BAYBERRY virtual reality
"IT CAN BE DARK INSIDE THESE WALLS, BUT TRY TO SEE."
BAYBERRY is a virtual reality experience based on true events. We use VR to share the burden of hidden identity.
Before moving out of his childhood home, a young gender-queer person asks his father to see him as his son. “Bayberry,” our mysterious narrator, guides you through exploring the characters' contradicting memories and hopeful visions of the future.
BAYBERRY is set in 1987 and is based on co-creator Lio Mehiel's real life experiences. It was co-created by filmmaker Alex Heller with the help of New York Times cinematographer Julia Irwin and Tribeca Interactive Alum Shaun Axani.
Bayberry is 7 minutes in length and was created for the Google Daydream. The piece uses 360 sound, so we strongly recommend viewing with headphones. In fact, some plot points can be missed without their audio cues. Frequent head/upper body motion is required.
Lio Mehiel (fka Isabella Mehiel) is a gender-queer, Puerto rican actor, artist and filmmaker based in Queens, New York. Lio Mehiel graduated from Northwestern University. As an actor, they have starred on Broadway alongside Hilary Swank and Ashley Judd, and can be seen in the upcoming ABC show, DECEPTION. As an artist, their work has premiered at the Tribeca Interactive Festival (QUINN, 2016), as well as the Future of Storytelling, Dixon Place, Ars Nova, and La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club. Their short film DISFORIA won BEST THRILLER as part of the Manhattan Film Festival and just screened at the Newport Beach Film Festival.
Alex Heller is a filmmaker and comedian working between Oslo, New York, and Chicago. Her upcoming work includes her first feature film, The Year Between, in development with Full Spectrum Features (Signature Move, SXSW 2017). The story brings awareness to bipolar disorder through a comedic lens, showing a full picture of mental illness through a grotesque anti-heroine's dull adventures. In addition to being selected for the TFI Network, The Year Between was one of five projects selected for AT&T Presents: Untold Stories, the million-dollar pitch at the Tribeca Film Festival. Alex's most recent short film Handjob played at the Chicago International Film Festival won Best Comedy at the CineYouth Festival.