Etihad Airways has released its highly anticipated 360-degree virtual reality film starring Academy Award-winning actress, Nicole Kidman. This marks the first time a Hollywood actor has starred in a fully immersive virtual reality movie.

The five-minute feature, titled ‘Reimagine’, is a major coup for the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, and immerses its viewers in a fully experiential journey following Nicole Kidman through one of its new Airbus A380s flying between New York and Abu Dhabi.

Etihad Airways collaborated with the Barbarian Group, a subsidiary of Cheil Worldwide, and the creative digital production company MediaMonks to produce the film. The feature was directed by the renowned husband and wife directing duo Anthony Atanasio and Valerie Martinez. The film used pioneering filming techniques to ensure a seamless production with no warping or stitches, achieving unrivalled VR results.

Ola Björling, MediaMonks’ Global Director of VR, said: “As the most multidisciplinary medium there is, virtual reality relies more heavily on craft and execution than anything that has gone before it. We believe the display of artistry in every facet of this production is setting a new benchmark for live-action VR.”

The Virtual Reality film will be available at vr.etihad.com from 15:00 Australian Eastern Standard Time today (27 May) and will be followed by an updated version in stereoscopic sound on 17 June. To guarantee the full experience, viewers will need to download the Oculus VR app at vr.etihad.com and view the film using a virtual reality headset, such as Oculus Rift or Google Cardboard. Viewers will also be able to watch the film as a 360 degree video on YouTube.

On 29 May, Etihad Airways will host a red carpet premiere and roundtable discussion for ‘Reimagine’ at its headquarters in Abu Dhabi. Tune in on Facebook Live via the Etihad Airways Facebook page at 18:00 Australian Eastern Standard Time to take part and pose your questions to some of the key players behind the film.