Empathy Inc, the new sci-fi thriller from Dark Star Pictures, is now getting its first public screenings in the Los Angeles area. More showings are soon to follow elsewhere in a few days.

Joel is a big-time, cocky venture capitalist who feels certain he can never make a wrong bet — until he does. A deal collapses that was worth millions, and it forces the tech bro to move in with his wife’s parents and start fresh. All he needs is to find that next big idea, though, and he feels he can make it all back.

Maybe that idea will come from his old friends Nicolaus and Lester, who are looking for investors for their new VR project. Nicolaus feels Joel wouldn’t just benefit from investing in their new tech, but using it. They call it XVR, or Xtreme Virtual Reality (the name needs work), and its function is to make people feel better about themselves by stepping into the shoes of those less fortunate than them. It will spread (and more importantly capitalize) empathy, hence the name of their company (and the movie), Empathy Inc.

So Joel tries it out. It not only works as promised, the experience of stepping into another body feels incredibly real. Almost as if….he’s really taking over someone else’s mind. What’s really going on at Empathy Inc, and is it legal?

Empathy Inc., directed by Yedidya Gorsetman, opens in a wider number of select theaters across the country September 13. If no theater near you is on the list, it’ll become available on-demand September 24.

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