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Sci-Fi Short LUCID Screens at Stone Street Studios

Sci-Fi Short LUCID Screens at Stone Street Studios

Lucid, an edgy sci-fi short that weaves virtual reality technology throughout its storyline, is an Official Selection for the 2019 NYC Webfest, and nominated for Best Pilot. It screens Saturday, October 5th, at 7:50 p.m. at Stone Street Studios.

For writer, director and star Jamie Monahan, LUCID offered a chance to question the reality of being female both on and off screen. Like Brit Marling and Reed Moreno before her, Monahan joins the small but slowly growing ranks of multi-hyphenate women in the entertainment industry. In addition to occupying roles traditionally held by men, she's committed to telling female-centric stories in male-dominated genres.

"I grew up watching sci-fi as a kid, but rarely saw strong female leads at the center of these stories. If they were, they were characters written by men. I believe in writing complex female characters because women are complex," said Monahan.

LUCID follows Charlie, a young woman undergoing virtual reality therapy after being sexually assaulted on a girl's night out. As Charlie becomes addicted to how VR makes her feel, she slowly loses interest in the reality in which her friends live.

Despite the sci-fi setting (a near distant, but "pre-matrix" future), everyday use of virtual reality technology-especially with regards to therapy-isn't so far off. The Huberman Lab at the Stanford School of Medicine already uses the technology to study anxiety and fear. Initially, the link between trauma and perceived reality was what caught Monahan's interest.

"In a #metoo era, more women are finding their voice and speaking out [but] few talk about the psychological symptoms they experience, and how they choose to recover."

Though virtual reality is already popular in the gaming world, many filmmakers are at a loss with how to combine storytelling with the new technology, especially when it comes to morals and ethics. For Monahan, that was the final piece that helped her write LUCID.

"The way we can and do currently use VR for good is incredible. But none of it is checked. The moral code of the creator determines the morality of the experience," she said. "What if someone didn't know where they stood, and wanted to better the community, but in the process of doing so made some bad decisions?

Tickets for the screening are available online: Block 8 "Unsolved Mysteries"

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