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Presentation of the artistic outcome of Cecilie Levys PhD research Photo: Cecilie Levy / Stargate Media

In her PhD research, screenwriter Cecilie Levy explores the language of spatial storytelling in VR. On June 20th to 22nd her work - a vertical slice from the VR experience Finding Frida - can be experienced at the Norwegian Film School in Oslo.

From Tuesday June 20th to Thursday June 22nd at The Norwegian Film School in Oslo, doctoral candidate Cecilie Levy makes the artistic outcome of her PhD project available for public viewing.

The public will get the opportunity to experience a "vertical slice", or proof of concept, of the VR project "Finding Frida" – a virtual encounter with Norwegian textile artist Frida Hansen. The work must be experienced individually with VR headset, and it is therefore necessary to book a time slot in advance here. UPDATE 19.06: The event is fully booked.


Detail from vertical slice / Stargate Media

About the artistic research project

"Light from aside: A screenwriter’s perspective in virtual reality" investigates the language of spatial storytelling in virtual reality through artistic research.

Drawing on screenwriting practice and theory, as well as creative documentary approaches such as room-scale virtual reality design, the conceptualization and partial production of the experience "Finding Frida" is central to this investigation.

In a beautiful, tactile world of the past and the present, “Finding Frida” is a creative documentary about relying on one's own imagination, resources, and inner child in the face of numbing hardship.

In its final form, "Finding Frida", a single-user, room-scale virtual reality experience, will be approximately 25 minutes long. It is intended for general audiences, including those who are unfamiliar with virtual reality.

Artistic outcome: "vertical slice" from "Finding Frida"

During the artistic research, Cecile Levy produced a ‘vertical slice’ a proof of concept in the form of a seven minutes long sequence that will be part of the final version of "Finding Frida". The short transitional ‘act’ invites the audience to participate in a virtual encounter with Norwegian textile artist Frida Hansen (1855–1931) and to see her art come to life.

Beyond the reconstruction of a personal narrative – that of forgotten artist Frida Hansen’s life and art – the experience seeks to combine linear storytelling with representational spaces, giving the spectator access to the protagonist’s private memory world.

Accompanied by a written essay that presents the conceptual and creative groundworks for the work-in-progress storytelling in "Finding Frida", the vertical slice forms the artistic outcome of Cecilie Levy’s doctoral artistic research.


Detail from vertical slice / Stargate Media

The public presentation

When: Tuesday June 20th, from 14-18 / Wednesday June 21st from 12-16 / Thursday June 22nd from 9-15

Where: The VR-lab at The Norwegian Film School, Myrens Verksted 6F (entrance from Akerselva), Oslo

For who: The presentation is open to the public, but since only one person can experience the work at the time, you need to book an appointment.

UPDATE 19.06: The event is fully booked.

Cecilie Levy will be present to discuss with the audience after their experience.

About "Finding Frida"

The "vertical slice" that Cecilie Levy will present at The Norwegian Film School in partial fulfillment of her PhD is from a work in progress. It is an excerpt from "Finding Frida", an immersive animated experience based on the true story of internationally renowned textile artist Frida Hansen.

A cold winter's morning in 1883, young Frida Hansen, a privileged wife, and mother of three, walks into her winter garden and snatches off a precious, white camellia. She presses it firmly between the pages of a bible. ‘It was a funeral,’ she says, years later. ‘Now I have buried my passion for flowers, perhaps the whole of my previous life’.

The experience addresses young Frida's traumatic losses when she and her husband lost everything in an economic crash in 1883. Shortly after, two of her three young children died of illness. Going against societal norms and her husband’s expectations. In a challenging life situation, her creative energy became her lifeline.

Weaved into the VR experience narrative, Frida's tapestries will come to life as the audience visits their colourful worlds. Through the virtual encounter, the audience is invited to reflect upon their own relationship with creativity, life choices, and role models in their life.

The project has been presented at The IDFA Doc Lab forum, the CEE Animation Forum and Stereopsia. It has received development support from NFI and Viken Filmsenter.

Finding Frida Credits

Created by: Cecilie Levy

Director: Hilde K. Kjøs

Production: Bjørn-Morten Nerland for Stargate Media AS

Creative technologist: The Shoebox Diorama

Developer: Benjamin Sørskår

3D artist: Danny Groot

Composer: Sigrid Anita Haugen

Screenplay: Cecilie Levy

Cecilie 17

Cecilie Levy, Photo: Jasmijn de Lange

About Cecilie Levy

Cecilie Levy is a PhD candidate at The Norwegian Film School. She is a screenwriter educated at the Dutch Film and Television Academy. Her films have been screened and awarded at international film festivals.

Her short film Mimoun was nominated for an International Emmy Kids Awards and won the prestigious, European PRIX JEUNESSE and the Lucas award. Her latest film, All things worthy, premiered at the Dutch Film Festival in 2021.

In 2018 she was granted a four-year scholarship to do practice-based research into storytelling for virtual reality. Currently in development are the VR projects Through her eyes and Finding Frida.


Detail from vertical slice / Stargate Media


Detail from vertical slice / Stargate Media

Cecilie 17

Cecilie Levy, Photo: Jasmijn de Lange

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