Directed by Gabo Arora
Executive produced by Reza Aslan
Produced by Jennifer Tiexiera
Created with support from Sensorium, Superbright, and Tomorrow Never Knows.
Premiere Sundance Film Festival 2018
VR Experience ‘ZIKR: A SUFI REVIVAL’ was acquired in a historic Sundance Deal, one of the first two major VR acquisitions at Sundance.
ZIKR is the first VR documentary to be sold at the Sundance Film Festival
We have acquired the politically charged, interactive, virtual reality documentary, ZIKR: A SUFI REVIVAL. Secured on the last day of the Festival by Tomorrow Never Knows’ Nathan Brown, the agreement entails funding to complete the VR experience, and for global representation and distribution.
It is the first ever agreement for a virtual reality documentary brokered during the Sundance Film Festival. We are backing VR’s promise for an innovative and valuable industry.
“There is real demand and a growing market for distinctive storytelling in VR/AR,” said Brown. “To partner with Andy Whittaker, founder of Dogwoof, one of the world’s most acclaimed producers and distributors of non-fiction stories, is more than a signal, it’s a lightning bolt for the entire industry.”
ZIKR: A Sufi Revival premiered January 19th in the New Frontier section of the Sundance Film Festival. The film takes four participants on an interactive, virtual reality journey into a world of ecstatic ritual and music in order to explore the nature of faith alongside followers of this mystical Islamic tradition. By opening up an experience to Sufism dancing and singing alongside members of the Tunisian group Association de la Renaissance du Maalouf et du Chant Soufi de Sidi Bou Saïd, it aims to shed light on a crucially misrepresented religion, revealing an Islamic practice of inclusion, acceptance, art, joy and understanding.
“ZIKR is a gem. A profoundly moving VR experience, which will change people’s perspectives,” commented Andy Whittaker. “We cannot wait to show it to international festivals, museums and art venues knowing it can have the kind of profound impact Alejandro Iñárritu’s piece has had at LACMA.”
ZIKR: A Sufi Revival is created by award-Winning filmmakers Gabo Arora, John Fitzgerald and Matthew Niederhauser, and by SENSORIUM, SUPERBRIGHT, and TOMORROW NEVER KNOWS, in partnership with BoomGen Studios and 1001 Media. It is produced by Jennifer Tiexiera, with executive producers Reza Aslan, Mayhad Tousi, Mohab Tarek Khattab, Eva L. Burns, and Cameron Brodie.