LAIKA: access>CINEMA screens Asif Kapadia’s VR film at Galway Film Fleadh

access>CINEMA was delighted to present the virtual reality short film LAIKA at the Galway Film Fleadh 2022.

LAIKA, directed by Asif Kapadia (Senna, Amy), gives audiences the chance to be immersed in the moving and tragic real-life story of the first dog in space. Set in 1957 against the backdrop of the Soviet Union / USA space race, Laika, an unwanted stray dog from the streets of Moscow became the historic first passenger aboard the Soviet satellite, Sputnik II. Laika became the only living creature whose safe return to earth was never intended nor planned for.

The 20-minute short was screened in the Galmont Hotel on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th July, with four audience members attending each session. It was screened on Meta Quest 2 headsets, with viewers seated in swivel chairs so they could freely turn and experience the 360-degree film.

The audience response to the film was universally positive, with many of the viewers experiencing VR for the first time… and some even returning for a second viewing of LAIKA!

Many thanks to:  

  • Galway Film Fleadh for programming the event  
  • The Galmont Hotel for hosting across both days 
  • VR producer Camille Donegan for her invaluable assistance in helping coordinate and run the event 
  • Passion Pictures/Sheep Thief Films, BFI, StoryFutures Academy and Film4 for producing and providing the film 
  • Everyone who attended the event across the weekend

Virtual reality is a key strand of the CINNOVATE project, and access>CINEMA is currently working with partner venues with the goal of arranging further VR events later in 2022.

Photos courtesy of Claire Sheehan Photography. Instagram: @clairesheehancreative