Award winning independent filmmaker Janicza Bravo will begin screening her virtual reality (VR) live action short film titled Hard World for Small Things, today at Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) through Saturday 4/23.  Consisting of two scenes, this film offers viewers a backseat to what appears to be an average ride among friends to a neighborhood deli but quickly turns into a shocking look at police violence in Los Angeles.  The film gives the audience a personal look into the life of a young life of a man, played by Keith Stanfield, who falls victim to the institutionalized injustices of the LAPD.  “Hard World for Small Things uses virtual reality to bring the viewer into closer, more intimate contact with these habitually voiceless and faceless bodies.”  The first scene places the audience in a car as it navigates through South Central LA, and then gives the audience of a view or what’s taking place outside of a deli.  The second scene takes place inside of the deli where we see devastating acts of injustice taking place.

Bravo studied set design at New York University and started her film career as a freelance stylist in fashion, film, and theater.  She started focusing on directing in 2011, and her first short film was produced by Vice titled Eat! starring Katherine Waterston.  Bravo then went on to direct Gregory Go Boom which won her the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival in 2014.  The same year, she was also named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Cinema.  Bravo’s most recent short, Pauline Alone, screened at BAMCinemafest and the L.A. Film Festival, and she recently wrapped a short for Amazon’s The New Yorker Presents series.

“Things haven’t changed in my career, but they have changed in my head. I feel like I’m making the right choices and chasing the right path. I hope the road is shorter, but if it’s long, that’s okay.” – Janicza Bravo

This VR journey began when Bravo was approached to direct this film by Seed&Spark, which teamed up with WEVR to fund projects aiming to create more diversity in VR storytelling.  WEVR is an LA-based VR company that is bringing VR content to mainstream audiences, and recently launched a grant program of $1 million to provide funding to new artists and creators to use virtual reality technology.  In essence, WEVR finances, produces, and distributes virtual reality content aka “The Netflix or Amazon” of virtual reality.

Hard World for Small Things will be screening at TFF through April 20th.  This film was executive produced by Anthony Batt, Neville Spiteri and produced by Emily Best, Eve Cohen, James Kaelan, Natasha Pearson, Han West.

Click HERE for more information and to purchase tickets. Check out Bravo’s short films Eat! and Gregory Goes Boom below: