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MENTORS 2018-2023

HEAD OF STUDIES

LAB 2018-2023

Mark Atkin

Mark Atkin (UK) is an award-winning producer of immersive and interactive work. He is Immersive Curator at CPH:DOX, Copenhagen, SILBERSALZ Science and Media Festival, Germany, and Director of Electric Dreams. As Head of Studies of CPH:LAB, he spearheads the development of creatives in immersive media.

MENTOR

LAB 2021-2022

May Abdalla

May Abdalla (UK) works with technology to create sensory stories that help us to reimagine the world and our place in it. In 2013 she co-founded Anagram, an award-winning creative studio specialising in thought-provoking interactive storytelling and immersive experience design. Their work has toured internationally at festivals, public space and museums. They were named in the CreaTech 100 most creative companies in the UK in 2019.

 

MENTOR

LAB 2020-2021

Myriam Achard

Over the past 6 years Myriam Achard (CA) has devoted a great deal of her energy to representing PHI internationally, and has thus created an extraordinary distribution network for immersive projects on which PHI takes part today as a co-producer, as well as a distributor.

MENTOR

LAB 2019-2020

Anrick Bregman

Anrick Bregman (UK) is an award winning cross-disciplinary new realities director, exploring immersive storytelling through VR, AR, film and games, and beyond. His work is research focused, and lies at the intersection of narrative and experiential technology.

MENTOR

LAB 2020-2022

Katerina Cizek

Katerina Cizek (CA) is a two-time Emmy-winning documentarian, and pioneer in emergent media. She is heading up the Co-Creation Studio at MIT Open Documentary Lab. At the National Film Board of Canada, she helped transform the organization into a digital hub with her ground-breaking projects Filmmaker-in-Residence, and HIGHRISE.

MENTOR

LAB 2018-2023

Toby Coffey

Toby Coffey (UK) is Head of Digital Development for the National Theatre. In 2016 he established their Immersive Storytelling Studio. Its work has been shown at film festivals around the world. Toby has over 18 years expertise in the digital arena from creative, technical, production and social perspectives.

MENTOR

LAB 2020-2023

Sarah Ellis

Sarah Ellis (UK) is Director of Digital Development for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Responsible for creating an innovative digital offer presenting the best of the company to a global audience; for bringing new thinking and the best fresh developments enabling its progression.

MENTOR

LAB 2021-2022

Shehani Fernando

Shehani Fernando (UK) is an award-winning producer/director and the founder of Indigo Storm, a new immersive studio driven by documentary storytelling. Her work has been exhibited at festivals including IDFA, Venice and Sheffield Doc/Fest. She is also the producer and presenter of the StoryFutures Academy podcast.

MENTOR

LAB 2019-2021

Sandra Gaudenzi

Dr Sandra Gaudenzi (IT) consults, researches, lectures and writes about interactive and immersive narratives. She is Course Leader at the University of Westminster and co-convenor of the i-Docs conference. She has recently co-edited the book “i-docs: the Evolving Practices of Interactive Documentary”.

MENTOR

LAB 2018-2019

Jane Gauntlett

Jane Gauntlett (UK) is an artist, writer and director for interactive theatre, audio, game, film, VR and AR. Jane is currently working on The Future Project and founded In My Shoes Project. She directed the 360 immersive experiences ‘ In My Shoes: Dancing With Myself’(2015), and ‘In My Shoes: Intimacy’ (2017) which both premiered at Sheffield International Documentary Festival.

MENTOR

LAB 2022-2023

Brett Gaylor

Imposter Media is the documentary studio of Brett Gaylor (CA). His recent releases are Fortune!, an AR documentary released at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, and Discriminator, an interactive film that had its world premiere at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival. His 2020 documentary The Internet of Everything broadcast in more than 20 countries and was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award. His interactive series Do Not Track is the recipient of the International Documentary Association award for best nonfiction series, the 2016 Peabody Award, and the Prix Gemaux for Best Interactive Series. His short OK Google animated a year of his son Rowan’s accidental voice searches and received the 2019 Webby Award. His 2009 feature Rip! A Remix Manifesto was the recipient of audience choice prizes at festivals from Amsterdam to South Africa, broadcast in 20 countries, and seen by millions of people worldwide on Netflix, Hulu and The Pirate Bay.

MENTOR

LAB 2018-2019

Steye Hallema

Steye Hallema (NL) works as creative director for his own company WildVreemd and works as freelance director for Jaunt VR. He is the director of the VR music video What do we care4 and the VR collaboration Ashes to Ashes. He is also the inventor and creative director of the Smartphone Orchestra.

MENTOR

LAB 2019-2020

Phil Harper

Phil Harper (UK) is a BAFTA award winning VR director. Since helping to setup Alchemy VR in 2014 he has written and directed many VR documentaries, including one featuring Sir David Attenborough. His film ‘The Antarctica Experience’ is showing in specialist cinemas across Australia where it became one of the highest grossing documentaries of 2018.

MENTOR

LAB 2018-2019

James Hedley

James Hedley (UK) is an award-winning VR Director/Producer working at Sky VR Studios in London. Having first worked in 360° filmmaking over 6 years ago, James has developed VR projects with an array of broadcasters and organisations such as Sky, C4 and the UN.

MENTOR

LAB 2018-2023

Vassiliki Khonsari

Producer + Cofounder of iNK Stories, the award winning Brooklyn studio Fast Company calls “an innovation agent in entertainment”. Designers and world builders creating and publishing bold, verite style cinematic games, films and immersive XR for wide international audiences and virtual spaces. 

MENTOR

LAB 2018-2022

Ingrid Kopp

Ingrid Kopp (South Africa) is a co-founder of Electric South, a non-profit initiative to develop virtual reality and innovative mobile storytelling projects across Africa. Ingrid also curates the Tribeca Storyscapes program for interactive and immersive work at the Tribeca Film Festival.

MENTOR

LAB 2019-2020

Uri Kranot

Uri Kranot (DK) is main tutor of Anidox lab. Director, animator, filmmaker, teacher, he is member of the Academy of motion picture arts & science. He created numerous award-winning animated films and VR projects, co-directed with his partner Michelle Kranot.

MENTOR

LAB 2018-2020

Simon Lajboschitz

Accomplished director and manager, with a keen view from the customers’ perspective, Simon Lajboschitz (DK) built a community hub in the Virtual Reality industry in Denmark, by founding the 1st VR store in the World, Khora and becoming the leading Danish VR experts.

MENTOR

LAB 2019-2023

Jonathan May

Jonathan May (UK) a cultural programmer, producer, writer and photographer who lives in the UK. His work spans the live and visual arts, curatorial and social practices. As a programmer and producer Jonathan leads mutli-disciplinary teams to create ambitious cultural events and forge unlikely collaborative communities. He has led international, interdisciplinary programmes with festivals, studios and institutions such as Abandon Normal Devices, Marshmallow Laser Feast, British Council and LIFT. Jonathan has an MA in Performance from Goldsmiths University of London and is a Clore Fellow.

MENTOR

LAB 2018-2023

Annette Mees

Annette Mees (NL) is an award-winning artistic director known for her innovative, interdisciplinary and experiential work that allows audiences to explore big ideas and create meaningful change. She explores the artistic possibilities of immersive technologies and works with leading artists, cutting-edge creative immersive technology and inter-disciplinary creative teams to innovate and push boundaries. She is currently Artistic Director Audience Labs and Visiting Senior Research Fellow in Culture and Creative Industries at King’s College London and Chair of FutureEverything.

MENTOR

LAB 2022-2023

Joel Mills

Joel Mills has worked in the music sector for over 25 years, with a background that bridges both the commercial and funded sector. She began her career working in club and festival sound and production for global music dance club, Whirl-Y-Gig, alongside managing events and stages at various festivals such as Stoke Newington Festival and The Big Chill. She also shaped a diverse music programme as Programming and Venue Manager at The Spitz in East London.  As a freelance music event manager, commercial promoter clients included SJM Concerts, Mean Fiddler, Eat Your Own Ears and Festival Republic, and Serious International Music Producers.

MENTOR

LAB 2018-2019

Margaux Missika

Margaux Missika (FR) joined Upian in 2010 to develop online productions, after her studies and various experiences in content development. She produced projects like Alma, a tale of violence, Génération What?, How to make a Ken Loach Film, Do Not Track, Art of gaming or Earn a living.

MENTOR

LAB 2019-2020

Thomas Oberender

Since 2011 Thomas Oberender (DE) has been the Artistic and Managing Director of Berliner Festspiele/Gropiusbau. He was the founder of several new formats for performance, literature and cultural programmes, and created time based exhibitions. He is currently working as Artistic Director of the transmedial programme Immersion.

MENTOR

LAB 2018-2019

Opeyemi Olukemi

Opeyemi Olukemi (USA) is an interactive storytelling expert and Vice President of Digital Production and Innovation at American Documentary’s award-winning independent non-fiction film series POV. Before joining POV, Opeyemi was the Senior Director of Interactive Programs for Tribeca Film Institute and produced for ScrollMotion. Opeyemi has mentored through the IDFA’s Doc Academy, New Museum’s NEW INC and Oculus’ VR for Good.

MENTOR

LAB 2018-2022

Francesca Panetta

Francesca Panetta (UK) is the new curator of Alternate Realities at Sheffield Documentary Festival. Previously she has worked as Creative Director in the MIT Center for Advanced Virtuality where she makes flagship pieces. As an immersive artist and journalist, she uses emerging technologies to innovate new forms of storytelling that have social impact. Previous to MIT, she worked at The Guardian as Executive Director of Virtual Reality where she pioneered new forms of journalism.

MENTOR

LAB 2020-2022

Gayatri Parameswaran

Gayatri Parameswaran (IND) is an award winning writer, director and producer of immersive works. She co-founded NowHere Media — a storytelling studio that views contemporary issues through a critical lens. Her work has been exhibited at the Venice International Film Festival, SXSW, Cannes Film Festival.

MENTOR

LAB 2018-2020

Lucia Pietroiusti

Lucia Pietroiusti (IT) is Curator of General Ecology at Serpentine Galleries, London, as well as the curator of Sun & Sea (Marina), the Lithuanian Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale. Publications include More-than-Human (with Andrés Jaque and Marina Otero Verzier, upcoming).

MENTOR

LAB 2022-2023

Barry Pousman

Barry Pousman (US) is an award-winning immersive media creator (VR/AR/AI) and digital strategist focused on science communication and social impact. Barry works with clients including the United Nations, Google, Meta, Accenture, Deloitte, XPrize, the Atlantic, Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University, Human Rights Watch, and others to drive real-world change with emerging technologies. Barry was also the Director of Digital Programming at Discovery Channel (now Warner Bros Discovery) where his focus was building online communities for science, education, and global awareness through digital and virtual reality content.

MENTOR

LAB 2018-2019

Oscar Raby

Oscar Raby (AU) is Creative Director at VRTOV, the Virtual Reality studio behind works Assent, The Turning Forest, Easter Rising: Voice of a Rebel and A Thin Black Line. Works by VRTOV have been exhibited across the world, including Sundance, IDFA, Sheffield Doc/Fest and Tribeca Film Festival.

MENTOR

LAB 2018-2022

Mike Robbins

Mike Robbins (AUS) is a director, producer, and creative technologist at his studio High Road Stories, a creative studio for documentary VR, AR, and interactive content. His experiences have been featured in venues like IDFA, DOK Leipzig, BIFF, and DocAviv, and in museums and exhibitions around the world.

MENTOR

LAB 2022-2023

Emma Roberts

Emma Roberts is an XR producer based on Wathaurong country in Victoria, Australia. Her work includes some of the largest location-based XR works in Australia. She recently produced the 24-hour durational XR piece Gondwana, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival before screening at SXSW, CPH:DOX, Sheffield Doc/Fest and Melbourne International Film Festival, among others.

MENTOR

LAB 2022-2023

Amy Rose

Amy Rose (UK) is one of the co-founders of Anagram – an award-winning creative studio specialising in thought-provoking immersive works that disrupt traditional forms of storytelling. They experiment with new technologies to create worlds where what you do is at the heart of the experience.
Winners of the Grand Jury Prize for Best VR Work at the 2021 Venice International FIlm Festival, Anagram have also been awarded the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival Storyscapes Award, the 2019 Sandbox Immersive Art Award, part of the Best VR in 2019 at the Venice International Film Festival.
Anagram were named in the Createch 100 ones to watch for 2020 by the Creative Industries Council and selected twice for Columbia University’s Digital Dozen Breakthroughs in Digital Storytelling (in 2015 and 2019). Recent works include Goliath: Playing with Reality (2021), Messages to a Post Human Earth (2021), A Face to Open Doors (2020) and The Collider (2019).

MENTOR

LAB 2021-2022

Sandra Rodriguez

Sandra Rodriguez (CA) PhD, is a creative director and producer of immersive, interactive and AI-driven experiences, as well as and sociologist of new media technology. Her work spanned from film to web-based and new forms of immersive non-fiction, garnering multiple awards (including a Peabody, and the first Golden Nica award offered to a VR experience at Ars Electronica). Her current projects explore the sparks that fly at the crossroads of AI, immersive tools, and human creativity. Rodriguez is a Sundance StoryLab Fellow, a Sundance Institute and  MacArthur Grantee and was Lecturer of HackingXR, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s first official course on XR creation.

MENTOR

LAB 2018-2019

Nicolas S. Roy

Nicolas S. Roy (CA) is the founder and creative director at Dpt., an award-winning studio specializing in immersive and interactive storytelling. He has worked with institutions such as the National Film Board of Canada, Ubisoft, France Télévisions, Autodesk, Samsung and ARTE. His most recent projects include The Enemy, Manic VR, Trinity, A Colossal Wave and Deprogrammed.

MENTOR

LAB 2021-2022

Amy Shepherd

Amy Shepherd (UK) is the Global Impact Director at Think-Film Impact Production, a market-leading impact media company that harnesses the power of visual storytelling to drive forward political and social change. Amy leads TFIP’s global strategy and every aspect of impact campaigns. She brings a wide range of legal and policy experience to film impact, having worked in the UK, the Philippines and at the EU on justice issues spanning prisoner rights, modern slavery, free speech, freedom of religion or belief and digital rights and data privacy.

MENTOR

LAB 2021-2022

Jiannis Sotiropoulos

Jiannis Sotiropoulos (GR) is the managing director and technical supervisor of Honig Studios, a digital production studio merging content with technology for games, web, tv, film and experimental channels. After graduating from the film school of Potsdam Germany in 2008, he won an one year innovation grant from the German Ministry of Technology which established Honig Studios. He was the director of Honig Studios’ award-winning stealth game “El Hijo”, released early 2021 on PC, PS4, XBOX, Google Stadia and Nintendo Switch.

MENTOR

LAB 2019-2022

Barnaby Steel

Barnaby Steel (UK) is an Artist and Creative Director of London based studio Marshmallow Laser Feast. This experiential art collective works in the liminal space between art, technology and the natural world. Barnaby’s art practice combines a wide range of disciplines including sculpture, installation, live performance, and mixed reality.

MENTOR

LAB 2021-2022

Illya Szilak

Illya Szilak (US) is a writer, artist, director and creative producer. Shaped by her experiences as a physician, her richly collaborative artistic practice explores mortality, embodiment, identity and belief in a media inundated and increasingly virtual world. Her longtime artistic partner is Cyril Tsiboulski. Their first virtual reality piece Queerskins: a love story received a Peabody Futures of Media Award for transmedia. Illya continues her work as a doctor,  caring for inmates at Rikers Island Correctional Facility in NYC.

MENTOR

LAB 2019-2020

Maude Thibodeau

Maude Thibodeau (CA) has been designing interactive projects for over ten years in Montreal. She creates experiences using strong immersive narratives at Dpt., an award winning immersive experience studio at the intersection of film and gaming, art and code, design and research.

MENTOR

LAB 2019-2022

Georg Tschurtschenthaler

Georg Tschurtschenthaler (IT) is an Emmy-nominated and Grimme-Prize awarded producer and showrunner forfilm and interactive projects at Gebrueder Beetz FilmProduction in Berlin. He has earned some 35 producer credits for his work. In addition he regularly teaches at the Zurich University of the Arts.

MENTOR

LAB 2021-2022

Danielle Turkov

Danielle Turkov (BE) is the Founder and Executive Director of Think – Film Impact Production, a market-leading impact media company that harnesses the power of visual storytelling to drive forward political and social change. Before founding Think-Film, Danielle worked as an independent policy advisor at the EU in Brussels and spearheaded many projects on radicalisation, minority rights and women’s empowerment.

MENTOR

LAB 2021-2022

Kay Watson

Kay Watson is a researcher, producer and curator working with art and advanced technologies, photography and video games. She is Head of Arts Technologies at Serpentine, a PhD researcher at Birkbeck, University of London, and a Trustee of Brighton Photo Fringe and York Mediale.

MENTOR

LAB 2018-2019

Lucy Wood

Lucy Wood (UK) is creative producer specialising in art-science and climate change. She is currently a freelance Creative Producer and Development Consultant for a number of clients including ‘Invisible Dust’ and ‘The Arts Development Company’. Most recently Lucy was lead producer of ‘Under Her Eye: Women and Climate Change’ Summit and Arts Festival at the British library.

MENTOR

LAB 2018-2019

Paula Zuccotti

Paula Zuccotti (UK) is a leading expert in global consumption and a respected authority in consumer behaviour and product interaction. She is the founder of research and creative consultancy agency TheOverworld.