The Asian premiere of the award-winning virtual reality film The Doghouse will be staged at The Sanchaya on Saturday, May 7 as part of an innovative events series called Pala.
Written and directed by Johan Knattrup Jensen and produced by Mads Damsbo, The Doghouse is a 20-minute film installation project. Wearing Oculus Rift headsets, five viewers at a time immerse themselves in a narrative set at an awkward family dinner. Each viewer experiences the story through the eyes and ears of the five different actors.
Organised by The Sanchaya and high-profile Singapore-based events organiser Olga Iserlis, Pala aims to create a “modern Asian salon fostering intellectual and cultural exchange amongst Asia’s top players”.
“In The Doghouse, you see what the actor sees and hear what the actor hears so you become a character in the film, like an advanced role-playing game,” said Jensen. “We call it ‘first person reality’ as we place the spectator inside the character where the film is no longer fiction but reality.”
The Oculus Rift glasses enable viewers to peer around the dining room setting — at the ceiling, to the left and right, and even down the body of their designated character who may be a mother who drinks too much, a conflict-averse father, an older brother who brings home his new girlfriend for the first time or a younger brother trying to hold everything together.
“As you experience the film from the perspective of your character you see one-fifth of the truth, a subjective reality, and walk away with plenty of questions for the other viewers,” said Jensen.
The Danish filmmakers Jensen and Damsbo will be present at the May 7 premiere, to host the experience over an evening of fine dining followed by a fireside conversation over whiskey and cigars about the future of virtual reality entertainment and storytelling.
The pioneering virtual reality project The Doghouse involves spectators wearing Oculus Rift headsets to completely immerse themselves in the film
With social societies and clubhouses primarily for networking re-emerging in recent years, Pala focuses on bringing internationally-renowned thought leaders, artists, and bespoke experiences to the region.
As part of Pala’s inaugural event held in December last year, a clutch of leading Hollywood figures including legendary film producer Edward R. Pressman and Slumdog Millionaire star Dev Patel gathered at The Sanchaya to share their perspectives on the film industry during an intimate overnight retreat.
Olga Iserlis is an event organiser extraordinaire, whose events are renowned for their originality, meticulous planning, and exquisite glamour amongst Singapore’s A-list society. Olga’s expertise at organizing large scale and intimate events has earned her Tatler Magazine’s Leadership Award for Sophisticated Living. She is regularly featured on the Tatler’s 300 of Singapore Most Powerful Elite list. She serves on the board of the Singapore International Film Festival and the Singapore Repertory Theatre. Clients Olga has created events for include: Singapore International Film Festival, American Express, ArtsScience Museum, Audemars Piguet, Capella/Naumi Hotels, Chateau D’Esclans, Christian Liaigre, Coutts, Diane von Fürstenberg, Dom Perigean, French Cinema Festival, Gazprom, IMG Artists, IWC, Jones Lang Lasalle, La Perla, Louis Vuitton, Marina Bay Sands, Mercedes, Moët & Chandon, OnPedder, Partners & Muciaccia, Prada, Rolls Royce/ Ferrari/ Mercedes, Singapore Freeport, Solange, Tiffany & Co., Tory Burch, UBS, SG, CIC, BSI, DBS, BoS, Vacheron Constantin, Valentino Retrospective, Van Cleef and Arpels, Victoria Beckham, and Zegna.