"We don't speak about eating disorders, so we let the disorder speak for itself."
That's the tagline for Iridescent, a short film aiming to use the empathy virtual reality conjures as a means of educating people about eating disorders.
Porter Novelli Melbourne, who are behind the project, call VR "the 21st century empathy machine" and with Iridescent ask the question - can it really change someone's perspective? They worked closely with The Butterfly Foundation on this project.
One in every 24 Australians are living with an eating disorder, and only 25 per cent every receive any kind of treatment. Eating disorders have among the highest mortality rates of any psychiatric illness, the filmmakers say.
"It's hard to relate to mental health issues when you haven't experienced them. Eating disorders are hard to understand and even harder to treat. In the real world that is."
"Running with this, we created a virtual world which helps to improve the real one."
The filmmakers hope that by placing the user in the position of someone with a lived experience, they can create actionable change "from the inside out".
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