May 3, 2016
Anne Frank's Story To Be Told Through Virtual Reality Film

Anne Frank is one of the most well-known victims of the Holocaust, and now her story is going to be told in a new perspective. According to Entertainment Weekly, producer Jonah Hirsch is planning to create a virtual reality film based on Anne Frank's time in the secret annex where she hid with her family in the 1940s. The virtual reality aspect will give viewers a feeling of what it was like for Anne to hide from the Nazis.

"To experience this film will be to immerse oneself into a place and time, to move about a room, amongst the people, and sense the moment in a way never possible before [virtual reality]."
Anne Frank, born in Frankfurt, Germany, went into hiding in 1942 with her family when the Nazis took control of Germany. Frank's family decided to go to the building where her father worked, staying inside hidden rooms behind a bookcase. It was during that time that Anne Frank wrote her experiences in her diary, which was eventually found by one of the helpers and was later published as The Diary of a Young Girl. The contents of her diary chronicles her life from the time the diary was given to her on her 13th birthday in 1942 until 1944. Anne died at a concentration camp sometime in February or March 1945.The virtual reality film, entitled Anne, was announced at a press conference on Tuesday. Writer-director Danny Abrahms talked more about the vision for the movie, as reported by the Hollywood Reporter.
"Anne Frank's story has kept the memory of the Holocaust alive and promoted tolerance for generations. We are deeply committed to sharing Anne's experience using cutting-edge modes of storytelling so that her story can live on and reach as many young people as possible."
Jonah Hirsch has already produced a short virtual reality film, First, based on the first flight of the Wright brothers in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. In that project, Hirsch, together with a virtual reality specialist, collaborated with historians from the Smithsonian to paint a historically accurate picture of the Wright brothers' first flight. The producer is aiming to do the same with Anne, making sure that the visuals are true to what Anne experienced, according to Road to VR.
"Like Wilbur and Orville's first flight, I look for specific moments in history that have universal appeal, are significant in subject matter, and lend themselves well to a virtual reality experience. Recreating history is really kinda cool, much more fun than reading about it in a textbook."
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 26: A panoramic photo of a recreation of Anne Frank's room is seen at the Anne Frank Center USA on March 26, 2012 in New York City. The center, which opened on March 15, 2012, attempts to inspire tolerance by sharing about the life and thoughts of Anne Frank, a victim of the Holocaust. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
A recreation of Anne Frank's room at the Anne Frank Center USA. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

In 2015, the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam created a 360-degree virtual reality tour of their museum. It was created for visitors of the museum who are wheelchair-bound and could not go up the stairs to look at Anne's hiding place in the secret annex. At one point, the secret annex where Anne Frank and her family hid was threatened to be torn down, but a campaign for its preservation saved it from demolition. Now, the location is known as the Anne Frank House where visitors can view personal documents and objects that belong to the Frank family, including her famous diary, handwritten letters, drawings, and pictures.

Anne will be financed by CGO Studios and the visual effects will be done by Dilated Pixels. As of writing, no date has been set for the release of the Anne Frank virtual reality film, but the producers have already come up with a virtual reality version of Anne's room.

[AP Photo/Joerg Sarbach]