The Asian premiere of the award-winning virtual reality film The Doghouse has been staged at The Sanchaya as part of an innovative events series called Pala.
With help from filmmakers Johan Knattrup Jensen and Mads Damsbo (standing), each audience member experienced virtual reality film The Doghouse through the eyes and ears of the five different actors.
The Doghouse is a 20-minute film installation project written and directed by Johan Knattrup Jensen and produced by Mads Damsbo.
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”.
During the May 7 premiere at The Sanchaya, five viewers wearing Oculus Rift headsets at a time immersed themselves in a narrative set at an awkward family dinner. Each viewer experienced the story through the eyes and ears of the five different actors.
The Oculus Rift glasses enabled 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.
The Danish filmmakers Jensen and Damsbo were present at the May 7 premiere to host the experience during an evening of fine dining followed by a fireside conversation over whiskey and cigars about the future of virtual reality entertainment and storytelling.
“We are at the beginning of the great virtual reality trip,” said Jensen. “We have only scratched the surface of a new cinematic language of storytelling, and as our virtual reality endeavors continue, we will spawn new ideas and new ways of experiencing.”
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 Sanchaya and the region.
Writer and director of The Doghouse Johan Knattrup Jensen enjoys a champagne at the Asian premiere of the virtual reality film held at The Sanchaya.
The Doghouse has been around the world but never to a place like The Sanchaya; it’s a truly inspiring venue ideal for deep, interesting conversations about human conditions, relations and ideas and we had some really positive reactions to our work and ideas in virtual reality,” said Damsbo.
“We think Pala and the whole idea of a salon is beneficial to guests, talkers and artists as we live in a world where sharing ideas and knowledge is needed to ensure we continue to improve our way of life,” added Jensen.
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.