360 VIDEO: “Virtual encounter” with Holocaust survivor Pinchas Gutter at Sheffield Doc/Fest

Holocaust survivor Pinchas Gutter making a viryal appearamce to answer questions at Sheffield Doc/Fest

Holocaust survivor Pinchas Gutter making a viryal appearamce to answer questions at Sheffield Doc/Fest

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Holocaust survivor Pinchas Gutter is one of the most in demand guest speakers at this year's Sheffield Doc/Fest - even though in reality he's never  been.

Film-makers and documentary fans are queuing up to have an amazing "virtual encounter" with the recorded image of Pinchas who , like an advanced version of Apple's Siri, will reply to 1,000 different questions, from 'what's your name' to 'how important is this project?'

The amazing New Dimensions in Testimony exhibition - at Sheffield's Millennium Gallery - has won the New Alternate Realities Interactive Award at the 2016 Doc/Fest ceremony.

360 VIDEO: Experience what it is like to 'talk' to Pinchas in our amazing 360 degree video. Zoom in , scroll around, left, right, up and down as he 'chats' at Doc/Fest with our own Graham Walker in our exclusive 360 degree video - CLICK HERE.

MORE VIDEO: Watch Graham's traditional video interview with Holocaust survivor Pinchas Gutter - CLICK HERE.

360 PHOTO: Meet Pinchas Gutter, then clockwise, Dr Stephen Smith, co-founder of virtual storytelling company StoryFile, digital editor Graham Walker, Kia Hays, project manager, Heather Maio, concept creator, and Mark Atkin, Alternate Realities curator, in a specially built room to house the Holocaust experience at Sheffield /Doc/Fest's Alternate Realities Interactive Exhibition, in the Millennium Gallery, until Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - CL:ICK HERE

Pinchas has been filmed over 25 hours by StoryFile's co-founder Dr Stephen Smith and his team, who compiled the complex audio and visual data for this project, which will transform storytelling and archives of the future.

Imagine sitting in a room with some of the most significant people in the world and chatting about their life – a scientist, a president, an activist, a rock star, a business leader or your own grandparents.

An incredible technological breakthrough, this display was a world first demonstration event by StoryFile's co-founder Dr Stephen Smith and his team, who compiled the complex audio and visual data for the project, which will transform storytelling and archives of the future.

It's all coming soon, according to Stephen.

StoryFile's co-founder Dr Stephen Smith

StoryFile's co-founder Dr Stephen Smith

The project uses ground-breaking natural language software that allows audiences to interact with the recorded image,in this case Pinchas, who responds in real time, powered by complex algorithms providing realistic conversation.

Dr Smith explained: "New Dimensions in Testimony is a new way to have conversation with a video. Pinchas is a Holocaust survivor who can answer questions about his life on video. You can ask him up to 1,000 questions, about his childhood, what happened during the second world war and his life afterwards.

"The crowd here at DocFest have been coming up and asking him questions about the Holocaust and learning from him that way. They have been very interested to do that, as this is the first time it's been seen anywhere in the world."

Sheffield Doc/Fest Alternate Realities curator Mark Atkin, says virtual and augmented reality i forming a bigger part of the festival.

Mark Atkin, Alternate Realities curator at Sheffield Doc/Fes

Mark Atkin, Alternate Realities curator at Sheffield Doc/Fes

There has been a world-leading programme of interactive media and virtual reality exhibitions and talks, as film-makers embrace new innovative ways of immersive story-telling, including 360 degree videos, photos and animations.

The festival has featured 14 immersive media experiences in Millennium Gallery and beyond, and 12 Virtual Reality documentaries in Site Gallery and The Space, allowing a depth of experience far beyond the limitations of the flat screen.

Guests have been able to put on a virtual reality headset to explore momentous historical events as though you were there – at Dublin’s General Post Office during the Easter Rising or in 1950s rural Australia when British atom bomb tests changed lives of the indigenous Martu people forever.

Sheffield Doc/Fest, a six day showcase of the world's best new documentaries, plus workshops, talks and a meeting place for film-makers to attract funding, comes to a close today (Wednesday, June 15).

It will have screened 160 international and UK documentaries, 27 world premiers, 15 international, 19 European and 52 UK premiers.

Big names appearing at the festival to pull in the crowds this year have include Oscar winners Michael Moore, Lord David Puttnam and DA Pennebaker, plus Joanna Lumley, Ken Loach, Louis Theroux, Reggie Yates, Mark Herbert, Chris Hegedus, Adam Buxton, Freddie Flintoff and Ronnie O’Sullivan.

Academy Award winning best supporting actress Tilda Swinton with co-director Bartek Dziadosz are to close this year’s festival on Wednesday with the UK premiere of their documentary The Seasons In Quincy: Four Portraits Of John Berger.

For more about Doc/Fest visit the official web site at sheffdocfest.com and for StoryFile visit www.storyfile.net