UK-Canada Immersive Exchange

Audience-Ready Projects
Prototype Projects

The UK-Canada Immersive Exchange is a multi-phase talent development and co-production program created to support and champion an international cohort of artists, filmmakers, producers, companies and creators from Canada and the UK, aiming to be future leaders of immersive storytelling.

The program is supported by an international collaboration between StoryFutures Academy, the National Centre for Immersive Storytelling (run by the National Film and Television School and Royal Holloway, University of London), Arts Council England, the Canada Media Fund, Canadian Film Centre's Media Lab and the Canada Council for the Arts in Canada.

Twenty-four participants – 12 from the UK and 12 from Canada – were originally chosen from nearly 500 applications for the initial talent development phase of the exchange, which concluded in February 2021. They included six creative leads from each country – a mixture of artists, filmmakers, theatre directors and innovators – as well as six creative producers from each country, who brought with them an impressive and varied range of experiences from diverse backgrounds across the creative spectrum.

The selected participants were then given an opportunity to pitch for international co-production financing. In the second phase of the program, six teams were chosen and awarded funding, including two ‘audience-ready’ projects, each receiving a total of up to £100,000 / $170,000 CAD, and four ‘prototype’ projects, receiving approximately £25,000 / $40,000 CAD each.

Learn more about the six international co-productions developed as part of the UK-Canada Immersive Exchange.

We’d like to thank everyone who applied for the UK-Canada Immersive Exchange. Subscribe to our newsletter to get updated about our future program offerings!

Program Partners


The CFC is committed to providing accessible practices that are in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If you require accommodation at any stage of the application process or have any questions regarding appropriate accommodations please contact Deborah Fallows, CHRO, at:

Do you have questions about the UK-Canada Immersive Exchange, that are not answered on this site? Please email us at

The program materials can be made available in French upon request. 
Les lignes directrices et les formulaires de demande sont disponibles en français sur demande.

Audience-Ready Projects

The UK-Canada Immersive Exchange is pleased to have supported six international co-production teams, which were formed during the talent development phase of the program. The co-productions include two ‘audience-ready’ projects, each receiving a total of up to £100,000 / $170,000 CAD, and four ‘prototype’ projects, receiving approximately £25,000 / $40,000 CAD each.

If you are interested in getting in touch with the project teams, please reach out to the leads directly or email

The Galaxicle Implosions

The Galaxicle Implosions is an innovative and ambitious project blending technology, improvisation, animation, interaction and music to create five episodes of an animated sci-fi comedy series that will be performed live simultaneously in front of three separate audiences (VR, in-theatre and YouTube) and co-created by you.

The series tells the story of the Worldship Beyartha as it struggles to escape the Great Suck, a black hole that has swallowed the Earth and is steadily consuming the rest of the Universe, with the last of humanity asleep on board in the ship's hold.

It stars the following legends as the ship's crew (in alphabetical order): Chris Mead as Biscuit, Jon Nguyen as Son Trang, Katy Schutte as Doctor Fleischman and Lucy Trodd as Faith Lightship. They will also be joined from Canada by Vinny Francois as TOK the ship's computer , who will be cloned in our YouTube chat window by Fiona Howat, as well as a special guest VR audience member from somewhere on Earth.

Fred Deakin

Fred is a multidisciplinary artist, musician, half of the Mercury/Brit nominated band Lemon Jelly, and founder/director of digital design studio Airside.

Rachael Hosein

Rachael is co-founder/CCO of Flipside XR, a Director on the New Media Manitoba Board of Directors, and co-founder of Winnipeg Alternate Reality Club.


Intravene is a two-episode immersive audio experience. Using binaural 360 degree sound, listeners are plunged into the heart of the overdose crisis in Vancouver, Canada, a public health emergency of unprecedented dimension. Immersive experience makers DARKFIELD, documentarian Brenda Longfellow and Crackdown Podcast come together in a groundbreaking partnership of immersive and documentary experts and drug user activists, to use innovative technology to immerse and introduce its audience to this important and urgent issue. The project amplifies the voices of drug users, narrating the story of the Vancouver drug crisis from the point of view of those people most affected by it: users and frontline workers.

Brenda Longfellow

Brenda Longfellow produces and directs documentary and interactive work with a strong social justice and feminist focus. Her award-winning documentaries have been screened and broadcast internationally at Hot Docs, the Sheffield Documentary Festival and SXSW among other festivals.

Garth Mullins

Garth Mullins is a drug user activist and award-winning radio documentarian. He is host and executive producer of the Crackdown Podcast where drug users cover the drug war as war correspondents. He is a member of the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users and is also a trade union organizer and musician.

Andrea Salazar

Andrea has project managed experimental and site-specific performances in London since 2005, working on various productions by Shunt and Punchdrunk, and is currently Punchdrunk’s Head of Production. In 2016 Andrea co-founded Darkfield with David Rosenberg and Glen Neath.

Prototype Projects

The UK-Canada Immersive Exchange is pleased to have supported six international co-production teams, which were formed during the talent development phase of the program. The co-productions include two ‘audience-ready’ projects, each receiving a total of up to £100,000 / $170,000 CAD, and four ‘prototype’ projects, receiving approximately £25,000 / $40,000 CAD each.

If you are interested in getting in touch with the project teams, please reach out to the leads directly or email


Acorn AR is a form of enchantment that immerses us into the wonder of nature through connection. Players are bewitched by the simple action of planting a single acorn and experiencing the fullness of its life as it grows to an ancient oak. Acorn is an AR experience inspired by The Promise, winner of the New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year by Nicola Davies and Laura Carlin.

Chi Thai

Chi Thai is a filmmaker who works across fiction, documentary and immersive. She is a three-time Cannes Lions finalist and a BFI Vision awarded producer. Her credits include the BBC adaptation of The Promise, RTS nominated VR feature film IF, commissioned by Google, and Netflix Original Little Miss Sumo.

Casey Koyczan

Casey Koyczan is a Tlicho Dene interdisciplinary artist from Yellowknife, NT, who works with various mediums and concepts. Inspired by sci-fi and the future, Koyczan implements various techniques of interactivity, audio-video, VR/360/XR, and the engagement of the bodily senses within his creations.

Alone Together

Alone Together is a means to meet and engage with virtual beings while navigating what's real. This self-generated performance combines augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and hologram production. It mixes them with theatrical storytelling and user interactions.

Inspired by the concept of family rental agencies that provide fake family members to lonely people seeking companionship, Alone Together offers surprising, seemingly spontaneous narratives. Brief yet emotionally arresting, innovative yet oddly familiar, it is accessible and inclusive in ways that traditional culture sometimes fails to be.

Dustin Harvey

Dustin Harvey is an artist based in Nova Scotia. He creates new ways of being together while shedding light on how we've grown apart. Each production he makes is about creating meaningful, shared experiences that are thoughtful, intimate, and temporary.

Jon Meggitt

Jon Meggitt founded and ran leading digital agency FUSE for many years with co-founder Simon Hobbs. They designed and built multi-million pound digital platforms and sites for some of the world’s largest organizations, including Unilever, Tesco and BUPA, before selling it to Interpublic Group in 2011. He co-founded Arcade to focus on immersive technologies, using them to create spatial experiences that connect people to place through play. Jon leads the technology side of the business, working closely with his dev team to deliver the wide variety of Arcade immersive experiences.


Enter an experience between light and darkness, between rave and ritual, between digital and physical realities: Gloaming, a one-hour immersive live performance. Two groups gather on opposite sides of the world, one at dawn and one at dusk, each in a multi-sensory art installation. Making their way through the set, audiences are given VR headsets allowing them to conjure new ways of interacting with each other, exploring virtual and physical touch. Their guide is a live motion-capture dancer who brings the two audiences together in this multi-reality adventure in togetherness.

Leonie Rae Gasson

Leo Rae Gasson is a Scotland-based multi-reality director. She fuses live performance with VR to make experiences from a queer neurodivergent perspective. She has made work for the National Theatre of Scotland and has been mentored by Gob Squad and Punchdrunk.

Athomas Goldberg

Athomas Goldberg is a digital artist and creative technologist with 27+ years of experience in interactive entertainment and virtual reality. He is a co-founder of Pepper’s Ghost New Media & Performing Arts Collective and the Creative Director of Shocap Entertainment.

Dave Lynch

Dave Lynch is a pioneering creative director, inventor and co-founder of Immersive Networks, a data-art research collective. He collaborates with major music artists, brands and rockstar scientists in order to reconnect us with nature via embodied discovery at the intersection of large-scale, experimental visual performance and experiential storytelling.

Radio Ghost

Radio Ghost is an app-based ghost-hunt that transforms malls into fantastical spaces and uses binaural sound and multiplayer game design to encourage playful collaboration, physical activity and ethical consumption, inspired by the Japanese concept of Tsukumogami, a Shinto belief that every object has a spirit (hidden voices in the supply chain).

Played in groups of three, a team of ‘hunters’ capture the ‘ghosts’ hidden in products and broadcasts their stories via DJ Iva Taguri’s Radio Ghost. Players’ choices shape the physical journeys of other players around the mall, against an 80s soundtrack - back where it all began.

Persis Jadé Maravala

Persis Jadé Maravala (Yemen-UK) is the Artistic Director of the multi-award-winning not-for-profit digital arts/theatre company ZU-UK. She designs interactive experiences using theatre, games and technology, and her work explores and mediates relationships between strangers - they can happen anywhere, like a restaurant, phone booth, shopping mall or field.

Lynn Hughes

Lynn Hughes is an artist-designer and researcher who focuses on the intersection of game design, immersive interactive experiences and larps (live action role playing games). She held the Chair of Interaction Design and Games Innovation at Concordia University from 2004 to 2018. Her design company, Les_alts, has been producing large scale public works and curating exhibitions since 2012.

Jorge Lopes Ramos

Jorge Lopes Ramos (Brazil-UK) is Executive Director of the multi-award-winning not-for-profit digital arts/theatre company ZU-UK, and Associate Professor of Contemporary Performance at the University of Greenwich. Jorge’s work and research focus on scaling intimacy and challenging privilege in interactive experiences using theatre, games and technology.


Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. By 2030 we want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish, and where every one of us has access to a remarkable range of high-quality cultural experiences. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help deliver this vision.

Following the Covid-19 crisis, the Arts Council has developed a £160 million emergency response package, with nearly 90% coming from the National Lottery, for organisations and individuals needing support. Find out more at

The Canada Council for the Arts is Canada’s public arts funder.

The Council’s grants, services, initiatives, prizes, and payments contribute to the vibrancy of a creative and diverse arts and literary scene that reaches across Canada and abroad. The Council’s investments foster greater engagement in the arts among Canadians and international audiences.

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) fosters, promotes, develops and finances the production of Canadian content and relevant applications for all audiovisual media platforms. The CMF guides Canadian content towards a competitive global environment through fostering industry innovation, rewarding success, enabling a diversity of voice and promoting access to content through industry and private sector partnerships. To learn more, please visit

The Canadian Film Centre’s Media Lab (CFC Media Lab) is an internationally acclaimed production think tank, training institute and business accelerator that supports hundreds of emerging digital content creators, practitioners, entrepreneurs and companies. It offers programs and initiatives that provide visionary leadership and extensive expertise in strategy, product, business, finance, and ethics needed by Canadians involved in the digital revolution, including an innovative suite of programs focused on intersectional feminist business practices.

StoryFutures Academy is the UK’s National Centre for Immersive Storytelling, run by the National Film and Television School (NFTS) and Royal Holloway, University of London. Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, part of UK Research and Innovation, the Academy develops cutting-edge creative training and research programmes, to ensure the UK creative workforce is the most skilled in the world in the use of virtual, augmented and real-time production technology for immersive storytelling.

Alumni of StoryFutures Academy labs have so far included Oscar and BAFTA winning Director Asif Kapadia, Oscar winning VFX Supervisor Paul Franklin and Turner Prize winning conceptual artist Gillian Wearing OBE.

With our partners, over £1m has been invested in UK immersive production, across co-productions with BBC3, and Production Booster and Kickstart development funding. The award-winning VR Documentary Common Ground was the first-ever funded co-production, premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival in early 2019. Violence, an artistic collaboration between film director Shola Amoo (The Last Tree) and producer Eleanor Whitley (Marshmallow Laser Feast), had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in June 2020. Laika, commissioned by StoryFutures Academy and directed by BAFTA and Academy Award winning filmmaker Asif Kapadia, made its world premiere in VR at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2021 as part of their LFF Expanded programme.

Do you have questions about the UK-Canada Immersive Exchange, that are not answered on this site? Please email us at

The program materials can be made available in French upon request.
Les lignes directrices et les formulaires de demande sont disponibles en français sur demande.


Connect with us at SXSW 2022! The UK-Canada Immersive Exchange prototype co-productions are an official part of this iconic Conference & Festival. Learn about the innovative VR, AR, immersive audio and virtual being projects, meet with the creators, and explore possible collaboration, funding and distribution opportunities.

UK & Canadian XR Project Pitching Power Hour

Learn about the innovative prototype co-productions, development plans and collaboration opportunities at the  UK & Canadian XR Project Pitching Power Hour on March 14, 2022 at 10 a.m. CT.

UK-Canada Immersive Exchange Prototypes

Get hands-on with the prototype co-productions on the SXSW XR Experience show floor. Meet the creators and learn more about their projects and collaboration opportunities. March 13-15, 2022 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT.

Additional showcase support provided by CMF


Stay up-to-date on the latest news about the UK-Canada Immersive Exchange.


Published: March 07, 2022


Published: July 06, 2021