A.R. Rahman's directorial debut 'Le Musk' to premiere at Cannes XR


The 36-minute film is billed as a cinematic sensory experience. Photo: A.R. Rahman/Instagram

Le Musk, the directorial debut of Oscar, Bafta and Grammy winning Indian composer A.R. Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire), will have its world premiere at the Cannes Film Market's Cannes XR programme.

The 36-minute film is billed as a cinematic sensory experience incorporating virtual reality, with motion, music and scent integrated into the narrative.

It follows heiress and musician Juliet Merdinian, who, 20 years since she was orphaned, seeks out the men who changed her destiny with one powerful memory – that of their scent.

Rahman developed the story from an original idea by his wife Saira.

They share a love for perfume and wished to employ scent as a narrative device in immersive cinema.

Rahman directed from a screenplay by Gurachi Phoenix, besides composing the score.

"Le Musk has been several years in the making with collaborators worldwide; we've aimed to create an unprecedented, subtle sensory cinematic surrealism. Creating a feature-length cinema VR experience that pushes boundaries of storytelling and incorporates multiple senses was a guiding force for me. Aroma and music together bring warm memories subjectively for the audience," Rahman said.

The cast includes Nora Arnezeder (Army Of The Dead) and Guy Burnet (Oppenheimer) in lead roles, alongside Munirih Grace (Pure) and Mariam Zohrabyan.

"Working on the VR experience Le Musk under director A.R. Rahman has been a beautiful journey where we found new artistic expression. Through Le Musk, we've unlocked a new, expansive frontier in storytelling where we hope to inspire and inquire through the senses. This film is an experience unlike any other," said Arnezeder.

Shot in Rome, Le Musk features inter-disciplinary expertise coming together from around the world.

It was shot on 14 different cameras capturing super-resolution quality video. Post-produced in stereoscopic 360 VR workflow at higher resolution and frame rate, Le Musk was finished by 10 VFX houses from around the world with close to a petabyte of data.

Thanks to a partnership with the Cannes Film Market and Cannes XR, Le Musk can be experienced at the immersive VR chair by Los Angeles-based company Positron, which has motion, scent, immersive sound, and haptics integrated.

"Imagined with Intel and partners, the creative genesis of the film heralds a new frontier for new-age immersive storytellers like A.R. Rahman," said Ravindra Velhal, global content technologist, Intel Corporation and executive producer and VR technology director of Le Musk.

"The film has state-of-the-art technology meeting the storyteller to push the boundaries of immersive cinema. With motion, music and scent integrated into the narrative, making it an unparalleled immersive VR cinema of its era – in ways you've never experienced before."

The film is produced by Rahman's ARR Studios with Ideal Entertainment and Intel as co-producers and Thenandal Studio and Palani Andavar Holdings as associate producers.

Cannes XR is a program from the Cannes Film Market dedicated to immersive technologies and cinematographic content. – Reuters

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