The film follows a young woman named Veera who uses LARPing as a form of escapism to combat the psychological issues she faces during her everyday life. Growing up dealing with an abusive, alcoholic father while trying to care for her disabled brother Ville has wreaked havoc on Veera’s life and well-being, and she uses LARPing as a way to cope. Transforming into her alter ego “V” and exploring fantastic sword battles in a land of wizards and magical spells helps give her something of a reprieve from the turmoil of real life.
Real-world role-playing gives Veera an outlet she may otherwise not have had, and as she explores new stories and ideas in her fantasy world, she’s able to deal with her inner trauma by becoming “the hero of her own story.”
Live action role-playing is a game where players portray their own characters in a real-world setting. Typically, those involved create their own costumes, provide scripts, and write exhaustive lore surrounding their creations, which can make for an interesting and enriching experience much like that found in video games.
Filmmaker Tonislav Hristov brings Veera’s story to life with this documentary, debuting at Sundance Film Festival beginning Friday, Jan. 25. This film marks his sixth feature-length documentary, following 2016’s “The Good Postman.”
“When I met Veera, the main character of The Magic Life of V, I understood immediately both the cinematic and ‘philosophical’ potential of the subject. For once I could move freely from fact to fiction without ethical dilemmas because this is one of the subjects of the film; just as my characters do themselves in order to cope with their everyday lives,” said Hristov of “The Magic Life of V’s” subject.
“The Magic Life of V” will feature multiple Sundance screenings through Monday, Jan. 28.