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Zanzibar: Trouble in Paradise
Zanzibar: Trouble in Paradise. Women of the sponge farm walking out to the nursery. Photo credit Ashraki Mussa Machano

“Zanzibar: Trouble in Paradise,” an immersive documentary about Climate Change in the developing world, is one of the first holographic films ever produced in the world, and the first holographic film and documentary on a Looking Glass display.

Directed by Ashraki Mussa Machano, Steven-Charles Jaffe, Zanzibar: Trouble in Paradise premiered at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival.

This immersive holographic experience tells the story of two women who achieve financial independence in a male-dominated culture by farming seaweed—an ingredient found in everything from ice cream to medicine. When climate change decimates the seaweed, their resilience and strength enables them to pivot to growing sponges. Then climate change kills the sponges too. Zanzibar: Trouble in Paradise illustrates the impact of climate change on those least likely to have their voices heard.

Zanzibar: Trouble In Paradise was produced using a wide array of holographic capture technologies, including LiDAR, photogrammetry, machine learning and volumetric video. To create this evolution in cinema production and exhibition, Springbok Entertainment has spent several years creating and perfecting custom hardware, software and a supporting post-production pipeline. Using holographic lenticular displays called Looking Glass, they are able to achieve a completely unique visual performance. Not only does the film appear in 3D, without the need for glasses, but unlike conventional 3D displays that show only a single 3D image, the Looking Glass is capable of displaying multiple stereo image pairs. This means that as a viewer physically moves in front of the screen, they effectively can see around people and objects that appear closer to them. The experience can also be shared with others, where each person will have a slightly different perspective of the same experience based on how they are positioned in front of the display. In essence, Zanzibar: Trouble in Paradise is a true “window” into another place in this world.

Watch a clip/trailer for Zanzibar: Trouble In Paradise.

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