Take a meditative virtual walk through the mental landscape of cult indoctrination. Step by step, you progress further into an environment that contextualizes the experiences and recollections of a former member of the Unification Church, a skinhead and a jihadist. They are your guides as they explain in their own words how brainwashing and peer pressure made them adopt extremist ideologies. The viewer’s gaze is restricted, as a visual metaphor for the limited freedom experienced by the guides; the interaction in Deprogrammed reflects the narrow path the victims were forced to walk. The aim of this meditative and chilling journey is to convey a human perspective on the victims’ experiences. How did they fall victim to indoctrination as teens, and how did they find their way back?

The work we selected for the digital storytelling award lured us into a world where escaping seems impossible. As you move forward through a simplified landscape you listen to people whose experiences are reflected in the world around you. In this documentary the virtual gives a human perspective on how people fall victim to to indoctrination as adolescents, and how they find their way back.” – Jury Report: IDFA DocLab Competition 2016, Nov 2016.


Conception: Mia Donovan, Dpt. / Mathieu Léger

Artistic direction: Mathieu Léger

Production: Dpt., Eyesteelfilm

Music and sound design: David Drury


IDFA Doclab Immersive Non-fiction Award

FWA of the Day

Awwwards Site of the Day


International Documentary Film Festival, Amsterdam
Nov 2016

Mutek VR Salon 3 – Mixed Realities
Rialto, Montreal
Nov 2016

Les Rendez-vous du Cinéma Québécois
Espace Réalité Virtuelle, Montreal
Feb-Mar 2017


Shortlisted for the Awwwards Experimental / Innovative Site of the Year 2016

Showcased by Chrome Experiments since Oct 2016