1. Media Space

  2. Press Kit

The Book of Distance

Written and created by Randall Okita
2020 | Virtual Reality Experience

Selections and Awards

  • Winner - Rockie Awards, Interactive: Youth (11-17)Banff World Media Festival (2021)

  • Winner - Virtual & Remote, Best Narrative Experience The Webby Awards (2021)

  • Winner - Best Immersive ExperienceCanadian Screen Awards (2021)

  • Winner - VR Story AwardBeyond the Frame Festival (2021)

  • Winner - Best XP of the yearXR Awards (2020)

  • Winner - Production Company of the Year - National Film Board of CanadaXR Awards (2020)

  • Winner - Creator of the Year (Randall Okita)XR Awards (2020)

  • Winner - Best Cinematography or Visual DesignXR Awards (2020)

  • Winner - Best StorytellingXR Awards (2020)

  • Winner - Best WorkJapan Prize - Digital Media Division (2020)

  • Winner - FWA of the DayThe FWA Awards (2020)

  • Winner - Golden Fireball AwardKaohsiung Film Festival - VR (2020)

  • Winner - Horizon PrizeFestival du nouveau cinéma de Montréal (2020)

  • Winner - Best in AnimationVancouver International Film Festival - VIFF Immersed (2020)

  • Official SelectionSundance Film Festival - New Frontier, Park City, Utah, USA (2020)

  • Official Selection Tribeca Film Festival - Tribeca Immersive (2020)

  • Official Selection Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival - DocX (2020)

  • Official Selection Tribeca Virtual Arcade @ Cannes XR (2020)

  • Official Selection Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFAN) - Beyond Reality 2020 edition

  • Official SelectionVenice International Film Festival - Venice VR Expanded (2020)

  • Official Selection New Images Festival - XR Competition (2020)

  • Official SelectionOttawa International Animation Festival - VR Competition (2020)

  • Official Selection IDFA Doc Lab - Spotlight (2020)

  • Official Selection London Film Week - VR Showcase (2020)

  • Official SelectionFipadoc - Smart (2020)

  • Official Selection Games for Change Festival - Immersive Arcade (2021)

  • Official SelectionPowell Street Festival (2021)

  • Finalist - VR Experience of the YearVR Awards (2021)

Long Synopsis

About the user experience

Interview with Creator Randall Okita

Interview with Producer David Oppenheim


30 Sec. Promo Teaser

Walkthrough with Artist Commentary

Randall Okita and David Oppenheim on the Voices of VR podcast


Randall Okita
Writer and Creator

Randall Okita

Randall Okita is a Canadian artist and filmmaker whose work employs sculpture, technology, physically challenging performances or stunt work, and rich cinematography.  His work has been shown in both group and solo exhibition, awarded internationally, and screened at festivals around the world, including retrospective screenings of his short-film catalogue in San Francisco and Toronto.

Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Okita lives and works in Toronto and Japan.


David Oppenheim

David Oppenheim

David Oppenheim is a producer at the Ontario Studio where his recent credits include Agence (Venice Film Festival), The Book of Distance (Sundance New Frontier, Tribeca Storyscapes, Venice Film Festival), Draw Me Close (Tribeca Storyscapes, Venice Film Festival), the Webby award-winning Universe Within, the final chapter of the NFB’s Highrise project, and the interactive documentary The Space We Hold which was awarded the Peabody-Facebook Futures of Media Award, the Best Original Interactive Production at the Canadian Screen Awards, and the Columbia University Digital Dozen Storytelling Award.

David is currently producing a number of creative non-fiction film, interactive, and immersive projects and leading the studio’s XR lab. He is a past resident at the Canadian Film Centre’s Media Lab.

Anita Lee
Executive Producer

Anita Lee

Anita Lee is Executive Producer and Head of Studio in Toronto for the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). She is a multi-award-winning producer and founder of the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival.  Lee is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  From 2005 to the present, Lee produced some of the most critically acclaimed works in recent NFB history, including Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell, named Best Documentary Feature by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Circle, the Canadian Screen Awards, as well as Best Canadian Film by the Toronto Film Critics Association.  Recent projects include: Agence; Book of Distance; Draw Me Close (Tribeca, Venice 2017); and The Space We Hold (Peabody-Facebook Future of Media Award and CSA Best Original Interactive 2018).

Lee also established NFB’s Creative Non-Fiction Immersive Lab in Toronto which collaborated with the CFC and Ford Foundation on the Open Immersion VR residency Lab and the NFB/NT Creative Doc VR Lab with National Theatre (UK), in 2016.



Written and created by
Randall Okita

Produced by
David Oppenheim

Executive Producer
Anita Lee

Associate Producer
Kate Vollum

Project Managers
Oliva Amu
Jessica Parsons

Art Director
Sam Javanrouh

Lead Artist
Emma Burkeitt

Lead Programmer
Luke Ruminski

3D Artists
Jeremy Canton
Paul Constance

Concept Artist
Mohammed Karam

Michael Sebele
Jord Farrell

Music & Sound Design

Twisted Mountain Animation

MoCap Technician
Aylwin Lo 

Lloyd Okita

Story Consultants
David Bezmozgis
Kerri Sakamoto

UX Consultant
Stefan Grambart

Animation Consultant
Aleks Berland 

Moysis Antoniou
Prashanth Bhogaraju
Kerie Green
Liam McLaughlin

Graphic Design
Geoff Watson

Production Coordinators
Jennifer Bertling
Andrew Martin-Smith
Frances Nyarko-Mensah

Manager, Studio Operations
Mark Wilson

Production Supervisor
Marcus Matyas

Technical Coordinator
Kevin Riley

Studio Administrator
Patricia Bourgeois
Stefanie Brantner
Leslie Anne Poyntz

Unit Production Manager, Japan Shoot
Jennifer Bertling

Tomomi Kataoka
Catherine Sachi Kikuchi

Archival Researcher
Pamela Grimaud

Legal Counsel
Peter Kallianiotis

Jennifer Mair

Marketing Managers
Gabrielle Harvey
Tammy Peddle
Laurianne Désormiers

Marketing Coordinators
Sophie Thouin
Stéphanie Quevillon
Eric Bondo

Social Media Strategists
Emilie Nguyen Ngoc
Hannah Martin

Community Managers
Alyssia Duval-Nguon
Melissa Sauvé


Sr DevOps & Infrastructure Specialist
Sergiu Raul Suciu

Head, Systems Infrastructure
Bruno Gervasi


Engineer, Development & Media
Frank Nadeau


Technical Coordinator, Projects
Mira Mailhot


Director, R&D and Digital Platforms
Jimmy Fournier

Project Manager, Digital Products
Catherine Perreault

Technical Coordinator, Digital Products
Ana Appleyard



Project Manager, Development
Robert Sandberg

Art Lead, Development
Sam Javanrouh

3D Artists
Omran Faour
Jenny Bermas

Concept Artist, Development
Rupinder Bhogal

Graphic Artist, Development
Alexander Perkins

Storyboard Artist, Development
Pavel Loudine

Production Designer
Matthew Morgan

Lead Programmer, Development
Stephan Tanguay

Programmers, Development
Nicholas Fox Gieg
Matthew Fabb

Junior Programmers, Development
Marishka Kalathil Zachariah
Jord Farrell

Technical R&D
Jonathon Corbier
Tyler Sammy

Unity Developer, Development
Aylwin Lo

UX Consultant, Development
Pietro Gagliano

Demo Editor, Development
Mike Reisacher

Microsite Design, Development
Trevor Kerr

Production Coordinator, Development
Carly Kastner

Production Assistant, Development
Max Wolfond

Additional Music
“Sendo Kawaiya”
Performed by Otomaru
Written by Kikutaro Takahashi, Yuji Koseki
Published by Zen-on Music Company Limited
Courtesy of Nippon Columbia Co., LTD./NIPPONOPHONE

“Take It Easy”
Composed & produced by Giorgio Di Campo,
Licensed from FreeSound Music

Archival Footage Courtesy of
The Okita Family
Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre
National Archives Catalogue at College Park (USA)
Library and Archives Canada / C-057249
City of Vancouver Archives
Rare Books & Special Collections, University of British Columbia Library or University Archives

Producers Would Like to Thank

Christina Lee Storm
Content Strategy

Jubin Dave
Animation Workflow Strategist

Demian Gordon

Motion Capture Society

Special Thanks
Yonezo Okita
Yeiko Okita
Lloyd Okita
Yvonne Yates
Grace An
Eloi Champagne
Dane Clark
Michael Fukushima
Trevor Kerr
Kimberly Anne Laferrière
Joanne Lam
Lea Marin
Spencer Maybee
Kiara Mikita
Maral Mohammadian
Kerry Okita
Pat O’Toole
Pauline Rosenbaum
Tania Thompson
Michelle Van Beusekom
Mark Van de Ven

Press Relations

  • About the NFB

    The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is one of the world’s leading digital content hubs, creating groundbreaking interactive documentaries and animation, mobile content, installations and participatory experiences. NFB interactive productions and digital platforms have won over 100 awards, including 21 Webbys. To access this unique content, visit NFB.ca.