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Another Dream, a hybrid animated documentary and VR game, brings the gripping, true love story of an Egyptian lesbian couple to life. Faced with a post-revolution backlash against the LGBTQ community, they escape Cairo to seek asylum and acceptance in the Netherlands. An accompanying installation allows audiences to reflect on what they have seen, heard, and felt in VR.

Another Dream is the second installment of Queer In A Time Of Forced Migration, an animated transmedia series that follows the stories of LGBTQ refugees from Egypt, Sudan, and Saudi Arabia, and from the 2011 revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa region

  • Ado Ato Pictures
    Production Company
  • Tamara Shogaolu
  • Tamara Shogaolu
  • Lauren Dubowski
  • Natalya Sarch
  • Tamara Shogaolu
  • Lauren Dubowski
  • Tamara Shogaolu
    Based on Oral History Recordings Collected by
  • Nada Tarek
    Based on Oral History Recordings Collected by
  • Anastasia Semenoff alpha_rats
    Lead Developer
  • Martijn Zandvliet/Ramjet Anvil
    Lead Developer
  • Luciano Pinna
  • Nada Tarek
    Associate Producers
  • Riyad Alnwili
    Assistant Producers
  • Marcela Stolzmann
    Assistant Producers
  • Gata Mahardika – Lead 360° Animator
    Animation & Illustration Team
  • Ytje Veenstra – Lead VR Animator
    Animation & Illustration Team
  • Marijn Karsten – 3D Artist
    Animation & Illustration Team
  • Xiao'ou Olivia Zhang
    Sound Design & Editing by
  • Amy Reed
    Sound Design & Editing by
  • Audioimmersive.com
    Binaural Sound Design by
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Documentary, Experimental, Virtual Reality
  • Genres:
    Documentary, Immersive, Human Rights, LGBTQ, VR
  • Runtime:
    20 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    April 1, 2019
  • Country of Origin:
  • Language:
    Arabic, English
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Tribeca Film Festival
    New York
    United States
    April 24, 2019
    World Premiere
    In Competition - Storyscapes
Director Biography - Tamara Shogaolu

Tamara Shogaolu's work as a director and video artist has been featured at film festivals, galleries, and museums internationally, such as the National Gallery of Indonesia and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.

As an artist, she is interested in pushing the boundaries of traditional storytelling through the use of various mediums and platforms, as well as in virtual and physical spaces, to promote cross-cultural understanding and challenge preconceptions.

She is a 2018 Sundance Institute New Frontier Lab Programs Fellow and holds an MFA from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, where she was a Burton Lewis Endowed Scholar for Directing. She was also a Fulbright Scholar in Egypt, a Luce Scholar in Indonesia, and an Academy Nicholls Fellowship Semifinalist.

Her latest multi-award-winning animated short, HALF A LIFE, has screened at festivals including the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Frameline 41, the Mumbai Film Festival, and others and was shortlisted for a 2017 Iris Prize.

Tamara is based in Amsterdam, where she is Creative Director of Ado Ato Pictures and a member of the XRBASE.

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Director Statement

We all live in our own stories. As an artist from a multifaceted cultural background, having lived in many places across the globe, I am inspired by the complexities of the stories that make up our world. In many ways, I have seen how sharing people’s stories — particularly those from perspectives that are less often shared — can educate, heal, and unite us.

I believe that sharing these stories in innovative and engaging ways is all the more urgent today. Politically and in the media, we hear so much “us” versus “them,” but because of technology, our world actually now has the potential to be more “we” than ever.

Another Dream began eight years ago, while I was living and working in Egypt. Before, during, and after the 2011 Revolution, Egyptian journalist Nada ElKouny and I traveled in and around Cairo with tape recorders to collect more than 60 oral histories from women, ethnic minorities, and LGBTQ individuals. Although I had lived in the Middle East for many years, I had never experienced such optimism, openness, and willingness of people to share their stories. The hope for a new era of human rights that stood out among queer voices in particular left an impression on me. At the time, I didn’t realize how special this window in time was and could not have imagined what would follow.

While homosexuality is not illegal in Egypt, a backlash against the LGBTQ community followed in the wake of the Revolution, as the conservative Sisi government rose to power. A number of my close friends and colleagues were forced to leave Egypt because of the rising level of aggressive homophobia — including arrests on charges of “immorality” and police entrapment through dating apps.

LGBTQ people from Egypt and other countries in the Middle East and North Africa
region risk so much for the chance to live and love openly through the asylum process in countries around the world. Seeking a safe haven from the threats at home in these supposedly more progressive cultures, they often encounter further discrimination, dehumanization, and pain. Many see their identities questioned with intrusive and disrespectful requests to somehow “prove” their sexuality in order to achieve refugee status. Even if accepted as queer, they are frequently met with racism and Islamophobia, whether from border authorities, fellow asylum seekers, or their new communities. They even encounter physical abuse and violence. The fear, hurt, and confusion in their stories is only exacerbated by the media.

Living outside of Egypt, I was struck by the disconnect between the images of the migrant and refugee “crisis” in the American and European media, versus the lived experiences of these real people I have known for many years and care deeply about. As political and social life has become increasingly polarized worldwide, I’ve felt a growing responsibility to help amplify these crucial queer voices.

This motivation led me to make Another Dream. The project is part of an animated documentary transmedia series, Queer in a Time of Forced Migration, that brings the interviews I have recorded with LGBTQ asylum seekers over the last eight years to life through film and mixed reality storytelling. I chose animation to protect the identities behind the voices of the people who chose to share their stories, but also to emphasize the personal nature of their accounts and to encourage new ways of witnessing their journeys. I realized that new and immersive media tools emphasize that stories don’t just need to be heard — they need to be felt. I feel that mediums like VR have the power to make the political personal and the personal universal.

For above all else, Another Dream a multifaceted, experiential journey toward togetherness, in more ways than one — in a close relationship, in the search for a home, in reuniting with loved ones, and in people who are different from one another trying to figure it out, as we all are. Ultimately, I hope that ANOTHER DREAM gives audiences the experience to truly live within the stories we represent, as well as the opportunity to reflect on their own values and beliefs after experiencing another person’s intimate memories in VR.

Thank you for joining me and our team in Another Dream, and for bringing your own stories to it as well.

— Tamara Shogaolu