Shut Eye 2022

Directed by Tom Levesque Aotearoa

In this world premiere Auckland-made feature, a disconnected young woman discovers the world of ASMR and befriends a local streamer, leading to blurred lines between friendship and obsession.

Jul 31

Hollywood Avondale

91 minutes DCP
M
Offensive language

Director, Screenplay

Producer

Eva Trebilco

Cinematography

Kelly Chen

Editors

Tom Levesque
,
Betsy Bauer

Production designer

Gwen Lin

Costume designer

Lucy Caccioppoli

Music

Curtis Holdack
,
Allan Zaya

Cast

Millie Van Kol (Sierra), Sarah May (Kate), Amber Liberté (Brie), Liam D’Souza (Ravi), Shadon Meredith (Doctor Jacobs), Yue Pilbrow (Yui), Tom Tobin (Alex)

Elsewhere

Aotearoa New Zealand films at NZIFF 2022 are proudly supported by

Resene

This feature debut from Auckland writer-director Tom Levesque implores us to find true connections in an increasingly unconnected world. We’re introduced to twenty-something Sierra, living in Auckland alone, working in that most thankless job of street charity fundraiser which demands a vivid personality beyond her reserved demeanour. It doesn’t help that she has trouble sleeping, and after being forced to look for help, a doctor recommends that she investigate sound therapy, specifically autonomous sensory meridian response or ASMR.

 Exploring online, Sierra discovers local ASMR streamer Kate who soon becomes her virtual evening companion whenever she needs help getting to sleep. Before long, Sierra starts to see Kate as an escape from her lonely existence and the traumas that haunt her – their connection starts to move offline. As Sierra is drawn deeper into Kate’s life her obsession grows increasingly physical, and when faced with losing Kate to a competing lover an act of desperation threatens to change Sierra’s life forever.

 Levesque’s vibrant vérité direction and rhythmic editing brings Auckland after-dark to life while young actresses Millie Van Kol and Sarah May impress as polar opposites with magnetic chemistry. We’re excited to see what they do next, but don’t miss your chance to catch their big screen debuts. — Michael McDonnell