kirill Karnovich-Valua
  • Denis Semionov
    Lead Artists
  • Stewart "Sutu Eats Flies" Campbell
    Lead Artists
  • Rosie Summers
    Lead Artists
  • Vladimir "VRHUMAN" Ilic
    Lead Artists
  • Eldar Salamov
    Lead Artists
  • Maxim Makarychev
    Lead Artists
  • Project Type:
    Virtual Reality, Interactive Film
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes 32 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 14, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
    Russian Federation
  • Language:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Denis Semionov

Denis is an Emmy-nominated XR artist and director. Started his art education in the Stroganov University, in 2007 finished art and graphics faculty at the Moscow Pedagogical State University. In 2012 graduated from the post-graduate studies. After the university practiced art and illustration. From 2014 he deals with technologies in art and AR/VR experiences. VR/AR projects participated in Cannes NEXT Marche du Film, European Film Market (Berlinale), SXSW, ANNY (New York) and won at Open Frame Award (Wiesbaden, The Nominal Empire), Clio Awards, Cannes Lions, Epica Awards, Webby Awards, Red Dot, Shorty Awards and others. In 2019 he became one of five VR artists, who made LIVE VR paintings on stage during WorldSkills opening ceremony in Kazan at the stadium with almost 50000 people in attendance. Denis Semionov collaborates with such brands as Leica, Absolut, Samsung, Institut Français. TEDX speaker.

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Director Statement

One of the ideas behind this film was to show how children tragically fall victims to wars. They are too young to fully protect themselves, too young to understand what is happening when bombs fall on their playgrounds. The only world that was once known to a child and which was once drawn by a child - the sun which was shining, a peaceful home, the family living happily together - with war it all comes to crash at once. And then new themes start to occupy young minds and take over their art - bombs exploding, tanks firing shells, warplanes blacking out the skies. As Eglantyne Jebb once said (she founded the "Save the Children" organization and drafted the document that became the Declaration of the Rights of the Child almost 100 years ago) - "Every war is a war against children"...