Dubai-produced feature documentary Awaken, directed by Tom Lowe and executive produced by Terrance Malick and Godfrey Reggio, debuted its trailer on Tuesday.
The 4K movie, which was produced by Dubai Film, explores humanity’s relationship with technology and the natural world. It filmed in more than 30 countries over the span of a half decade.
“Five years in the making, Awaken is not just a movie about the world we live in but also a celebration of the spirit of life,” said Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum on Twitter.
“Explore our world with new eyes with Awaken,” he tweeted.
Awaken utilises new time-lapse, time-dilation, underwater and aerial cinematography techniques in its gimmick-free exploration of Earth.
“One of the early driving forces of Awaken was to film the natural world in a way that could compete on a spectacle level with large visual-effects-heavy blockbusters, while at the same time capture everything ‘in camera’, with no effects, compositing, or post-production tricks of any kind,” said Lowe, in a release posted by Dubai Media Office.
Lowe and his company Dreamcore set up in Dubai in 2012; they collaborated with Dubai Film to create custom camera equipment that allowed for new filming techniques
“With this film we’ve created an immersive and unforgettable experience where the audience can explore the world in a whole new way,” added Omar Al Salman, general manager of Dubai Film.
The trailer, which at time of publication has received over 800,000 views on YouTube since it was posted on Tuesday, shows a dreamy, sun-lit shot of Dubai’s skyline covered in clouds.
The film will reportedly feature astrophography time-lapse sequences shot at night from a helicopter in flight, which is a first in filmmaking history. It will show never-before-seen footage of the Sierra Nevada and aurora storm-lit mountains of Northern Sweden, among other visual feats.