26 March 2024

New Next XR Talent Program in Noord-Brabant


From June 2024 till February 2025 we will open a new space, a catalyst for XR dreams. We’re on the lookout for Netherlands based XR visionaries and trailblazers from all corners of the country. From edgy Limburg to dynamic Groningen, we’re creating a space for makers that are looking for a development program to foster their XR and immersive practice.

The Next XR Talent Program is the new addition to the talent program Playgrounds has been running since 2016. Together with immersive director Nienke Huitenga we are opening a space for creators that are starting or deepening their practice in interactive or immersive XR experiences. Are you working with creatively or artistically with virtual reality, augmented reality, narrative or immersive journeys mediated through xr, or mixed reality? We are eager to receive a proposal from you!

Our focus for the program extends beyond the technical aspects; we want to delve deep into immersive storytelling and crafting experiences where XR is the experience medium or the tool. We are looking for creatives who want to join the program to work on starting development on a (future) project. We want to offer a space of experimentation and exploration. The journey is guided with 3 full day workshops by guest experts and work sessions with Nienke Huitenga. We ask all participants to present their findings early 2025 to the network of Playgrounds.

The Next XR Talent Program runs for 6 months, from May 2024 till early February 2025 (with a summer and winter break). During this period we want to foster your development and help you connect actively to the Dutch XR network, so that you are ready to take next steps with confidence after the talent program.

Possible outcomes could be that you have time to work and think to fully scope out an artistic vision, and write a first plan for a (future) project that you could use to apply for your first grant request to fund your project. Or you want to work on an experience concept of a new XR project, and are able to document a first light test. Or perhaps you want to better understand your position in the field of XR, and develop a more firm timeline for your future project? It is up to you! Convince us why this trajectory is needed at this moment in your career?

Deadline to apply: Monday 6 May 23.59h (CEST) Call will be open in the week of 1 April.

There will be an online Q&A session about the program on Tuesday 9 April at 10am.
Come and ask your questions! www.whereby.com/plgr

Questions? You can always reach out to coordinator Nienke Huitenga via nienke@weareplaygrounds.nl

For all makers
Whether you’re mid-career, an emerging star, or an established virtuoso seeking a new artistic horizon, this is your stage. The
minimum amount of work experience in the field as a creative should be 2 years. We are open to receive proposals that are about exploring XR as a new addition to your practice. In other words, it will be your first rodeo in XR. And of course we are also here for makers who apply to deepen or refine their XR craft. The Next XR Talent program will select 6 participants.

Requirements for selection and participation

– You participate with all planned sessions, and engage with the group. You need to be mostly available on Thursdays. The following dates are key to block in your calendar : 30 May, 4 June, 27 June, 4 July, 29 August, 12 September, 16 September, 3 October, 17 October, 24 october, 7 November (midterm presentation!), 14 November, 21 November, 2 December, 12 December. January and February to be announced.

– You are based in the Netherlands. You are either a Dutch citizen or you can show your practice as a creative is connected to the Netherlands
long term.

– You can show in your CV or track record that you have graduated and are developing your practice for a minimum of 2 years.

– You are able to travel for work sessions to Playgrounds headquarters (Klokgebouw 126, 5617 AB Eindhoven).

– You speak, write and understand English. We expect to have a mixed language group composition.

The program is initiated by Playgrounds, based in Eindhoven Noord-Brabant, one of three film talenthubs in The Netherlands. Therefore we welcome all applications, but make our final selection based on geographical distribution. We want to especially stimulate talent and experienced makers who live and have strong connections to the provinces of Noord-Brabant, Limburg, Friesland, Drenthe, Groningen, and Zeeland to apply.


  • Week of 1 April – call open
  • 9 April 10.00 – online Q&A at www.whereby.com/plgr
  • 6 May 23.59 – deadline applications
  • 22 May we announce the selection of participants
  • 30 May is the first meeting
  • End of June: first work session
  • End of August – half december: this will be our main focus period where most of the work sessions take place.
  • Early February 2025: You will present to our network and members of the general audience the outcomes of your immersive research

How do we meet during the program
Throughout the program XR director/producer and coordinator Nienke Huitenga will guide you through the program. We will be working hybridly. We will be doing field trips, online work sessions and workshops on location. You will have a personal coach to track your artistic progress.

Part of the work sessions and workshops will be in Eindhoven, near or at the Playgrounds office. We have chosen to include online work sessions in addition to this so everyone from any corner of the Netherlands can comfortably plan life and participation in the program in between the work sessions on location. For the work sessions in Eindhoven we have a budget for travel costs.

Selected participants receive a development budget of €10.000.

The Network
During the program we want to help you forge connections in the international network of Playgrounds, and introduce you to
some of our ace partners. It’s not just about ideas; it’s about making them happen, supported by a community that believes in the power of imagination. Are you ready to redefine your artistic journey? Seize the opportunity, break barriers, and be part of our Next XR Talent Program 2024-2025.


To prepare your application, please note all documents / videos should be in English.

  • Resume with contact details, website and socials + a portfolio and/or link to a showreel. Please show us your work, not all participants in the selection commission know your work!
  • Motivation letter (max 2 pages) or motivation video (max 4 minutes): why do you want to participate in the XR Talent Program and what do you want to tackle in the trajectory? Please note the trajectory also focuses on personal development: of course, you will work on a project, but there is room for to strengthen certain talents/skills. Convince us why this trajectory is needed at this moment in your career.
  • Development plan (max 2 pages) or video about your development plan (max 4 minutes): on which project or research do you want to work on? But also, which skills do you want to tackle: business wise, artistic skills, expanding your network in a new field, communication with a team or crew, your online presence. Anything goes.