The Krakatoa explosion is considered to be the loudest noise in recorded history, and forms the basis of Carlos Casas’ multiplatform and immersive doc/fiction project of the same name, pitched at FIDLab 2020.
In the £300,000 (€332k) Krakatoa, pitched at FID Marseille by Spanish director and artist Carlos Casas and UK producer Elena Hill we follow a fisherman as he spends his last day on the water tending to his nets and platform, before the greatest volcano eruption of all time. The synopsis reads how, after the inevitable tsunami, Kesuma wakes up on a deserted mysterious island. He is now a castaway. After exploring the island, encountering other survivor species, he finds a cave in which he can take refuge, and prepares for the ultimate sacrifice. Nothing can prepare Kesuma or the spectator for what is to come…
Producer Hill points out how the project will have “a series of iterations with overarching multi-platform outcomes.” It will be launched with a live performance experience for major art institutions and there will be a feature-length theatrical version for film festival release as well as cinema and VoD distribution. Like Casas’ previous film Cemetery, Krakatoa is an immersive site-specific project that will be able to adapt to its host’s venue capacity, she adds. “The idea is for the project to co-exist in different forms, shapes and contexts, accessing wide and diverse audiences in public realm spaces.”
Hill further points out how the project is already turning the heads of several international high-profile institutions and research centres such as Tate Modern (London), Haus der Kunst (Munich), NTU CCA (Singapore), EMPAC (New York), KunstenFestivaldesArts (Brussels) and Sonar Festival (Barcelona).
During FID Marseille she is looking to partner with France, Pan Asia, The Netherlands and Germany on the project that will go into production October/November 2021, ahead of delivery January 2023.
Of director Casas, whose films have been screened and awarded at festivals that include Venice, IFFR, Buenos Aires International Film Festival and FID Marseille, Hill comments: Carlos is a sensitive and innovative director, creating vital works where intimacy and magic collide. His projects invite wide access including young children. The audience is encouraged to come and explore and even ‘play’ in the filmic/sound space he creates. This imaginative approach offers audience a gentle rendering of some very confusing and often frightening truths.”
Casas adds: “The Krakatoa eruption produced some of the most remarkable natural sightings – its impact could be seen all over the world and changed weather and sky conditions around the planet. But beyond its meteorological, geological and biological influence, the eruption and subsequent disaster changed our notions of nature and our connection to it…
“My fascination for the Krakatoa phenomenon is both an interest in its sublime stature but also in its ability to push new awareness to the ecological crisis we are living through. In the past these types of event have helped push forward new sensibilities towards nature and our position and fragility in the ecosystem.”