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 most Western cultures, death rituals have become simple funerals that leave us behind with a sad feeling. However, different cultures around the world still believe that death is not the end of life, but rather its continuation in a parallel world. The Mazatec are convinced that our deceased are still present in our world, together with the other spirits of nature. 

This cinematic and hybrid VR project follows 2 young indigenous sisters, Joselin (12) and Jaquelin (9), in the mystical mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico. Their village Huautla lies amidst giant Ceibe trees and turbulent rivers. The landscape that surrounds them is full of knowledge. Nature seems to breathe and preserves the memories of this community. In memory of their deceased shamanic grandmother they explore the cosmogony of their ancestors as they prepare for the Day of the Dead. The magical experience of this ritual gives meaning to the heritage they must now protect. 

It is said that during this period, the spirits of their loved ones descend into the world of the living, guided by the candlelight and the glow of the orange flowers on the altars. 

The girl’s imagination transports us into the world of the spirits, the world of our deceased ancestors and of the spirits of nature. A 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 ancient knowledge and with respect for nature. 

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. 

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: In production, expected in 2023
Running time: ’25 minutes

Cinematic, hybrid VR