Nonny de la Peña talks about the process behind “Out of Exile: Daniel’s Story”, the story of gay youth Daniel Pierce coming out to his family, and subsequently being kicked out and disowned. Pierce recorded the confrontation, which he later uploaded to YouTube (see below).
The film takes place on that evening in August 26th, 2014, and it is told using a virtual reality (VR) headset, putting the viewer in Daniel’s place using computer generated graphics. The graphics are synched to the audio track from the video Daniel recorded. The viewer gets to experience first-hand the verbal and physical abuse that Daniel endured on the night he was kicked out of his home.
Created by Emblematic founder Nonny de la Peña, this film is only ten minutes long, and it is meant to create empathy for what hundreds of LGBT youth experience every year. While it is not currently available for wide release, “Out of Exile” did hit Sundance in 2017. And with the continued development of VR technology, this is not likely to be the last we hear of Daniel’s story.