This interactive social VR experience uses song and dance to transport four participants into ecstatic Sufi rituals, while also exploring the role of this mystical Islamic tradition in the lives of devotees. Sufism is a commonly misunderstood and persecuted Islamic practice still observed by millions around the world.
Zikr: A Sufi Revival 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.
Understanding Sufism, by its very nature, is experiential. It is a commonly misunderstood branch of Islam that is often typecast as esoteric, mystical, and far outside of mainstream practices. But in many Muslim countries, Sufism is deeply bound to national heritage and other artistic outlets. Zikr enables four people at a time to experience Sufism much as practitioners do in Tunisia and, together, participate in ecstatic music rituals and encounter new spiritual possibilities.
Creators: Gabo Arora, John Fitzgerald, Matthew Niederhauser
Producers: Sensorium / Superbright / Tomorrow never Knows in collaboration with 1001 MEDIA Limited / BoomGen Studios
Executive Producers: Cameron Brody, Mohab Hatab on behalf of 1001 Media, Eva Burns on behalf of 1001 Media, Reza Aslan on behalf of BoomGen Studios, Maheed Tosi on behalf of BoomGen Studios
Cinematography: Matthew Niederhauser, John Fitzgerald
Creative Director: Level Allen
Co-Producers: Faberello Mahava Fernandez and Aabel Cavanaugh
Chief Engineers: Yigal Nasima and Nate Torelli
Main Graphic Development: Knight Torley
Engineers: Mark Fingerhat and Eli Zananiri
Edit: Jennifer Tishira
Master 3D artist: Captain Algeria
Art Director: Will Adams
3D artist: Damian Kwiatowski
Technical Artist: Jimmy Gus
Sound Design by Entapod
Special thanks: Sherry Perilot, Hussein Curimboy, Michael Massey, Faisal Goya, Chris Hiller, Kinda Akash and Casper Sonen.
RITUALS: Association of the Renaissance of Maalouf and Chant Soufi of Sidi Bou Saïd, Mouhamed Farouk Chlagou, Jamel Mlayah, Mohammed Bribeche, Ahmed Ktari, Monia Ben Hamed, Waad Ben Hamed, Gadour Jouini, Wajdi Maamri and Mohammed Bribeche.
CREATED by Gabo Arora, John Fitzgerald, and Matthew Niederhauser
DIRECTED by Gabo Arora
PRODUCED by Jennifer Tiexiera
CREATIVE & TECHNICAL DIRECTORS: John Fitzgerald, Igal Nassima, and Matthew Niederhauser
PRODUCERS: Gabo Arora, Selim Benzedrine, John Fitzgerald, Matthew Niederhauser, Jennifer Tiexiera, and Meghan Nelson Welles
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Mohab Tarek Khattab, Eva L. Burns, Cameron Brodie, Reza Aslan, and Mayhad Tousi
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Rama Allen
ASSOCIATE PRODUCERS: Pablo Mahave Fernandez and Abel Kavangh
LEAD ENGINEERS: Igal Nassima and Nate Turley
LEAD GRAPHIC DEVELOPMENT: Nate Turley
ENGINEERS: Mark Fingerhut and Elie Zananiri
EDITED by Jennifer Tiexiera
LEAD 3D ARTIST: Capitan Alegria
ART DIRECTOR: Will Adams
3D ARTIST: Damian Kwiatkowski
TECHNICAL ARTIST: Jimmy Gass
SOUND DESIGN by Antfood
PRODUCTION by Sensorium, Superbright, and Tomorrow Never Knows
IN PARTNERSHIP with 1001 MEDIA Limited and BoomGen Studios
VOLUMETRIC CAPTURE Powered by DepthKit
SPECIAL THANKS to Shari Frilot, Hussain Currimbhoy, Michael Macy, Fayçal Gouia, Chris Healer & Kinda Akash.