Mathias Chelebourg

Virtual reality is a special medium, which requires writing and development that are also special.”

French author and director captivated by innovation and the exploration of immersive technologies, Mathias Chelebourg’s works are already a reference for virtual reality professionals.

Published on 26/08/2019

2 min

Mathias Chelebourg began working as an assistant film director before being recruited for orders such as clips, digital advertising and documentaries. Along the journey, he has devoted an important place to narrative and technical experiments.

When he discovered virtual reality in 2012, Mathias managed to convince luxury brands such as Dior to enter the race. It is this same creative energy that later enabled him to co-achieve his first success in virtual reality: Alice, The Virtual Reality Play (2017).

In his first virtual reality work shown to the public, Variations (2015), a simple play scanned in 3 dimensions in which you can move around, Mathias Chelebourg questions the relationship between virtual image and physical reality.

The turning point in his career came in 2017 with the release of Alice, The Virtual Reality Play, co-authored with Marie Jourdren. Combining virtual reality, theatre and production methods from cinema and video games, the experience had never been seen before. The viewer is placed at the centre of the scene: each of his actions has repercussions on the story and changes the visual universe. A cross between live show and animated film, the incomplete project was presented at the Cannes Film Festival in 2017 and was an immediate success. In the same year, Alice, The Virtual Reality Play was selected at the Venice Film Festival, which held its first competition for virtual reality works.

Created for the BBC, Dr Who VR: The Runaway (2019) is an interactive VR* (virtual reality) work that immerses the viewer in the world of the UK’s most popular science fiction series and space-time adventurer.

According to Mathias Chelebourg, beyond being a virtual reality experience, it is “stylistically and visually an animated film, and narratively an episode like any other in the Dr Who series.”

Presented in 2019 at the very first “XR ” (immersive realities*) competition at the Annecy International Film Festival, the ambitious virtual reality Doctor Who episode allows Mathias Chelebourg to confirm his international renown in the VR field.


*Note: -the acronym "VR" means "virtual reality"

-the notion of "immersive realities" ("XR") brings together virtual reality, mixed reality and augmented reality.

  • 2012


    Mathias Chelebourg tests his first VR helmet, an Oculus.

  • 2017


    Alice, The Virtual Reality Play, co-created by Marie Jourdren and produced by DVgroup, is presented at Cannes and Venice.

  • 2018


    Release of The Real Thing, a 360 video documentary film co-directed with Benoit Felici.

  • 2019


    Dr Who VR The Runaway, co-produced by the BBC, is selected for the VR competition at the Annecy International Film of Animation Festival.

The Institut français and the artist

Mathias Chelebourg and his works are presented on the site culturevr.fr where the Institut français showcases cultural achievements in virtual reality. This unique, multilingual, contributory and evolving online panorama aims to bring together and present all works and cultural players in the field.

L'institut français, LAB