Experiencing Interruptions?

Going back home: Mother VR

In the precariousness of prison, a group of women dream of reconnecting with their children. Together, they carefully guard a collection of objects that reconnect them with their memories, safeguarding them from danger in an interactive and virtual museum. This is a short documentary film in virtual reality (360 video + 3D space), co-created with a group of women in prison. Through virtual reality, families can send 360 video messages from their homes, granting the inmates the fleeting possibility of Going Back Home for a few seconds.

  • Catalina Alarcón
    PRESIDENTIAL MELTDOWN - 2021 Realizadora Cortometraje experimental MUTA Festival 2020 Muestra Arte Electrónico, Puntos de Inflexión VR, 2020 LA GAMBETA - 2020 Directora y guionista Cortometraje ficción Festival de Cine Latinoamericano de New York, 2021 Festival de cine de La Habana, Cuba, 2021 Festival de cine de Quito, Ecuador, 2021 Cinelatino Rencontres o de Toulouse, Francia, 2021 Festival Internacional de cine de Valdivia, Chile 2020 OCTUBRE - 2020 Co-directora y realizadora Cortometraje documental Festival Lagofest, Italia, 2021 Cinélatino Rencontres de Toulouse: 2020 4º Encuentro de Redes IberCultura Viva – Edición Especial 2020: REDFECI / Territorios Alteradxs, Chile, 2020 FIDBA / Foco Mapa Fílmico de un País, 2020 FIDOCS / Archivo en Proceso (WIP), Chile 2019
  • Daniela Camino
  • Maria Court
    Quipu Project
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Volver a casa: Madre VR
  • Project Type:
    Virtual Reality, Interactive Film, 360 Video
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    20 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    September 30, 2023
  • Country of Origin:
  • Language:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Catalina Alarcón

Filmmaker specializing in directing, with a notable academic background. She holds a major in directing and has received the prestigious international study grant from the Chilean Audiovisual Fund three times. She further specialized in Screenwriting and Acting Direction in Buenos Aires, Argentina, pursued Advanced Screenwriting at EICTV in Cuba, and explored New Narratives and Virtual Reality, Generative Art, and New Media at the School of Machine.

Additionally, she serves as the director of the cultural organization and transmedia project 'Volver a Casa VR' (Going Back Home VR), which actively engages with the prison system through the creation of film and virtual reality workshops that connect inmates with their families. Her endeavors have been supported by notable grants and recognitions, including the Audiovisual Fund in 2018 and 2019, Corfo Development Fund, IDFA FORUM Doclab 2019, Meet Market Sheffield Alternate Realities 2020, and Audiovisual Fund New Media 2021.

Catalina has released a series of short films utilizing Generative Art and Artificial Intelligence techniques, blending personal archival material, image interpolation, and deep fake technologies. She has also directed 'Olvido, memorias que no son mías', an exploration of artificial intelligence's role in generating family archival material and reflecting on memory. Furthermore, she has directed 'Mother VR', a collaborative virtual reality experience that combines 360º, 3D, animation, and interactivity.

Driven by her passion for cinema and technology, Catalina aims to investigate the intersection between the two realms. She also strives to democratize cinema by fostering artistic co-creation and collaboration within communities.

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Director Statement

Since I began my career as a filmmaker I have been interested in portraying spaces in conflict, invisible, peripheral. The desire to transform that interest into collaborative work led me to create the organization VOLVER A CASA VR, a transmedia project that includes a series of film and virtual reality workshops in men's and women's prisons throughout Chile. The first conclusions were to understand the crisis of the prison system as a symptom of social inequality. Prison is the clearest consequence of the current socio-political system, being a forgotten, classist and punitive place that does not have the will of reinsertion or change. The Latin American prison system meets all the above characteristics, adding to it the high rates of violence and overcrowding.

In one of these workshops, at the Valparaiso Penitentiary Center, I met the protagonists of this VR experience. Being a woman in today's society is complex, being a woman and a mother deprived of liberty is an act of resistance, it is deeply political and precarious. I got to know the reality of several women who live their motherhood in prison, as well as others who are the only pillar of their families even when they are behind bars. 98% of the female population has 1 or 2 children. They are marginalized, discriminated against and forgotten by society.

This project was born from the need to build a virtual space that would reconnect them with their families, but also to give permanence in time to a series of family objects that they hide and keep with suspicion inside the prison. They hide them from the precariousness of that space, but also from police violence. Thus was born VOLVER A CASA: MADRE VR as a collaborative work that allows them to return to their homes for fleeting moments, but that tells their story in an honest, collective and close way.