Desert Dash

Two women sat in a colourful bus stop in the desert.

Watch the 2018 Soho House Shorts winner’s film that draws inspiration from music, death and Elon Musk

One of two winners of the 2018 Soho House Shorts competition, created by Soho House and IWC Schaffhausen as an incubator platform for promising screenwriters and filmmakers to showcase their talents on the world stage, Gracie Otto’s film Desert Dash is set in the Australian outback in a world where opals are the currency for survival in the real-life game of Desert Dash, the feisty heroine ruthlessly battling to be the winner.


Before creating her project – based on the theme of ‘time’ as all entrants were asked to do – Otto hadn’t made a film for 10 years, but her triumphant return was inspired by a very personal story. ‘I wanted to do something that was based on my friend who’d passed away, and on the idea of time stopping when you die,’ she told us after being named a winner. ‘I’d recently directed an underwear commercial in the Australian outback in a town where everyone lives underground. I’ve been getting into Turkish electro music too, so this film touched on both of those things. I also recently became obsessed with this quote by Elon Musk where he said “Odds are we’re living in a simulation,” and that’s where the plot line came in for me.’

You can see Desert Dash on the Soho House app on Sunday 5 April at 2pm.

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