Open City Documentary Festival

Expanded Realities Symposium

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Digital Catapult

The Expanded Realities symposium will bring together creators, innovators and researchers to bridge the gap between the worlds of technology and storytelling. The day of talks will feature speakers from around the world who are pioneers in their fields, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the cross-media space. Raising questions surrounding empathy, accessibility, ethics and representation, the symposium will explore the issues facing this burgeoning industry as well as offering inspiration for any aspiring creators looking to move into the world of XR.

The symposium is free to attend but requires advance booking. See also the Expanded Realities exhibition.

Masterclass with Fifer Garbesi
Fri 7 Sep | 09:30 | Digital Catapult

Fifer Garbesi is a virtual reality producer and director intent on testing the limits of the medium through mixing immersive technologies in new ways.Her work focuses on answering key questions in immersive storytelling such as How do we learn best in VR? How can we hack identity and perception? Her 360 documentary, ¡Viva la Evolución!, exploring underground dance in Cuba screened at Cannes NEXT, The World VR Forum, and Raindance. She has received support for her work from Google JUMP and Oculus Launchpad and produced content for the Nobel Peace Prize. Co-Founder of ARTandVR, she hosts immersive art shows to bridge the technology and art worlds.

Spotlight: Round One
Fri 7 Sep | 10:50 | Digital Catapult

We’ll hear from a line-up of creators and experts about their craft and creative process in a round of lightning talks including Paisley Smith (Creator of Homestay) on her personal documentary, Kalina Bertin (Director of ManicVR) on VR as a companion to feature documentaries and Tobin Asher (Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab) on Empathy in VR.

The Future of Journalism
Fri 7 Sep | 12:10 | Digital Catapult

Journalism was one of the first industries to embrace 360 filmmaking and now the move to AR technologies too. Our panel will discuss the current standing of VR in the world of news as well as looking forward to what’s on the horizon with keeping audiences informed about global issues.

Creative XR
Fri 7 Sep | 14:00 | Digital Catapult

Chaired by Rebecca Gregory-Clarke (lead technologist: immersive (VR/AR)), this session will look at how programmes like Creative XR can help companies develop concepts and prototypes of immersive content for documentary filmmaking. Hear from participants of the programme first-hand on how the arts and culture industry can better utilise this advanced digital technology.

Spotlight: Round Two
Fri 7 Sep | 15:30 | Digital Catapult

We’ll hear from a line-up of creators and experts about their craft and creative process in a round of lightning talks including Karen Palmer (immersive filmmaker) about AI and the future of storytelling, Ray McClure & Casey McGonagle (Creators of VVVR) and Drew Macquarrie (UCL Centre for Virtual Environments, Interaction & Visualisation) on ‘Understanding Audience’. 

Barrier to Entry: Accessibility in XR
Fri 7 Sep | 17:00 | Digital Catapult

Accessibility in cross-media is still a huge issue, both for creators and audiences. This panel will address the big questions of who gets to tell the stories, who gets to experience them and what the industry can do to break down barriers and allow more diverse voices to inform the future of digital storytelling. This session will be chaired by Ingrid Kopp and speakers will include Jane Gauntlett, Harmeet Chagger-Khan and Paisley Smith.