Raphael Mallari's MFA Thesis Film Explores Sleep Paralysis

Friday, March 06, 2020

THE SILICON VALLEY VOICE -- “Lucid,” his current film short, is his final project for his Master of Fine Arts in Cinema at San Francisco State University. In this fictional story, a high school student with high stress, experiences an episode of sleep paralysis. This is the experience when falling asleep or waking up, of being aware but unable to move or speak.

Although not life threatening, sleep paralysis can be haunting, even horrifying. It can arouse feelings of a threatening presence in the room, pressure on the chest or an outside-the-body experience.

Mallari has experienced sleep paralysis a few times himself. In researching it, he decided on using film to shed light on how stress can contribute to its occurrence.

“What are we doing to ourselves that compromises our own mental health or peace of mind? [This is one of] the rhetorical questions the film presents the audience,” said Mallari.