PRELOADED and Tate are celebrating a double victory at one of the UK’s longest-standing and most respected digital awards, winning BIMA’s 2018 Emerging Technology: Craft and Emerging Technology: Advanced honours for their immersive VR experience that dazzled visitors to this year’s Modigliani exhibition at London’s Tate Modern. The experience was created as part of a partnership between Tate and HTC VIVE.

Announcing the winners, the country’s leading digital industry network called PRELOADED “one of an elite few” playing an instrumental role in the rapid advancement of digital technology and the growth of the UK’s digital economy.

In a Craft category described as “uncomfortably strong” by the judges, Modigliani VR: The Ochre Atelier was up against Inside the Hacker Hostel, a VR experience which was made for HBO’s Silicon Valley sitcom, and a virtual brewery tour created by Pilsner Urquell, which travelled to this year’s Winter Olympics in South Korea.

In the 34th year of the BIMA Awards, BIMA asked the judging panel for the Craft category to base their decision on flawless execution and industry-leading creativity, craft, expertise and delivery.

They looked for creativity, ethos, mindset, finesse and attention to detail in project delivery, as well as innovation and impact.

Modigliani VR was also recognised as the best-of-the-best with the Advanced award, an overall honour that cannot be entered directly and is decided upon by the category group chairs.

“These awards represent the pinnacle of the digital revolution,” said BIMA co-president Tarek Nseir. “More than 50 of the finest minds in digital have dissected hundreds of entries to separate the brilliant from the merely great.

“Every year we set our judges the impossible challenge of determining the very best of an exceptional shortlist. To win, you really do have to be at the very top of your game, so I’m delighted for PRELOADED, whose entry was a very worthy winner.”

Phil Stuart, PRELOADED’s Creative Director, said: “At PRELOADED we are passionate about creating purposeful experiences that reach as wide an audience as possible.

“The response to Modigliani VR, from both audience and industry, shows us the power of new technologies to connect with audiences in meaningful ways when used to elevate, not alienate.

“The level of passion and precision that our team put into this project, hand in hand with Tate’s curatorial and conservation teams, was tremendous, so to be recognised in the Craft and Advanced categories is something we’re very proud of.”

The announcement is the latest in a string of awards for PRELOADED, including Best in Book in the Creative Review Annual, a prestigious Wood Pencil at the D&AD Awards and a Google Play Award for Best AR or VR Experience.

Go behind the scenes at Modigliani VR.

Read the full list of BIMA Awards 2018 nominees.

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Hattie Foster

Hattie is Head of Strategy at PRELOADED. She explores the meaningful application of technology and games for engagement within arts, culture and beyond.