If you notice a white dome-like construction at Dilijan City Park, do not pass it by indifferently. Because if you enter it, you might possibly get one of the most incredible and memorable impressions of your journey.
The white-dome structure is Ditaran 360° immersive platform opened recently in Dilijan, where immersive shows and films are screened.
In other words, you have the opportunity to watch breathtaking content about science, art and Armenian culture, surrounded by a whole screen.
Establishment of Ditaran has been supported by the EU4Business “Innovative Tourism and Technology Development for Armenia” (ITTD) project, which is co-funded by the European Union and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by German Development Cooperation (GIZ).
The multimedia content is at display in "Ditaran" with 4K newest equipment and higher technologies imported from the Europe. “Its technical saturation makes it one of a kind platform across the whole region,” - says Heghine Harutyunyan, Ditaran staff member, a resident of Dilijan.
The immersive platform implies the effect of immersion. Films are shown on the dome capturing the visual field of the viewer in its full.
"You get the impression that you are entering into the image," Heghine says.
At present, four films are screened on the platform, one of which is Armenian. The first Armenian film “Imagines” designed specifically for immersive platform “Ditaran” has been made with the support of Matenadaran, National Gallery of Armenia, Foundation for Research on Armenian Architecture, Martiros Saryan House-Museum and other institutions. It showcases a selection of Armenian art from as early as the 5th century to present days. Viewers have the opportunity to see the miniatures preserved in Matenadaran, a three-dimensional restoration of Honents Church in Ani, the paintings of Aivazovsky and Saryan. All this is accompanied by the 12-century Armenian music, the compositions of Alan Hovhannes and Aram Khachaturian.
"The other three are world-famous immersive films that have been voiced and screened in Armenian. They represent Edutain (education + entertainment) genre and aim to convey interesting information to the viewer while ensuring their leisure, "Heghine Harutyunyan says.
Presently “Ditaran” has ten full-time employees. Both Heghine and other employees are locals.
"Before that, at the construction stage, we had temporary staff, builders, who were from Dilijan likewise. In addition, there is a nearby souvenir shop where local artists and social enterprises showcase their hand made products for sale. Even the maintenance staff are from Dilijan. They have been trained and given a walk-through all the possibilities of an immersive platform and then hired."
Despite that Dilijan is a rather well-claimed tourist destination in Armenia, this innovative experience can, nevertheless, further enhance the city's touristic allure and become an interesting option for recreation.
"The stream of tourists in Dilijan is relatively active, but there is little to do for the guests in the evening time, and "Ditaran" may to a certain degree fill that gap," Heghine believes.
In her words, at first, many visitors were coming to "Ditaran" by accidentally noticing it.
"Many visitors said they had noticed it while walking in the park, so they decided to come and check what it was. They were leaving the show with deep impressions and with assertive desire to visit yet again. We are planning to collaborate with tour agencies as well, so that “Ditaran” is incorporated in the tourism offerings and people would now deliberately come and see this platform that is unique in the entire region," Heghine says.
The staff of “Ditaran” platform is particularly intrigued by the idea of creating Armenian content in addition to the success of “Imagines”. It is not ruled out that other films about Armenian history and culture will also be featured.
"In addition, immersive platforms are used worldwide for contemporary art exhibitions. "Ditaran" can also serve as a stage where various innovative exhibitions can be organized,” wraps up Heghine Harutyunyan.
More details about film screenings in "Detaran", the schedule and the price list can be found here.