The award recognises outstanding originality, ingenuity, and the effect of the submitted work in pushing the boundaries of programme format, content, audience participation, production method, and delivery
Continuing the recent success run of Indian films like SS Rajamouli’s RRR in creating a buzz in awards circuit after winning nomination for best original song at 2023 Academy Awards, there is more good news for the Indian cinema as AR Rahman’s multi-sensory virtual reality film LeMusk has been nominated for the 2023 Producers Guild of America (PGA) Innovation Award ahead of the 34th Annual Producers Guild Awards.
While Rahman’s first nomination for the PGA’s flagship global innovation award is undoubtedly a proud moment for the Oscar-winning film music composer, it also has much broader implications for the Indian creative industry at large, which is seeking wider recognition in the world cinema as they create compelling bodies of work that resonate well with the global audience.
The PGA nomination for the directorial debut of Rahma, which emphasises the power of creative storytelling and technology, has not only placed this masterpiece on the radar of Hollywood but has also fuelled the insatiable thirst of Indian creators to push the envelope further.
LeMusk, which blends scent into a one-of-a-kind cinematic sensory experience, was made by ARR Studios in association with associate producers Thenandal Studio and PalaniAndavar Holdings, as well as co-producers Ideal Entertainment and Intel. The movie’s screenplay was written by Gurachi Phoenix, and AR Rahman created the soundtrack.
The 2023 PGA Innovation Award winner, as well as the PGA Award winners in the Short Form category, will be announced during the Nominee Celebration Event on February 23rd in Los Angeles, and will be recognised at the PGA Awards ceremony on February 25 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
The award honours exceptional distinctiveness, inventiveness, and the impact of the submitted work in expanding the conventions of program format, content, audience interaction, production technique and delivery.
This year’s nominees highlight access to historic moments, seamless application of AR/VR, and emotionally immersive experiences. The jury noted industry-wide emphasis on gaming, virtual togetherness, and mass adoption of innovative technology. Other nominees for the 2023 PGA Innovation Award include:
• Dance Monsters (Lime Pictures)
• Experience Yosemite (CityLights)
• Ghostbusters VR Academy (HOLOGATE)
• Lustration (New Canvas)
• On The Morning You Wake (To the End of the World) (ASTREA)
• OXYMORE by Jean-Michel Jarre (VRROOM)
• PerfectoVerse (Watch and Play)
• Stay Alive, My Son (UME Studios)
• Stranger Things Immersive Watch Party (Sawhorse Productions)
• Verizon Pepsi Halftime Ultra Pass (R/GA)
The PGA will recognise the programme rather than the individual producers. As a result, the makers of these programmes are exempt from the awards eligibility selection process.
The award was open to programmes launched between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022. Entries were evaluated and voted on by a blue-ribbon jury of specialists after being vetted by a nomination committee co-chaired this year by Eric Shamlin and John Canning.
Le Musk blends virtual reality with motion, music, aroma, and haptics, opening up new avenues for collaboration between Hollywood and the Indian creative industry, which has recently been at the forefront of producing stunning films for a global audience using cutting-edge technologies that redefine cinematic experience.
The film can be watched in specialized chairs built by Positron with headsets and top gear earphones. The Positron chairs rotate the viewer from scene to scene in a VR space.
With scent as the key to unlocking the story, Le Musk is immersive, ground breaking, and unrivalled, ushering in a new era in film making. Earlier, the World Premiere of Le Musk was held in front of a sold-out audience at the Cannes XR, which was part of the 75th Cannes Film Festival.
The 36-minute film has a global star cast led by Nora Arnezeder (Army of the Dead) and Guy Burnet (Oppenheimer) from Hollywood, as well as Munirih Grace and Mariam Zohrabyan from Armenia.
Following the journey of an orphaned heiress and musician who grows up to be a woman on a mission, the film conjures a captivating universe of song, motion, and scent. Despite her turbulent past, she has one constant companion: the Muskan scent.
Revolving around an unforgettable protagonist in Arnezeder’s Juliet, the movie is a potent portrait of a woman spurned by the oldest, most treacherous quest of humankind — revenge.
The idea for Le Musk was born out of director Rahman’s conversation with his wife Saira Rahman. The partners share a love for perfume and wished to employ scent as a narrative device in immersive cinema. They tapped into the infinite possibilities posed by immersive VR soon after their exchange. Gradually, the world and characters of Le Musk took shape in the artist’s mind.
Shot in Rome, Le Musk is a technical masterpiece with inter-disciplinary expertise coming together from around the world. Shot on 14 different cameras capture super-resolution quality video. Post-produced in stereoscopic 360 VR workflow at higher resolution and frame rate, Le Musk’s was finished by 10 VFX houses from around the world with close to a Petabyte of data.
The PGA first presented the Innovation Award in 2019, when it was given to the team behind “Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series – Episode 1.” The team behind “For All Mankind: Time Capsule,” an AR app developed by Apple to promote the second season of “For All Mankind,” received the award in 2022. In 2023, this Award will continue to showcase industry advancement and the Guild’s dedication to rewarding storytelling innovation.