Award Winning Filmmaker Makes Debut With The First VR Theatrical Play
Kiira Benzing, winner of the 2019 SXSW Virtual Cinema Jury Award for Best Interactive (Runnin’), is making history as the director and producer of the first VR theatrical play, Loveseat, powered by HP. Benzing is one of the few women directors in competition at the Venice Film Festival and she is forging a new medium in her field.Produced by Double Eye Studios, directed by Kiira Benzing and written by Mac Rogers, this mixed reality production performs simultaneously to two audiences: a virtual audience in a VR theater and to a real-world audience in Venice. Starring in Loveseat are veteran actors: Jenn Harris (Silence!, 30 Rock), Jonathan David Martin (War Horse, Broadway Company), and Sam Kebede (Ethiopian America).
In Loveseat, two lonely, ordinary people are drawn into a reality show competition to win the love of a Perfect Partner. Exploring the themes of loneliness and connectedness, this shared experience plays between multiple realities. Wearing VR headsets and motion trackers, the actors perform for a live audience at the Venice Festival; while simultaneously embodying avatars for the virtual audience on the social VR platform, High Fidelity. Before and after the performance, the audience can immerse themselves in the storyworld of Loveseat: Soundstage, a Bose AR spatialized audio experience. Loveseat: Soundstage makes its debut as the first audio-only AR experience at the Venice Film Festival.Kiira is an award-winning multi-dimensional director crossing the mediums of theater, hybrid cinema and virtual reality. Her most recent interactive VR project, Runnin’, starring Reggie Watts and featuring volumetric capture, premiered at Sundance 2019 and received the Jury Award for Interactive at SXSW 2019. Benzing is the first VR director to have filmed at Intel Studios. Cardboard City, her first venture in Virtual Reality, won the first Samsung Gear Indie Milk VR contest (2016). Credits include: Interactive VR/AR/UGC – Cardboard City, an interactive documentary installation (NYFF 2016); Film: Hilda (Tribeca Film Festival 2017, Amazon) and Diptych (Dance on Camera 2018). Metropoles, her VR multiplayer game is a recent finalist for the Unity for Humanity Award.