A virtual reality journey with Martu elder Nyarri Morgan, who witnessed a nuclear bomb explosion at the British testing site of Maralinga in the 1950s, has won a prize at the News and Documentary Emmy Awards in the United States.

The 12-minute documentary Collisions, directed by Australian filmmaker Lynette Wallworth, won the Outstanding New Approaches Award for its state-of-the-art 3D film technology.

“Nyarri waited a very long time before he shared his story beyond his family,” Ms Wallworth said.

“Now we have shared his story in a room full of the international news media.

“When we began working on this story, people told us this was an old story and the nuclear issue was an old issue. Nyarri was prescient around his timing because we are now facing a nuclear crisis on which this story bears powerful resonance.”

As a young man, Mr Morgan was out hunting in the South Australian desert when he witnessed the bomb explosion. It was his first contact with western culture.

Filmed 65 years later, Collisions takes the viewer to join Mr Morgan by the fire as he shares his story.