“The Hidden” is all about empathy and perspective. It is a thriller because the stakes are high and the audience finds itself dropped into a situation with too little information — together in the dark with our protagonist Sophia. If it is a meaningful work, it is because the audience, experiences the story as a presence. This is the power of VR — you remember the experience because you were there.
“The Hidden” was born of our desire to explore the power of the medium and our growing alarm at the increasing inhumanity of our nation’s immigration policies. We knew the horrifying numbers and were (and sadly are) surrounded by shocking stories from friends and relatives. Over the past decade, every year there have been between 235,413 and 409,849 ICE removals. When we delved into the research to create this narrative we knew there were small voices, and tiny bodies behind those big numbers. We saw VR as a unique opportunity to bring these families’ struggles, upheavals and darkest days into audiences’ hearts and minds. “The Hidden” was produced in partnership with the American Civil Liberties.
We also felt it was critical to tell a compelling story that succeeded as a narrative even divorced from the issues. Nothing is more fatal to storytelling than the didactic screed; if we wanted people to care we had to entertain first and inform along the way. And when we found a story about ICE’s deceptive practices, we had the backbone for a compelling drama. We had what all good narrative requires: suspense and surprise.
Every honor this film gets is a win for these small voices and tiny bodies. The more “The Hidden” is recognized, the more chance we have to change the current status quo. Our great hope is that “The Hidden” is a beacon of light for all of those who are unjustly deported.