First Look: Trailer for Venice Augmented Reality Doc ‘These Sleepless Nights’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Anti-homelessness group The Next Amendment is combining mixed media storytelling with augmented reality (AR) for a new installation and documentary that is premiering at the Venice Film Festival this week. The group exclusively shared a trailer for the piece with Variety.

“These Sleepless Nights” lets viewers explore a 4-part mini-documentary with Magic Leap AR headsets by walking around a large cube. Each sides of the cubes helps them unlock part of the story, shining a light on the plight of people who have gone through the process of an eviction.

Those Sleepless Nights Venice installation

“These Sleepless Nights” executive director Edward Saatchi told Variety that the documentary had been inspired by Matthew Desmond’s book “Evicted.” The goal of the doc was to both raise awareness about the issue of evictions, as well as raise money for groups that work on housing for the homeless in cities like Oakland and New York, he said. “It’s starting a conversation on the right to shelter.”

The 22-minute mixed reality documentary has been created and directed by Gabo Arora, whose previous VR films include “Clouds Over Sidra” and “Zikr: A Sufi Revival.” Arora told Variety that it was a challenge to reinvent immersive filmmaking for AR, in part because of the limits of today’s AR hardware. “VR takes you to a different world,” he said. “With AR, you have to think about choreography a lot more.”

Popular on Variety

The solution for “These Sleepless Nights” was to rely a lot more on spatial audio, and less on video that aims to take over your field of view. “A lot of it is based on audio,” Arora said. In addition to interview segments, the film also comes with a soundtrack featuring music by Philip Glass.

After Venice, The Next Amendment is looking to bring “These Sleepless Nights” to other cities, including San Francisco, Washington D.C., and possibly Milwaukee. In public spaces, the installation will offer viewers the ability to access the documentary via an iOS app. Saatchi said that the ultimate goal of the group was to add a right to shelter to the U.S. Constitution.

More Digital

  • La unidad

    Berlin: European VODs Innovate, Create to Stay Afloat in Global Streaming Wars

    Netflix and other streaming giants might be setting the pace for a global TV landscape upended by video-on-demand technology, but European players are shaking up domestic markets by ramping up investment in original production, forging unlikely partnerships, and looking to beat Netflix at its own game by finding innovative ways to personalize the VOD viewing [...]

  • ABC News Live - David Hatcher

    ABC News Live Taps BuzzFeed's David Hatcher to Oversee Morning News Programming

    ABC News has recruited veteran TV producer David Hatcher as executive producer to oversee the morning news programming block for the ABC News Live streaming network. Hatcher most recently spent a year at BuzzFeed, where he was executive producer of morning news show “AM2DM” on Twitter. For ABC News Live, Hatcher will be responsible for [...]

  • Netflix-logo-N-icon

    Netflix Launches Top 10 Daily Rankings of Most Popular Titles by Country

    Netflix is taking top 10 lists of its most popular streaming content to members across the globe. Starting Monday (Feb. 24), Netflix said, it is rolling out a new row in its interface that will show the overall top 10 titles in a subscriber’s country, as well as the top 10 most popular series and [...]

  • Parasite

    'Parasite' Will Stream Exclusively on Hulu in U.S.

    Hulu has exclusive U.S. streaming rights to “Parasite,” the film that made history as the first foreign-language film to win best picture at this year’s Oscars. Under a deal with indie studio Neon, “Parasite” will be available on Hulu beginning Wednesday, April 8, the Disney-controlled streamer announced. The movie from filmmaker Bong Joon Ho won [...]

  • media stocks - wall-street

    Disney, Amazon, ViacomCBS Shares Hit as Stock Market Tumbles Amid Coronavirus Fears

    Fears of the Coronavirus spreading across the world sent major stock indices tumbling on Monday morning. Shares of Disney and Amazon were down 4% for the day as reports that the deadly virus has hit South Korea and Italy spooked investors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down more than 1,000 points, or 3.5%, at [...]

  • Disney-Plus-Logo

    Disney Plus Launches Plan Discounts in U.K., Europe Ahead of March Debut

    Disney, looking to lock in Disney Plus customers in the U.K. and European markets prior to its official launch next month, is offering 14%-17% discounts on the streaming service — if users sign up for a one-year plan. Leading up to the March 24 debut of Disney Plus in the U.K., Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, [...]

  • Alex Dundas - Whistle

    Whistle Hires Ex-ITV Exec Alex Dundas as Head of Unscripted Originals (EXCLUSIVE)

    Digital-media company Whistle recruited Alex Dundas, most recently with ITV Entertainment, as executive VP and head of unscripted premium originals. Based in Whistle’s L.A. office, Dundas will oversee development and packaging of new unscripted shows from Whistle and also will support sales to TV network and streaming partners. He reports to Dominic Ianno, EVP of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content