When you cast one of China's "most dangerous men" in the lead role of your short film, you're courting a bundle of trouble. Set it in city battling toxic smog, with two weeks to wrap the project... you get the picture.
The Sand Storm is the ambitious project of former TED Talk producer-turned-script writer Jason Wishnow. Having moved to Beijing to inspire his writing career, Wishnow secured a meeting with influential artist Ai Wei Wei. The duo's mutual fear of information obstruction and the "collateral damage of uncertainty" set the wheels in motion to collaborate on a creative project. A few weeks later, The Sand Storm finished filming.
A dystopian sci-fi set in near-future China, the 10-minute short features a gloriously-grim backdrop (captured by legendary cinematographer Christopher Doyle). In his acting début, Ai Wei Wei plays a water smuggler, struggling to survive in a baron world of suspicion, water shortages and information blackouts.
Billed as a prelude to a feature length project, The Sand Storm is currently looking for funding on Kickstarter to help with post-production costs and expenses. Perks include access to alternative endings, all the way up to the lofty prize of being named as an Associate Producer.
Check out the project trailer below and head over to Kickstarter for more info.
The Sand Storm will be released in June 2014 should it reach its funding goal