Floating with Spirits

Two little sisters prepare for the Day of the Dead in the mystic mountains of Mexico, remembering the stories their shaman granny used to tell. A portal opens as the Mazatec community celebrates and we enter the interactive universe of their ancestors and the spirits of nature, each keeping a secret world to be unveiled. 

Written and directed by Juanita Onzaga.


In this cinematic virtual reality, magical stories are told by 2 young Mazatec, indigenous sisters, Jocelynne and Jaquelyne, who recall the ancestral knowledge and mystical cosmogony that their shaman grandmother used to share with them, in the misty mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico. 

Their village lies amidst giant Ceiba trees and rivers full of life. Nature breathes and within, preserves the memories of this community. The landscape that surrounds them is full of knowledge. 

As the sisters wander through the nature that surrounds them and while preparing for the Day of the Dead, they share the stories of their ancestors. During these special days, the spirits of their loved ones descend into the world of the living, guided by the light of the candles and the glow of the Cempasuchil flowers on the altars, following the sweet smell of their favorite meals, to share a beautiful moment with the living. 

The girl’s imagination transports us into the world of the spirits of their ancestors and the spirits of nature. A shamanic dance ritual opens a portal through which we can discover the secret worlds of 4 spirits of nature. Each spirit has its own secret that it will share with us to enable us to make a new connection with the ancestral Mazatec knowledge. Their vision of the world is beautiful, deep and urgent to be shared in a moment where our society needs to rewire its ways of viewing and interacting with nature. 

Behind each mountain, there is a sea of knowledge. 

FLOATING WITH SPIRITS is a sensorial experience that challenges the viewer’s perception and makes the invisible visible in our world. With 360° docu-fiction footage, volumetric capture of the spirits and photogrammetry of different places in nature, we create an interactive 6DoF magical experience. FLOATING WITH SPIRITS wants to share the indigenous knowledge of the Mazatec with the world through VR, because authentic connection with nature is a necessity in the climate crisis. 

Intention Juanita Onzaga, director

Who says what is real and what is not? How are we able to see and feel the invisible worlds? How can we communicate with the forces and spirits that live within our lands? 

I spent years getting to know the sabedoras (knowledge people) from Mazatec indigenous communities in Oaxaca, México, listening, learning and sharing about their cosmogony and world vision. It connects deeply with my own background and questions around the afterlife, the connections between the human and non-human and the portals between the visible and the invisible. 

Inspired in their cosmogony, we built this sensorial and poetic ancestral futurism VR experience, to shake our perception of the real, to rewire the ways we connect with nature and the afterlife. 

Production details:
A production of Cassette for timescapes (BE)
in co-production with Tarantula (LU) and Studio Biarritz

Country: Belgium, Mexico, Luxemburg, and The Netherlands

Status: Released in 2023
World Premiere @ la Biennale di Venezia, Venice Immersive 2023
Premiere in NL at the IDFA Doclab November 8-19, 2023, in Amsterdam

Running time: ’30 minutes
Language: English & Spanish

Cinematic, hybrid VR

Download the presskit.

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