Private Project

Violating Peace

A young soldier is torn between military loyalty and his own moral code in this fictional, interactive narrative based on powerful real life testimonials.

Assigned to his first UN mission in a wartorn, West African country, young soldier David, realises that his roommate Jean-Baptiste 'JB' is not what he appears to be. As JB's self-destructive behaviour threatens the life of a local girl, David must choose between loyalty to his comrade and what he knows is right.

  • Charlotte Windle Mikkelborg
    Fly (2020), Through the Cracks (2020), The Journey (2018), Born into Exile (2016)
  • Gaelle Mourre
    (Hi)story of a Painting (2020), Mechanical Souls, The Feast (2017), Awakening (2015)
  • Charlotte Windle Mikkelborg
    Fly (2020), Through the Cracks (2020), The Journey (2018), Born into Exile (2016)
  • Charlotte Windle Mikkelborg
    (Hi)Story of a Painting (2020), Fly (2020), Through the Cracks (2020), The Journey (2018), Born into Exile (2016)
  • Vincent Vermignon
    Key Cast
    American Dream, Beyond Existence, The Staircase
  • Jean-Jacques Yebouet
    Key Cast
    Cafe Mirage, Winner Takes All
  • Nathan Musoki
    Key Cast
  • Olo Olan
    Key Cast
  • Toni Madja
    Key Cast
    Moilonga, Shrink
  • Ceiri Torjussen
    Dive Olly Dive!, Burn, I Robot, The Day After Tomorrow
  • Ignacio Ferrando Margeli
    360 Cinematography
    The Journey, Born into Exile
  • Henrik Opperman
    Spatial Sound Designer
    Together in my Name, Forced from Home
  • Project Type:
    Virtual Reality, Interactive Film, 360 Video
  • Runtime:
    15 minutes 23 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 10, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    88,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
    English, French
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Charlotte Windle Mikkelborg, Gaelle Mourre

Charlotte Mikkelborg is an award-winning British director/immersive creator known for her work directing gripping character-driven film and immersive experiences. Charlotte's VR short Born into Exile screened in the US Houses of Congress (2016), while her 360 film 'The Journey' premiered at SXSW 2018 and was winner of the 61st Cine Golden Eagle Award for Best VR Short. In 2019, Charlotte worked with an Oscar-winning team to create 'Fly' - a multi-sensory, interactive VR narrative - sponsored by British Airways. Fly had a sell out run in London's Saatchi Gallery, was invited to Cannes, Tribeca and SXSW 2020 film festivals, was Winner of Best Documentary Experience at Raindance Film Festival, Winner of a Lumieres Award for Best VR Experience 2020 and selected for the Best of British Immersive Arcade currently touring the UK.

Charlotte mentors on Youtube Immersive Creator's Lab and University College London’s immersive media course.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

When I was approached by the United Nations about making a VR experience that dealt with the incredibly sensitive issue of sexual abuse of local populations by UN peacekeepers, my stomach turned. Something deep inside of me, as a woman and as a mother of twin girls, didn't want to face these realities but I also knew immediately that, as a woman and as a mother, I had to. I have witnessed first hand the power of immersive storytelling to change hearts and minds and even behaviour – this is a power that we, as immersive storytellers, can yield. The idea that soldiers sent in to protect civilian populations from often terrifying realities, are taking that trust and obliterating it by themselves becoming the perpetrators of abuse against these vulnerable women and children, is devastating and we have to do everything within our power to stop it.

The storyline is derived from research of real life cases and the script was developed in collaboration with military psychologists working within the context where the film is set to maximise the ultimate impact the film will have.

The question will be asked - why is the film set in Francophone Africa and why are all 6 members of the cast Black African. Is the implication that these abuses are only taking place in Africa or that they are only perpetrated by African soldiers? The answer is, of course, no, as we know from news reports of cases in recent years involving exploitation of Haitian women by Uruguan peacekeepers and children in the Central African Republic by French peacekeepers. However, as the UN has, for the past few years, been publishing statistics on all reported abuses (where they are committed, what form the abuse takes and who has perpetrated that abuse) we know that the vast majority of abuses are currently being committed on the African continent. We also know from these statistics that 6 of the 8 countries with the worst recent records of sexual exploitation and abuse are Francophone African nations. Of the remaining two countries, one is Anglophone African and the other is South Asian. There are of course complicated political reasons why this is the case. Not least that many developed nations prefer to send equipment rather than their own troops into these dangerous settings, leaving much of the on the ground peacekeeping work to developing nations. The goal of 'Violating Peace' is first and foremost to change peacekeeper behaviour. To this end, the interactive film will be rolled out in peacekeeping training centres across Africa, starting with the contingents with the worst records of abuses, in order to maximise potential impact. Hence the characters in our fictional narrative needed to echo characters and settings that these peacekeeping contingents will recognise in order to maximise the likelihood that decisions made in this interactive narrative will then be mimicked in real life scenarios, to help stop the abuse and save lives. To this end, the film was shot in both French and English with crew and bi-lingual cast shooting every scene in both languages.

We have developed both an interactive branching narrative version of the film that will be used in peacekeeper centres and a linear narrative version. As part of our goal of affecting real change as well as informing public perception of this persistent problem, my production team and I, with the support of the UN, are keen on orchestrating a public release of the work either in its interactive form or as a linear narrative 360 film. We are providing a link here to the linear film. If Violating Peace is of interest to the New Frontiers curatorial team, depending on which section it is of interest for (ie. the 360 linear version for the VR cinema or the interactive version in a larger install space) we are open to discuss our ideas re exhibition/installation and how the piece will work best for the the Sundance audience and best fit with Sundance’s exhibition and curatorial ambitions.