2021 PBS Short Film Festival creates a sense of community through a virtual reality experience

ByJillian Carmenate & Carmesha Blackmon OTRC logo
Thursday, July 15, 2021
PBS Short Film Festival fosters community through VR experience
The 2021 PBS Short Film Festival allows viewers to sit back, relax and enjoy the films through a virtual reality experience.

LOS ANGELES -- The 2021 PBS Short Film Festival "A Decade of Being Seen" is streaming now through July 23. The film festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary by highlighting independent films and filmmakers.

Taryn Stewart, PBS' director of audience engagement, aims to promote films that will resonate with viewers from diverse backgrounds.

"My personal mission myself is to make sure that you know that you feel seen in some type of way, and so the PBS short film festival should be a kind of a mirror for you," she said.

Stewart explained that the PBS Short Film Festival doesn't edit or change the films in any way, saying, "We don't get in there and do any type of editing. We make sure that is their stories from their point of view, from start to finish, they have complete creative control," she said,

"We are just there to be a host and to just give them a platform so that they can tell their stories to a much larger and wider audience," Stewart added.

This year's film festival includes a virtual reality experience for viewers that creates a sense of community. Viewers can enjoy the virtual reality experience with or without a headset. For viewers using their computer, they can watch the films with a 360-degree view.

The film festival features 25 short films that are now available for streaming on all PBS digital platforms.