Hannah Jayanti
Truth or Consequences

HANNAH JAYANTI received support for an 85-minute documentary entitled Truth or Consequences. In 1950, the residents of a southern New Mexico town, then called Hot Springs, voted to rename themselves after the most popular radio show of the time—Truth or Consequences. In return, the show’s charismatic host would visit once a year, bringing his celebrity friends to the newly burgeoning resort town. Fame and prosperity would inevitably follow, or so they hoped. For a short while the boom seemed imminent, but soon everything returned to how it was before—a small economically depressed desert town. Sixty years later, the same optimism and frustration is playing out as the world’s first commercial Spaceport is being built 20 miles outside of town. Just as the town’s residents are attracted to the remoteness of the desert, so is Spaceport America. Run by the government of New Mexico, one of the poorest states in the country, and funded with tax payer dollars, the spaceport’s landing strip is rented out to private Space Tourism companies such as Virgin Galactic and Space X. Through an intimate combination of observational and impressionistic filmmaking, this documentary will paint a portrait of a small town in flux by focusing on the daily lives of its residents. Intertwined with traditional documentary footage will be experimental photogrammetric animations of the landscape and the spaceport. Referencing sci-fi tropes of an impenetrable force affecting the status quo (think Solaris, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Contact), the animations will dramatize the desert landscape and represent the perceptions that the residents have of the spaceport, both fears of unknown progress and the hope that an outside influence could save the town.

About this grant

Film and Video
Grant Program
New York City Film and Video
New York City

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