This year Where There’s Smoke will tour festivals, conferences, schools and special events. If you’re interested in hosting a showing, talk and/or workshop please email us at hello@smokeproject.co
We’re working on an art book that will feature a collection of my Dad’s fire slides. Pulled from thousands of fire slides shot between 1968 and 1988.
In addition to the immersive documentary side of the project, we’re developing a fictional film/TV series and YA novel based on true events.

All families have secrets. Skeletons hidden in closets. Things left unsaid.

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 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. Now, using the online tools that have kept us connected through COVID-19, join Lance and his father in an immersive conversation about life, loss and memory that reveals itself to be both deeply personal and universally resonant.

“In 1983 our van burst into flames on a family vacation. Eleven months later our house would burn to the ground. As I explore my past I find mysterious connections to these blazes and come face to face with a closet full of skeletons. Inspired by true events in my life, Where There’s Smoke details the connections between two mysterious fires and my father’s battle with cancer.”   – writer/director Lance Weiler


We’re excited to announce that we’ve developed a new virtual version of Where There’s Smoke for upwards of a 40 participants. The 90 minute experience weaves together storytelling, artwork, unseen archival 35mm slides, new recordings and immersive moments designed for individuals, pairs and groups. If you’re interested in hosting a showing of Where There’s Smoke at your festival, museum, gallery, school and/or conference please contact us at hello@smokeproject.co

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World Premiere
Tribeca Film Festival (1,400 sq ft installation)

World Premiere
IDFA Doc Lab – within the non-fiction competition section (virtual version)

Recent showings
Portland International Film Festival – March 2021
Currents New Media Festival – June 2021

Digital Dozen: Breakthroughs in Storytelling award

FoST prize in storytelling innovation

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“Weiler proves that Zoom video conferencing software and the online notebook Miro can also be used as instruments for telling an emotional story, and even to create intimacy.” – IDFA Doc Lab

“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.” – IndieWire

“The tech is sublimated here in service to Weiler’s very personal chronicling of his father’s life and the nature of their relationship. It’s a lovely piece and another must see.” – Filmmaker Magazine

Deeply affecting and incredibly well-crafted, this powerful documentary-meets-installation interactive experience leaves a lasting mark.…” – No Proscenium

“Absolute can’t-miss…” – Backstage 

“Tribeca Immersive 2019 Awesome List” – Forbes

For over 20 years my father was a volunteer firefighter and amateur fire scene photographer. Where There's Smoke makes use of thousands of fire slides shot between 1968 and 1988.

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