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The Imaginary Friend

Directed by Steye Hallema, 2023

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Animated Virtual reality

The Imaginary Friend


The Imaginary Friend invites you to take part in the vivid imagination of Daniel, a grieving eight-year-old struggling with the line between reality and fantasy.
Become Daniel’s imaginary friend and let him share his world with you. Discover his joys and anxieties, even help him fight his demons head-on. However, as you spend time together, Daniel’s surroundings don’t quite understand. Why is he talking to himself? Is he crazy? When his father intends to fix him, Daniel needs to figure out his feelings before disconnecting from reality completely...
With its unique point of view in storytelling and the latest technical developments in VR, The Imaginary Friend presents an intimate experience unmatched in the VR landscape. Daniel sees, talks and interacts with you, allowing you to form a deeply personal bond with the boy. Through interactive gameplay, you don't only push the story forward but also actively participate in Daniel’s life.


Gluon gallery - 'A journey with Phi' - Brussels (BE)
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Director Steye Hallema

Producer Corine Meijers at Studio Biarritz

Co-producer Emmy Oost at Cassette for timescapes

With the support of Netherlands Film Fund, Brabant C Fund, Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF), CNC, National Theatre London, Chronosphere


XR Story Award at Beyond the Frame Festival

Medialab Award Children's Jury Jeugdfilmfestival


VR Days Europe / IFFR Pro 2018

Venice Gap Financing Market 2018

Venice Immersive Competition at Venice International Film Festival '23 World premiere

BFI London Film Festival '23

Nederlands Film Festival Nominatie Gouden Kalf

Cinekid '23

Stereopsia '23 Chrystal Owl Competition

Imagine Film Festival '23 (NL)

Beyond The Frame Film Festival '23 (JP)


Thessaloniki International Film Festival '23 (GR)

Red Sea Film festival '23

Jeugdfilmfestival Festival '24

SXSW '24 North-American premiere

Kaboom Animation Festival '24 (NL)