Oculus VR film 'Henry' wins Emmy award

Henry's win will go down in history as the first time an original VR narrative won the prestigious award.

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Ahead of the 68th annual Emmy awards show airing on September 18, Oculus has announced that its VR film Henry won the award for Outstanding Original Interactive Program.

The category marks an important distinction: Sleepy Hollow VR Experience became the first VR app to win an Emmy when it clinched the Interactive Media, User Experience and Visual Design category in 2015. Henry, however, tells an original story.

Oculus's win represents not only an exciting moment for Henry's team of filmmakers, but a huge step forward for storytelling in the still-largely-uncharted terrain of virtual reality.

"When we set out to make Henry, it was a step into the unknown world of making an emotional VR movie," said Henry director Ramiro Lopez Dau. "While we didn’t know what the outcome was going to be, we were excited about the possibilities. We never anticipated that one of our first projects would be given such a distinction and this recognition is not only a testament to our team’s creative and technical achievements, but also a validation for the VR storytelling community as a whole."

Henry tells the story of a hedgehog who loves to hug, but can't. Bereft of friends, he throws himself a birthday party. It'll tug at your heartstrings, and no wonder: not only is the tale told well, Dau is a veteran of Pixar, and brought years of experience telling evocative stories through technology to the proverbial table.

"We’ve seen VR bring stories to life in ways that were only a dream a year ago," wrote Oculus's team. "This award should stand as a reminder to every creator who aspires to make VR movies: you have the world’s attention."

Oculus's next project, Dear Angelica, will be released later in 2016.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at davidlcraddock.com and @davidlcraddock.

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