SXSW 2021 – North American Premiere of ‘ONCE UPON A SEA’ award-winning Virtual Reality Experience

Debuts Tuesday, March 16, 2021 – 11:00 AM

A poetic, interactive requiem to the tragic tale of the Dead Sea.
An extended reality, immersive, sensory story.

Created by Adi Lavy

WINNER – STEREOPSIA LUMIERE AWARD – BEST DOCUMENTARY

NOMINEE – 2020’s XRMUST’S TOP XR AWARDS

WORLD PREMIERED AT 77TH VENICE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL OF LA BIENNALE DI VENEZIA IN VENICE VR EXPANDED

A participant of the Cannes XR Development Showcase

Once Upon a Sea is a stunning, immersive trip to the Dead Sea region, the lowest place on earth – and it is our call to action. If nothing is done, the Dead Sea as we know it will be gone for good.

SYNOPSIS

Once Upon a Sea is a poetic, interactive XR documentary telling the tragic tale of the legendary Dead Sea – a place of undeniable healing powers and, for many, a place of indescribable magnetism. Through a physical exploration of the sea’s forbidden, moonlike landscapes, to intimate encounters with local characters, the user gets a rare glimpse into one of the world’s most dangerous, soon to be extinct, wonders. Centuries of human intervention and political neglect have turned the Dead Sea into a precarious place. Its water levels have dropped dramatically, leaving behind sinkholes and collapsing beaches. Today, all beaches but one are inaccessible to the public due to these dangerous sinkholes quickly becoming an ecological crisis. Once Upon a Sea brings us there. For those who have dedicated their lives to the sea and reside in the area, its demise has changed where and how they live their lives. Once Upon a Sea introduces us to them. The experience offers a deep insight into the complexity and very human impact of this ecological and geopolitical crisis. Once Upon a Sea is our call to action.

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT

“The shores of the Dead Sea are my childhood landscape, my mother’s and my private refuge. The scorching heat, the salty water and the wild desert brought us closer in silence. Even when my mother’s body grew tired and faint, she continued going and the sea continued offering her all that it could. Though there was little left to give, for it was dying too.” – Adi Lavy, Director (September 2020)

CREDITS

Directed by: Adi Lavy
Produced by: Ina Fichman and Nimrod Shanit
Written by: Heidi Miller
Creative Director: Oury Outlan
Original Music: Medhat Hanbali
Unity Developer: Jumana Saad
Edited by: Sigi Golan
Directors of Photography: Sebastien Gros, Barak Brinker
3D Design by: Ariel Shtern
Art by: Anat Eshed
Sound Design: Signal Space Lab

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