Bird Hours

In a dystopian near-future, a young couple slowly realizes their mega-corporation employer's VR work-from-home routine is draining the life out of their relationship and must decide whether to lose their humanity or break free.


Lars and Frances are two young professionals who work day in and day out for Sol Corp, the mega-corporation that owns and runs the entire world. Their routine consists of putting on VR Headsets and transporting their souls into the "cloud," rendering their bodies lifeless in the real world for 10 hours a day. To ensure their cats are entertained, they play "Bird Hours," an NPR program that plays recordings of various birds, which are all extinct due to climate change. After reports of absurd catastrophic news events and a long-awaited session of intimacy is interrupted by Sol Corp, Lars smashes his and Frances' headsets and they escape their apartment into a sun-drenched world of unknowns.

  • Kyle Dubiel
  • Kyle Dubiel
  • Kara Bartek
  • Taylor Morano
  • Steve Gamble
    Key Cast
  • Daphne Thompson
    Key Cast
  • Genres:
    Sci-Fi, Satire, Romance, Drama
  • Runtime:
    18 minutes 51 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 30, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    5,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Kyle Dubiel

Kyle Dubiel is a filmmaker and photographer based in New York. A graduate of NYU: Tisch School of the Arts, he has run a successful videography and photography business, working primarily in weddings, events, commercials, and corporate video/photo spaces. Additionally, Kyle worked as a photo assistant and set photographer for NBC’s Saturday Night Live for 4 seasons, where his published photography has appeared in myriad publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, The Hollywood Reporter, Insider, Variety, PBS, and Rolling Stone.

As a writer and director, Kyle’s debut short film Romance from a Distance was a success in its festival run, receiving international distribution deals and screening at festivals such as Golden Door International, Sedona International Film Festival, and NYU’s New Visions and Voices Film Festival, where it was an awards finalist. During the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, Kyle wrote, shot, directed, and edited the award-winning mockumentary Netfixer and its follow-up New Horizons with his family.

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Director Statement

BIRD HOURS tells the tale of a young couple struggling to maintain their humanity amidst an onslaught of existential pressures. With a satirical sci-fi bite in the vein of Black Mirror and Minority Report, the film encapsulates the cry of a generation losing their 20s to the numerous existential crises of our world: climate change, capitalism, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence. It's about the new generation's "suburban nightmare" of white picket fences, HOAs, and evenly cut grass: losing their minds in Virtual Reality while sitting in an expensive one-bedroom apartment rental not talking to each other.

Additionally, as a low-budget passion project, it is a perfect portrayal of the strength of collaboration and the independent spirit--that no matter the obstacles or lack of resources, young artists can band together to create something special.