Where There’s Smoke

March 7 & 13, 2021

In Where There’s Smoke, writer/director/storytelling pioneer Lance Weiler unravels the secrets of his enigmatic father–a volunteer firefighter and amateur fire scene photographer–and two devastating fires that struck the Weiler family in the early 1980s. In the final months of his battle with colon cancer, his father invites Lance to interview him, and these conversations reignite 30 years of wondering… were those fires more than tragic accidents?

Prepared to come face-to-face with mysteries of the past, Lance sits down with his father and finds himself simultaneously confronting tragedies of the present. As his father’s choices fade with his body, Lance and his family experience a profound lack of empathy in his care, and this sparks a new question for Lance: “What if this story can do more?” Out of a heartbreaking journey for answers and healing rises Where There’s Smoke, an unlikely collaboration between Lance and his father that combines elements of immersive theatre, interactive documentary, and emergent technology.

Over 100 movies screened at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, but one of its best offerings lets you walk inside the frame and experience a story from the inside out. In “Where There’s Smoke”… participants literally walk through one man’s memories and engage with his grief. Lance Weiler, a filmmaker who years ago dove headlong into the creative possibility of immersive storytelling, has crafted an elaborate form of experiential cinema and interactive theater out of personal experiences.

Eric Kohn, IndieWire

Where There’s Smoke is presented across Zoom and Miro–free online platforms that have kept us connected through COVID-19. Join Lance in sifting through unseen archival photos, videos, digital artwork, and stories from his father. Through moments designed for both personal reflection and collaboration with other participants, you’ll find yourself immersed in a conversation about life, loss, and memory that reveals itself to be both deeply personal and universally resonant.

Please note that the experience makes use of Zoom’s camera and microphone, and there are moments when you’ll be asked to share with other participants. The whole experience lasts about two hours.

Missed the program?
Visit smokeproject.co to attend future showings and stay up to date with Lance’s work.