(OUR) NEW REALITIES

Mon 9 Nov @ 5.30pm - 6.30pm

What does equity look like in VR? A panel discussion that puts diversity and inclusion at the centre of the conversation on Virtual Reality. In the emerging medium of non-fiction XR storytelling how do we shift the centre of gravity and ensure that narratives that can come from the Global South, indigenous makers and communities – which are not represented in this space – are supported and able to flourish. Especially at a time when artists and filmmakers face an uncertain future.

(OUR) NEW REALITIES
Moderator

Nyasha Kadandara

Kenya

Nyasha Kadandara is an award-winning Zimbabwean documentary filmmaker who has reported on breaking news, climate change, education, migration, health, and conflict in various parts of Africa. Nyasha holds a Master’s degree in journalism and documentary filmmaking from Columbia Journalism School. Her films have premiered at DOC NYC, SXSW and Sheffield Doc/Fest. Through the Fire received the Audience Choice Documentary Short Award at the Atlanta Docufest. Queens & Knights won first prize at the 2016 NBC Sports film contest Cptr’d. In 2019, her multimedia piece on transactional sex relationships in Kenya was a finalist for the One World Media Awards. Nyasha’s virtual reality documentary, Le Lac, about the effects of climate change and the Boko Haram insurgency around Lake Chad won the Best Digital Narrative Award at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2019.

Director Le Lac
(OUR) NEW REALITIES
Panelist

Kamal Sinclair

United States

Kamal Sinclair, is making the world more beautiful as the Executive Director of the Guild of Future Architects; supporting independent artists as a Senior Consultant for Sundance Institute’s Future of Culture Initiative, and making art through a family creative practice at Sinclair Futures. She also serves as an External Advisor to the MacArthur Foundation's Journalism & Media Program and as a board member of MIT’s Center for Advanced Virtuality. Previously, she served as the Director of Sundance Institute’s New Frontier Labs Program for seven years, which supports artists working at the convergence of film, art, media and technology. She partnered with Chief Curator, Shari Frilot, in the development and platforming of landmark projects in the evolution of story, including experimentations with XR, iOT and AI as storytelling mediums. She also consulted for the Ford Foundation's JustFilms program, Johns Hopkins University’s Immersive Storytelling and Emerging Technology Center, For Freedoms, and NYU Tisch’s Future Imagination Collaboratory.

Guild of Future Architects
(OUR) NEW REALITIES
Panelist

Joel ‘Kachi Benson

Nigeria

JOEL ‘KACHI BENSON is passionate about stories, and has been making documentary stories for over a decade. In February 2018, he was introduced to the world of Virtual Reality, and became the first Nigerian filmmaker to use Virtual Reality technology for storytelling, when he produced “In Bakassi”, a virtual experience of life in one of the largest IDP Camps in Northeast Nigeria. In September 2019, Kachi Benson’s Daughters of Chibok made history, when it won the Venice Lion at the Venice Film Festival, making him the first African to win the prestigious prize in the Virtual Reality category. In December 2019, Joel ‘Kachi Benson was named among the New African Magazine’s 2019 Top 100 Most Influential Africans. He lives and works in Nigeria where manages JB Multimedia Studios and VR360 Stories.

Director Daughter of Chibok
(OUR) NEW REALITIES
Panelist

Dylan Valley

South Africa

Dylan Valley is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and educator. In 2013 he received a Pulitzer Fellowship from the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, where he completed his Masters in Specialised Journalism. In January 2020, his virtual reality documentary Azibuye – The Occupation premiered at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival in the New Frontiers Category. Dylan has directed various documentaries for South African and international television, namely the award winning Afrikaaps (2010), The Uprising of Hangberg (2010), Jumu’a (2011) and Incarcerated Knowledge (2013). He has directed two documentary films for Al Jazeera’s Arabic Documentary Channel and is an Atlantic Fellow for Racial Equity (2019-2020).

Electric South
(OUR) NEW REALITIES
Panelist

Catherine Allen

United Kingdom

Catherine Allen is one of the UK's leading figures in creative virtual reality. Her company, Limina Immersive have brought meaningful, cultural VR to thousands of audience members who wouldn't have otherwise experienced this new art form. They have done this through three years of VR festivals, pop ups and a 6-month VR theatre on Bristol's Harbourside. Through doing this, Limina has learned what audiences want from both the content and the overall experience. The team now share this knowledge with the emerging sector and are creating their own immersive experiences. As a VR industry leader, Allen's work is known for bringing VR to broader audiences who wouldn't describe themselves as early adopters. She was part of the BAFTA's VR advisory team, has judged VR for a range of international film festivals and has authored industry reports for public sector funding bodies. Catherine produced the BBC's first commissioned VR documentary, the award-winning Easter Rising: Voice of a Rebel, which has toured festivals globally, showed for six weeks at the National Theatre in London and was described by Broadcast Magazine as 'genre-defining'. Before VR, Catherine worked at the educational app publisher, Touch Press; winning a BAFTA on the Disney Animated app, with Disney Interactive.

Limina Immersive