February 04th, 2022 | by Mathieu Gayet

ON THE MORNING YOU WAKE will unveil Chapters 2 & 3 at SXSW 2022

ON THE MORNING YOU WAKE (TO THE END OF THE WORLD), a three-part virtual reality documentary about nuclear threat from the Emmy® Award-winning creators of Notes on Blindness VR, Archer's Mark and Atlas V, will premiere "Chapter 2: The Doomsday Machine" and "Chapter 3: Kuleana" at the 2022 SXSW Film Festival. The film uses innovative documentary storytelling and virtual production techniques to bring new urgency to the conversation about nuclear weapons.

"Chapter 1: Take Cover," which premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, explores the risks and consequences of a world held hostage by nuclear weapons through the firsthand experiences of people in Hawai'i, who confronted the threat of nuclear annihilation when a false missile alert was sent on January 13th, 2018. The film viscerally recreates the lived experiences of people who, for 38 minutes, had to make impossible decisions in the face of nuclear violence.

Chapters 2 and 3 promote a deeper understanding of the volatile world of systemic nuclear risk we live in, and the history of military industrial policy that shaped it. By reaching back to the experiences of a survivor of the bombing in Hiroshima, and looking at lessons learned in the aftermath of disaster, the documentary aims to inspire the global public to take action to shape the future of nuclear weapons policy.

After working on this project for four years, it was really emotional to get such a powerful response from our first audiences at Sundance for Chapter 1: Take Cover. Where that chapter was more focused on the initial shock of the missile alert, Chapters 2 and 3 extend the frame of the experience, evolving into a clarifying portrait of what nuclear threat truly looks like in the 21st century. In Chapter 2, we hear the poignant testimony of a Hiroshima survivor living in Hawai'i, who found herself facing the threat of nuclear conflict for the second time in her life. It's a shattering reminder that the horrific power of these weapons has grown rather than diminished in the last 75 years.
- Mike Brett, co-founder of Archer's Mark
Taking audiences on a journey from panic and disbelief, through anger, to a sense of solidarity and optimism for change, we want these two new chapters to give audiences the same clarity of vision that those on the ground in Hawai'i gained from their harrowing experience on the 13th of January in 2018. Most importantly, we also want this insight to bring optimism that — in the words of co-writer Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio — if we have the courage to stand together and make a change then maybe, just maybe, the world may not have to end again tomorrow.
- Steve Jamison, co-founder of Archer's Mark

Executive produced by Princeton University's Program on Science and Global Security and Games for Change, the documentary is at the center of a global multimedia impact campaign that reframes the threat from nuclear weapons as an urgent social justice issue that is relevant to the fight against systemic oppression around the world. Plans are underway to screen the experience at policy maker gatherings, as well as tour with museums, cultural institutions, universities and public spaces. The public awareness and action campaign will be supported by Impact Fellows, including Ray Acheson, Cynthia Lazaroff, and Lovely Umayam. Ray Acheson is a visiting researcher at Princeton, director of disarmament at the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and steering group member of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. Cynthia Lazaroff is the Founder of Women Transforming Our Nuclear Legacy and NuclearWakeUpCall.Earth and author of Dawn of a New Armageddon, a personal account of the Hawai'i missile. Lovely Umayam is a nuclear nonproliferation expert and founder of Bombshelltoe Policy and Arts Collective, a winner of the U.S. Department of State's Innovation in Arms Control Challenge.

Today, thirty years after the end of the original Cold War, thousands of nuclear weapons can be launched at a moment's notice, and the world is facing a new nuclear arms race. Mobilizing the public to engage with nuclear policy issues is more important than ever. We hope that On the Morning You Wake can help reach new audiences and create a more widely shared sense of the scale of existing nuclear stockpiles, the immediacy of the dangers of current nuclear weapon postures and plans, and the devastating consequences of nuclear weapon use.
- Dr. Alex Glaser, co-director of Princeton's Program on Science and Global Security, executive producer
On the Morning You Wake is a groundbreaking and transformative work of art that enables viewers to confront the very real nuclear threat we face, and as a result, understand their power to create change. Our goal is to accelerate change by making the experience widely available, engaging as many people as possible across multiple platforms, and working with the extraordinary organizations on the front lines of the movement for nuclear justice.
- Susanna Pollack, president of Games for Change and executive producer

Following the SXSW premiere of Chapters 2 and 3, the full experience will be released on Meta Quest 2 virtual reality headsets this spring.

The On the Morning You Wake creative team includes Mike Brett and Steve Jamison of Archer's Mark, Pierre Zandrowicz and Arnaud Colinart of Atlas V, producer Jo-Jo Ellison and co-producer Kurban Kassam, who collaborated with technology studio Novelab. The script was developed by Mike Brett and Steve Jamison in collaboration with Dr. Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio, whose spoken word poem inspired the film's title and provides a lyrical framework for each chapter of the experience. Original music is composed by Bobby Krlic (The Haxan Cloak), the award-winning musician behind Ari Aster's Midsommar soundtrack.

Development, production and platform partners include the BFI (awarding funds from the National Lottery), ARTE France and Meta Quest's VR for Good program. Lizzie Francke executive produces for the BFI, with Marianne Lévy-Leblond and Lili Blumers executive producing for ARTE France. Executive producers for Meta Quest are Colum Slevin, Yelena Rachitsky and Amy Seidenwurm.

Executive producers Alexander Glaser and Tamara Patton from Princeton University's Program on Science and Global Security advise on nuclear arms data and policy, drawing on extensive expertise in nuclear security issues. Executive producer Susanna Pollack at nonprofit Games for Change advances the project's social impact campaign through their XR for Change initiative. The project was developed with initial support from the MacArthur Foundation.


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