Surfacing is a VR experimental documentary set in prison. Like in a fairy tale, the viewer is immersed in the everyday life of mothers and kids living in special places: prisons and custody institutions for inmates with their children. 360° footage at children’s eye level and animations embark us on a magical journey from the iconic Panopticon system of control, to the most recent confinement centres. Like the hero’s journey, the protagonists tell us – in a deep and poetic way- their first impressions of the prison, the smells, the fears, the challenges. Their perception of prison as a submerged world is mirrored by illustrations (made in collaboration with mothers and children) depicting their past memories and their dreams for the future. Animations enhance this surreal world using the metaphor of an underwater world where animated animals are free to move and breathe. A tale of pain but also resilience and hope, at the boundary between reality and imagination, which is able to speak to everyone and connect with personal memories of childhood


Director: Rossella Schillaci
Production: MyBossWas, Laranja Azul
Nation: Italy, Portugal
Lenght: 20′
Year: 2022