NEW YORK, Feb. 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — On the Morning You Wake (to the End of the World), a three-part virtual reality documentary about nuclear threat from the Emmy® Award-winning creators of Notes on Blindness VR, Archer’s Mark and Atlas V, will premiere “Chapter 2: The Doomsday Machine” and “Chapter 3: Kuleana” at the 2022 SXSW Film Festival. The film uses innovative documentary storytelling and virtual production techniques to bring new urgency to the conversation about nuclear weapons.
“Chapter 1: Take Cover,” which premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, explores the risks and consequences of a world held hostage by nuclear weapons through the firsthand experiences of people in Hawai’i, who confronted the threat of nuclear annihilation when a false missile alert was sent on January 13th, 2018. The film viscerally recreates the lived experiences of people who, for 38 minutes, had to make impossible decisions in the face of nuclear violence.
Chapters 2 and 3 promote a deeper understanding of the volatile world of systemic nuclear risk we live in, and the history of military industrial policy that shaped it. By reaching back to the experiences of a survivor of the bombing in Hiroshima, and looking at lessons learned in the aftermath of disaster, the documentary aims to inspire the global public to take action to shape the future of nuclear weapons policy.
“After working on this project for four years, it was really emotional to get such a powerful response from our first audiences at Sundance for Chapter 1: Take Cover. Where that chapter was more focused on the initial shock of the missile alert, Chapters 2 and 3 extend the frame of the experience, evolving into a clarifying portrait of what nuclear threat truly looks like in the 21st century,” said creator Mike Brett, co-founder of Archer’s Mark. “In Chapter 2, we hear the poignant testimony of a Hiroshima survivor living in Hawai’i, who found herself facing the threat of nuclear conflict for the second time in her life. It’s a shattering reminder that the horrific power of these weapons has grown rather than diminished in the last 75 years.”
“Taking audiences on a journey from panic and disbelief, through anger, to a sense of solidarity and optimism for change, we want these two new chapters to give audiences the same clarity of vision that those on the ground in Hawai’i gained from their harrowing experience on the 13th of January in 2018. Most importantly, we also want this insight to bring optimism that — in the words of co-writer Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio — if we have the courage to stand together and make a change then maybe, just maybe, the world may not have to end again tomorrow,” said creator Steve Jamison, co-founder of Archer’s Mark.
Executive produced by Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security and Games for Change, the documentary is at the center of a global multimedia impact campaign that reframes the threat from nuclear weapons as an urgent social justice issue that is relevant to the fight against systemic oppression around the world. Plans are underway to screen the experience at policy maker gatherings, as well as tour with museums, cultural institutions, universities and public spaces. The public awareness and action campaign will be supported by Impact Fellows, including Ray Acheson, Cynthia Lazaroff, and Lovely Umayam. Ray Acheson is a visiting researcher at Princeton, director of disarmament at the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and steering group member of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. Cynthia Lazaroff is the Founder of Women Transforming Our Nuclear Legacy and NuclearWakeUpCall.Earth and author of Dawn of a New Armageddon, a personal account of the Hawai’i missile. Lovely Umayam is a nuclear nonproliferation expert and founder of Bombshelltoe Policy and Arts Collective, a winner of the U.S. Department of State’s Innovation in Arms Control Challenge.
“Today, thirty years after the end of the original Cold War, thousands of nuclear weapons can be launched at a moment’s notice, and the world is facing a new nuclear arms race,” said executive producer Dr. Alex Glaser, co-director of Princeton’s Program on Science and Global Security. “Mobilizing the public to engage with nuclear policy issues is more important than ever. We hope that On the Morning You Wake can help reach new audiences and create a more widely shared sense of the scale of existing nuclear stockpiles, the immediacy of the dangers of current nuclear weapon postures and plans, and the devastating consequences of nuclear weapon use.”
“On the Morning You Wake is a groundbreaking and transformative work of art that enables viewers to confront the very real nuclear threat we face, and as a result, understand their power to create change,” said executive producer Susanna Pollack, president of Games for Change. “Our goal is to accelerate change by making the experience widely available, engaging as many people as possible across multiple platforms, and working with the extraordinary organizations on the front lines of the movement for nuclear justice.”
Following the SXSW premiere of Chapters 2 and 3, the full experience will be released on Meta Quest 2 virtual reality headsets this spring.
The On the Morning You Wake creative team includes Mike Brett and Steve Jamison of Archer’s Mark, Pierre Zandrowicz and Arnaud Colinart of Atlas V, producer Jo-Jo Ellison and co-producer Kurban Kassam, who collaborated with technology studio Novelab. The script was developed by Mike Brett and Steve Jamison in collaboration with Dr. Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio, whose spoken word poem inspired the film’s title and provides a lyrical framework for each chapter of the experience. Original music is composed by Bobby Krlic (The Haxan Cloak), the award-winning musician behind Ari Aster’s Midsommar soundtrack.
Development, production and platform partners include the BFI (awarding funds from the National Lottery), ARTE France and Meta Quest’s VR for Good program. Lizzie Francke executive produces for the BFI, with Marianne Lévy-Leblond and Lili Blumers executive producing for ARTE France. Executive producers for Meta Quest are Colum Slevin, Yelena Rachitsky and Amy Seidenwurm.
Executive producers Alexander Glaser and Tamara Patton from Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security advise on nuclear arms data and policy, drawing on extensive expertise in nuclear security issues. Executive producer Susanna Pollack at nonprofit Games for Change advances the project’s social impact campaign through their XR for Change initiative. The project was developed with initial support from the MacArthur Foundation.
About Archer’s Mark
Archer’s Mark is an award-winning full-service independent production studio based in London, UK. Founded by creative partners Mike Brett and Steve Jamison, the company’s debut feature documentary NEXT GOAL WINS premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and won the British Independent Film Award for Best Documentary, earning Mike and Steve recognition as Screen International Future Leaders and a place on BAFTA’s Breakthrough programme.
Working alongside Archer’s Mark Head of Film Jo-Jo Ellison, the pair later produced the Emmy Award-winning New York Times Op-Doc NOTES ON BLINDNESS (Directed by Peter Middleton & James Spinney) whilst developing a feature-length documentary of the same name. The feature premiered at Sundance, earned six BIFA nominations (winning Best Documentary) and was nominated for three BAFTAs. It was accompanied by the multi-award-winning VR experience of the same name, which won the Tribeca Storyscapes Award and Sheffield Doc/Fest’s Alternate Realities Award. It is now considered a seminal work in the immersive space.
About Atlas V
Atlas V is behind some of the most awarded pieces in the field of New Media, with projects shown at A-List festivals such as Venice Mostra (Gold Lion 2018), Sundance (5 selections), Peabody (Future of Media award 2019), Tribeca, SXSW (Storytelling Award 2019), Sheffield, Telluride, Cannes, Busan, and Sitges. In 2020, Atlas V launched a full capacity servicing company named Albyon, with a team of real time technology specialists, who operate at the frontier of video game and movie production, and a distribution and publishing company Astrea.
Since 2009, Novelab has developed immersive experiences and interactive installations for entertainment, education, advertising and industrial purposes. Between a technology start-up and a content studio, Novelab leverages high-end technology to tell engaging and memorable stories. Novelab is one of the most-awarded immersive studios in the world. The projects they develop have been featured in major film festivals such as Sundance (2016, 2018, 2019 and 2020), Tribeca Film Festival (2016, 2017, 2018 and 2020), the Venise Mostra (2017 et 2018), SXSW (2014, 2016, 2018 and 2019), Sheffield Doc/Fest (2016 and 2017) and VR Arles Festival (2017 and 2020).
About Games for Change
Since 2004, Games For Change (G4C) has empowered game creators and innovators to drive real-world change — using games and immersive media to help people learn, improve their communities, and make the world a better place. G4C partners with technology and gaming companies, nonprofits, foundations, and government agencies to run world-class events, public arcades, design challenges, and youth programs. G4C supports a global community of game developers working on using games to tackle real-world challenges, from humanitarian conflicts to climate change and education.
About Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security
Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security (SGS), based in the School of Public and International Affairs, conducts scientific, technical and policy research, analysis and outreach to advance national and international policies for a safer and more peaceful world.
About the BFI Film Fund
The BFI Film Fund invests around £25 million of National Lottery funding a year into developing and supporting filmmakers with diverse, bold and distinctive projects, that have a cultural relevance or progressive ideas, and which reflect people from different backgrounds, as well as a range of activities to increase the opportunities for audiences to enjoy them.
Feature films supported by the BFI Film Fund which screened at BFI London Film Festival (LFF) this year included world premieres of The Phantom of the Open directed by Craig Roberts and written by Simon Farnaby, ear for eye directed by debbie tucker green, and VR animation Laika directed by Asif Kapadia. UK premieres of BFI-backed films at LFF include: Mothering Sunday, directed by Eva Husson and written by Alice Birch, which world premiered at Cannes and was selected for the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF); Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir: Part II, which world premiered in Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes in 2021 and is in official selection at San Sebastian; Clio Barnard’s Ali & Ava, which world premiered in Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes and was selected for TIFF; Terence Davies’ Benediction, which had its world premiere at TIFF and is selected for San Sebastian; True Things directed by Harry Wootliff, which world premiered at the Venice Film Festival; Earwig, directed by Lucile Hadžihalilović, which world premiered at TIFF and is also in official selection at San Sebastian; The Real Charlie Chaplin directed by Peter Middleton and James Spinney, which had its world premiere at Telluride; and The Feast (Gwledd) directed by Lee Haven Jones, produced through Ffilm Cymru Wales’ Cinematic scheme supported by the BFI, which had its world premiere at SXSW and is in the First Feature Competition at LFF.
Other recent and forthcoming releases supported by the BFI include: Goliath: Playing with Reality directed by Barry Gene Murphy and May Abdalla, which won the Grand Jury Prize for Best VR Work at this year’s Venice Film Festival; and debut features from Reggie Yates, Dionne Edwards and Aml Ameen for Pirates, Pretty Red Dress and Boxing Day respectively.
The BFI also supported multi BAFTA-winning Rocks directed by Sarah Gavron and written by Theresa Ikoko and Claire Wilson, Ammonite directed by Francis Lee starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan, and Saint Maud directed by Rose Glass featuring EE BAFTA Rising Star nominee Morfydd Clark. Recently released titles include Aleem Khan’s debut feature After Love; Harry MacQueen’s second feature Supernova; starring Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci; the BIFA-winning and BAFTA-nominated Limbo directed by Ben Sharrock; critically acclaimed horror Censor, directed by Prano Bailey-Bond and starring Niamh Algar; and Herself directed by Phyllida Lloyd and written by Malcolm Campbell and Clare Dunne.
About the BFI
We are a cultural charity, a National Lottery distributor, and the UK’s lead organisation for film and the moving image. Our mission is:
- To support creativity and actively seek out the next generation of UK storytellers
- To grow and care for the BFI National Archive, the world’s largest film and television archive
- To offer the widest range of UK and international moving image culture through our programmes and festivals – delivered online and in venue
- To use our knowledge to educate and deepen public appreciation and understanding
- To work with Government and industry to ensure the continued growth of the UK’s screen industries
Founded in 1933, the BFI is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter. The BFI Board of Governors is chaired by Tim Richards.
ARTE is a Franco-German and European Adventure. Public service TV channel ARTE supports creativity and culture in all forms. Programs are broadcast 24/7 on all types of screens throughout Europe and beyond. The founding fathers of ARTE believed that a joint television channel should bring French and German citizens closer on a cultural level and promote cultural integration throughout Europe. ARTE is committed to issues that are important to European citizens: combating inequality, whether social, cultural, economic, geographical, gender- or disability-related, and promoting sustainable development.
About Meta Quest
The Meta Quest team at Reality Labs lets people defy distance—connecting with each other and the world—through world-class VR hardware and software. The Meta Quest content team pursues the creation of best-in-class games, narrative experiences, and new VR use-cases like fitness, productivity, and travel. Meta Quest joins other teams at Reality Labs dedicated to cutting-edge research, computer vision, haptics, social interaction, and more. Reality Labs is committed to driving the state of the art forward through relentless innovation.
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