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Starlings of the Hyperreal

Set in an alienating, modern dystopia, Starlings of the Hyperreal follows a young and subversive woman suffering from unrequited love for her former partner. Desperate to relive the memories of their idyllic past, Lara signs her identity over to a mysterious simulacrum marketing agency called Sim-M.

The deal - Sim-M allows Lara to live out her subconscious desires in a simulated 'hyperreal world', which Sim-M record and sell the simulations as advertisements. Quickly growing addicted to the service, Lara soon falls down the rabbit hole of her subconscious and the distinction between the real and the virtual blur. Losing sight of what is real and virtual. Lara is faced with a choice, Live her life in the idyllic simulation or face reality.

  • Harrison Leech
  • Harrison Leech
  • Andrew Goode
  • Harrison Leech
  • Lucinda Keating
    Key Cast
  • Olivia Piplios
    Key Cast
  • Tyler Coppin
    Key Cast
    "The Technician"
    Lone Wolf, Winchester
  • Ashlee Scotland
    Key Cast
  • Jessie Gohier-Fleet
  • Amelia Hutchinson
    Production Designer
  • Ben Houghton
    Music By
  • Edwin White
    Music By
  • Katya Rumiantceva
    Costume Designer
  • Greg Steele
    Sound Designer
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Sci-fi, Drama
  • Runtime:
    18 minutes 6 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 10, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    13,000 AUD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Victorian College of the Arts
Director Biography - Harrison Leech

Harrison is a filmmaker based in Melbourne, Australia. A recent honours graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts, Harrison endeavours to make a thought-provoking, future orientated style of cinema. His previous short films have been screened both nationally and abroad.

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Director Statement

We're all signed up and jacked in - addicted to the hive mind of endless spectacles in which there is seemingly no escape, We pine for specters of past authenticity, when things felt real and lived, not just consumed indifferently. Starlings of the Hyperreal is an exploration of our seemingly endless technological procession into a world untethered from reality - a hyperreality.

It seems unfathomable to return to a pre-internet existence, we both love and hate our smartphones that we cannot imagine to live without. We are glued o the social-political spectacle that drowns us in its relentless madness. Is this just how things are now? Will it ever end? Is there a way back? Do we even want to return? What would we be returning to? These are the questions I have considered and want the audience to as well.

Lara's story is one of unrequited love, an irreparable relationship that she cannot let go of, even it it kills her. She is addicted to a memory that she has fictionalised over time. As the cinema screen dramatises life into a more real that real experience propelled by numerous dramatic effects, do does the hyperreal recreate a more real that real fantasy. Lara's journey is principally an internal one, a dive into recesses of her own mind to find who she is and what she really desires. Does Lara want an authentic relationship or would she rather live in a nice dream?

It was important for me to challenge the trope of simulations being depicted as demarcated interior - exterior spaces. This is because I wanted the film to suggest that much of the world we live is already a simulative veneer of a bygone reality. A world in which our identities are manufactured, curated and fluidly fluctuating online. A world which we have commodified ourselves and imbued in untethered fantasies. A world in which we are modulated and emoted by all sorts of technological and media induced stimulants what drive our desires and what we think we know.

Ultimately, what is the difference between the flock of starlings that fly across one's plain of view and the imperceptible copy that feels just as real.