Filmmaker In Focus: Dinner Party, Everything Flows, Sanctuaries of Silence, The Sun Ladies VR, and Wonderful You VR

The 2018 SXSW Film Festival is rapidly approaching and we can’t wait to have you here! Before you make your way down to Austin, TX get to know films from our lineup a little bit better with selections from Virtual Cinema. Dive into our Q&A with directors of Dinner Party, Everything Flows, Sanctuaries of Silence, The Sun Ladies VR, and Wonderful You VR below to get a behind-the-scenes look at each film and add to your personalized schedule. Virtual Cinema takes place from March 13-15 from 11am-6pm at JW Marriott Salon 5/6.

Dinner Party

Director: Angel Manuel Soto, Screenwriters: Charlotte Stoudt, Laura Wexler

Dinner Party, the pilot episode for a true-life supernatural anthology series The Incident, is a 3D virtual reality experience based on the true story of Betty and Barney Hill, an interracial couple who in 1961 reported the first known UFO abduction.

Q: What motivated you to tell this story?

AMS: I’ve always been interested in exploring the adaptation of narrative live action film to VR in a manner that was had both a social impact urgency and that allowed me to push the boundaries and limitations that I was encountering when executing live action VR. With this script I found the perfect opportunity achieve this feat. Storytelling in film has always been an instigating factor for me and the fact that in this story both sci-fi tropes and subtextual social issues establish the foundation on which the story is told, motivated me to tell this story with the passion I have always devoted to the art form.

Q: What do you want the audience to take away from this film?

AMS:I want the audience to engage on a conversation triggered by the dialogue of white privilege versus brown disadvantage. I know, what does this have to do with a story about alien abduction? Well, you’ll have to experience it for yourself!

Q: What other film/filmmaker are you excited to see at SXSW this year?

AMS: I am very excited in experiencing Terrance Malik‘s approach to VR. He has been a huge inspiration in my formation as a filmmaker and I would love to keep being inspired by him.

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Everything Flows

Director: Yumeng Du

Everything Flows is a VR film experience that presents the time and space in an artistic way. It invites you to a journey of Director’s hometown, Wuhan, China. It is a mixture of painting, video capture, sounds, dreaming, memory, and reality.

Q: What motivated you to tell this story?

YD:My passion to tell a story through new media.

Q: What do you want the audience to take away from this film?

YD: Resonance.

Q: What other film/filmmaker are you excited to see at SXSW this year?

YD: All the VR film experiences.

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Sanctuaries of Silence

Directors: Adam Loften, Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee

Sanctuaries of Silence is an immersive listening journey into Olympic National Park, one of the quietest places in North America.

Q: What motivated you to tell this story?

EVL/AL: We we’re inspired by Gordon’s Hempton‘s work documenting the impact of noise pollution on wild places. We felt VR would be a powerful medium to tell his story and immerse viewers in one of the quietest places in North America.

Q: What do you want the audience to take away from this film?

EVL/AL: The value of experiencing silence in wild / natural environments and how listening to non human sounds in nature offer a opportunity for creating and /or deepening our connection with natural world.

Q: What other film/filmmaker are you excited to see at SXSW this year?

EVL/AL: Too many to list.

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Sun Ladies VR

Directors: Celine Tricart, Christian Stephen

In 2014, ISIS invaded Iraq and targeted the Yazidi community. The men were killed, and the women taken as sex slaves. Some of the ones who escaped decided to join the Kurdistan army and started a female-only fighting unit called the Sun Ladies.

Q: What motivated you to tell this story?

CT: Meeting the Sun Ladies was a life-changing experience. We didn’t speak the same language, but we bonded. The second-in-command was a badass 22 year-old woman named Fahima. When I left the base where they were stationed, she told me “I love you”. As we drove through ISIS territory back to Erbil, I wasn’t scared anymore. I knew I wanted to tell their story and do whatever I could to help them.

CS: Creating The Sun Ladies personally was one of the most profound projects I’ve undertaken recently as it signified a departure from a lot of the darker material I’m generally known for, and also was such an extraordinary and hope filled story while still retaining the characteristic grit and righteous anger of the women. Getting to partner with Maria Bello and Celine Tricart on this project was humbling and I was fortunate to be able to support their vision as well as hopefully add to it. But above all, the most important part is the Sun Ladies, their fight, and how vital it is to this current climate, and as a broader message and question of how, as Maria says, all women can fight back against an oppressor.

Q: What do you want the audience to take away from this film?

CT/CS: The Sun Ladies VR experience is an in-depth look at the personal journey of the captain of the Sun Ladies, Xate Singali. From her roots as a famous singer in Kurdistan to her new life as a soldier on the front lines, risking everything to stop the violence against her people.

The audience will be faced with the question “Who would you be and what would you do faced with the extreme inhumane violence against those you love?”

After watching the film, the audience members will have a choice to enter a small booth to write a letter of support to the Sun Ladies. Those will be tacked on a board outside of the installation and then sent to the Sun Ladies.

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Wonderful You VR

Director: John Durrant

Wonderful You VR, a Virtual Reality experience narrated by Academy Award nominee Samantha Morton, is a journey through the strange world of your developing senses: sight, sound, touch, taste and smell.

Q: What motivated you to tell this story?

JD: This VR film is about somewhere we’ve all been but none of us can remember.

Q: What do you want the audience to take away from this film?

JD: I must ring my mother straight away and thank her.

Q: What other film/filmmaker are you excited to see at SXSW this year?

JD: Ethan Hawke.

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See You at SXSW 2018

Check out the 2018 SXSW Film Festival Lineup and start mapping out your film adventure!

Take a look at our handy Film Venues Page to figure out the quickest route to each theater.

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Dinner Party – Photo courtesy of film
Everything Flows – Photo courtesy of film
Sanctuaries of Silence – Photo courtesy of film
Sun Ladies VR – Photo by: Lucid Dreams Productions / Jack Blue sun
Wonderful You VR – Photo courtesy of film

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