The world is an amazing place


Immersing audiences into the hidden worlds that make up Australia’s cultural identity.
Sydney Opera House

Homeground First Nations Festival: Dance Rites

Toyota + SBS + Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras




Welcome to Garma


SBS was the first Australian broadcaster to launch a virtual reality platform, allowing audiences to explore the latest 360° and interactive content produced by SBS and the independent production community. The project became a home for experimental and innovative media production, bringing together diverse voices, from artist/director Shaun Gladwell’s VR film Stormriders to documenting the culture and tradition of the annual Garma festival in remote Arnhem Land.

The platform grew from its simple origins on mobile devices with Google Cardboard to encompass applications across full-featured VR headsets, supporting the Samsung Gear and Occulus, and later 6DOF productions by legendary Australian creatives such as VRTOV and SUTU.

Developed by the Distil Immersive team, the VR app ecosystem was part of SBS’s commitment to utilising the latest technology to tell diverse Australian stories in new and innovative ways.

We realised early on that VR storytelling provided new opportunities to immerse audiences in virtual worlds. By putting the user at the centre of the story, we offered them a unique perspective on critical social issues.

The catalogue we amassed consisted of original and commissioned films as well as a selection of the best international projects. While the language of VR is still being shaped, these projects share a common ambition: to exploit the full potential of immersive VR to tell meaningful stories about us and our world, incorporating innovative shooting, editing, and CG techniques.


Our goal was to build a multiplatform destination that fully celebrated the richness of our content. To achieve this, our operations around VR ranged from pragmatic to creative. First, getting our house in order by operationalising end-to-end VR production, be it simple 360º content or more ambitious interactive applications. This, in turn, freed us to get creative: scripting, direction, and post-production. Along with a steady pipeline of external productions, the Distil team internally produced everything from Heston Blumenthal’s debut VR film to the world’s first drag queen experience in VR for the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. We built bespoke content management tools to encode and distribute deliveries from a range of partners, and manage our media assets across iOS, Android and Oculus store fronts. We honed the nascent language of UX in VR, designing interfaces that could scale from 2D on the phone, to be a complete 3D spatial object in a VR headset, inventing a hybrid design workflow in Sketch and Maya. The result was an interface that can be zoomed, grabbed and panned, and offered affordances for both new VR users and experienced veterans alike.

Of all of the digital innovations that we embraced at SBS, VR storytelling was the most ambitious. Not only for it’s ability to mesmerise and delight audiences but also because of its unique ability to draw genuine emotional responses from audiences.
John-Paul Marin
Distil Immersive
× projects
Originals + commisions

First Contact

× platforms
Interactive VR and 360 apps on Occulus, Samsung Gear VR, Daydream, Android, iOS and Web
NITV + Garma Festival of Traditional Cultures

Welcome to Garma

× system
In house build media management tools for VR production
SBS Radio

Tomorrow’s Diwali


Inside Heston’s World

  • SBS
  • NITV
  • Toyota
  • Vivid Sydney
  • Sydney Opera House
  • JCDecaux
  • Production
    • Creative Direction, Production Management, Filming
  • Technology
    • Node, Bespoke CMS and encoding pipeline, Unity, Android Native, iOS Native, Occulus SDK
Content Producers and Creatives
  • Bad Faith
    • Leo Faber and Shaun Gladwell
    • Oscar Raby and Morrison
  • SUTU aka Stuart Campbell
  • The Pulse
  • Discovery
  • The Tomorrow’s Diwali Team
    • Kush Badhwar
    • Keroshin Govender
    • John Grist
Platform Development
  • Distil
  • Finwe
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