Extraordinary Stories in Virtual Reality


A Thin Black Line

A VRTOV-BBC co production, this multi-award winning VR fairy tale has delighted audiences worldwide with its enchanting story, gorgeous real-time visuals and groundbreaking interactive sound.


A Thin Black Line

VRTOV / doublewire productions 2017

When bombs rain down on their hometown, a family is broken apart. A young girl is forced to flee by boat; her father, to stay behind.

For young Patima, the war had always seemed a distant threat. But when the bombs reach her hometown, she is forced to flee; leaving her father behind.

The bombing of Darwin in 1942 was the first and largest aerial attack on mainland Australia during the Second World War. As bombers strafed the lightly defended city, nearly half the civilian population fled southwards in the belief a Japanese invasion was imminent. Amongst them was Indigenous filmmaker Douglas Watkin’s mother, just five-years old at the time.

An animated documentary in interactive real-time Virtual Reality, A Thin Black Line invites the audience to step into a pivotal event in the history of one family, and a nation, as seen by a young child. Directed by Douglas Watkin, with VR direction by Oscar Raby and art by acclaimed Aboriginal artist Vernon Ah Kee, A Thin Black Line tells the story of a family’s struggle to stay together in the face of war. With thanks to Patricia Watkin for generously sharing her family’s story, this project was commissioned by SBS Australia and made with the support of Screen Queensland and Screen Australia. Available for Gear VR.






Written and Directed by: Douglas Watkin
VR Director: Oscar Raby
Producer: Katy Morrison
Executive Producer: Oscar Raby
Lead Artist: Vernon Ah Kee
Lead 3D Artist:  Kalonica Quigley
Lead Unity Developer: Brad Hammond
Production Manager: Nerissa Stephens
Composer: Tim Fairless
Sound Design: Tfer Newsome
Audio Integration: Maize Wallin
Narrative Consultants: Christy Dena, Brooke Maggs
Storyboard Artist: Jack Nesbit
Unity Developers: Jason Bakker, Russell Dilley
3D Artist:  Paco Casares
Animator: Drew Kennewell
Graphic Designer: Mark Richardson
Trailer Edit and Title Graphic Animation: Alt.vfx
Production Interns: Felix Dai, Haoyuan Li, Harry Blight
Philip (Father): Jimi Bani
Leah (Mother): Chantelle Murray
Uncle Billy: Aaron Fa'Aoso
Patima: Leonie Doyle
Violet: Rita Gibuma
Colin: Jacob Murray
SBS Commissioning Editor: John-Paul Marin
SBS Supervising Producer: Megan Gibbon
SBS Technical Producer: Matt Smith

Produced in association with SBS
Developed and Produced with the Assistance of Screen Queensland
Produced in collaboration with SBS Digital Creative Labs for SBS Australia, with production investment from Screen Queensland
Produced with support from Screen Australia

 Special thanks to Patricia Watkin

A VRTOV DoubleWire Productions Co-Production

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