Rose Troche Produces Reality Film Project About Pulse Nightclub Shooting

Filmmaker Rose Troche has produced a new virtual reality project about the Pulse nightclub shooting.

If you’ve ever embarked on educating yourself in the world of lesbian cinema, chances are you will have come across renowned filmmaker Rose Troche.

Her 1994 independent film, Go Fish, about a group of friends and lovers in Chicago’s mid-’90s lesbian scene, has become a hallmark of independent lesbian filmmaking. Along with writing and producing a string of other wonderful, queer films, Troche also wrote and directed episodes of The L Word.

Now, Troche has put her mind to creating a truly innovative virtual reality film project, entitled “If Not Love.” The project received official selection for Sundance 2017. It explores hatred and intolerance, and will see its first public release on VR content platform Transport (by Wevr) on August 25.

The six-minute piece — influenced by the 2016 Pulse nightclub tragedy — is one of the first VR experiences produced outside of Wevr to be added to Transport, and was selected due to its grounded take on one of today’s most pressing socio-political issues.

Here is the engrossing synopsis:

A dance club pulses with bouncing, happy friends and lovers. Downstairs, a shooter courses the underbelly of the building, preparing to carry out a mission for the Lord. But when we slip back in time, we discover that this same man hooked up with another man. After the intimate encounter, he runs out of the room, filled with shame over who he is. But what if events unfolded differently? What if the man he hooked up with convinced him to stay—to face himself? Could that simple act have changed the course of history?

“If Not Love” challenges the viewer to contemplate another difficult subject—a mass shooting at a nightclub, but this time with the question posited: is another outcome possible? How might the world be different if internalized homophobia were not so prevalent? How might queer futurity enacted in film come to effect real-world attitudes and zeitgeists?