Past Event

Come and explore the frontiers of storytelling in the digital age.

Doors: 8 AM
Conference: 8:45 AM


Regular price:
Adults: $300
Students and seniors: $260

Reduced price when you purchase 4 tickets or more:
Adults: $260
Students and seniors: $220

Taxes and fees included

Curated by Phi and New York's Future of StoryTelling (FoST), The New Storytellers conference is gathering creative leaders to explore how storytelling is evolving in the digital age.

In parallel to the Echo exhibition, the creative community from the media, communication, entertainment, arts and culture industries is invited to a one-day conference addressing artificial intelligence and the future of making as well as storytelling through full-body immersion.

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On December 4, join us live at 12 PM on our Facebook page for a presentation of the morning highlights, in French, with Sandra Rodriguez and Fabien Loszach.

Schedule of the day
8 AM - Arrival and breakfast

9:15 AM - Word of welcome

9:25 AM - Keynote by Ted Schilowitz (Paramount Pictures): The Augmented Human

10:25 AM - Break

11 AM - Panel 1: Full Body Immersion

Dan Tucker (Sheffield Doc/Fest)

Mathias Chelebourg
Andrew Mitrak (HaptX)
Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn (University of Georgia)

12 PM - Lunch

1:15 PM - Keynote by Doug Trumbull: Immersive Cinema

1:50 PM - Panel 2: AI & the Future of Making

Lance Weiler (Columbia University)

Douglas Eck (Google AI)
Heather Smith (StoryFile)
Anil Seth (University of Sussex)

2:50 PM - Break

3:25 PM - Panel 3: Meet the Artists

Charles Melcher (FoST)

Pete Billington (Fable Studio)
Aaron Bradbury (NSC Creative)
Mathias Chelebourg
Jessica Brillhart (Vrai Pictures)

4:40 PM - Cocktail

The conference fee includes an exclusive access to the new Echo: The Sound of Space exhibition, which showcases virtual reality projects that are currently touring the globe, including Space Explorers, a collaboration between Felix & Paul Studios and NASA; all three parts of Eliza McNitt’s Spheres, presented in Canada in its entirety for the first time; and several creations by the speakers at The New Storytellers 5.

Future of StoryTelling (FoST) celebrates the evolution of storytelling in the digital age, and brings together the world’s top industry leaders and innovators who are redefining how stories are told and shared. At the heart of FoST is the Summit, a two-day invitation-only gathering of 500 leaders from the worlds of business, technology, media, and the arts. Unlike a traditional conference, the Summit features intimate, speaker-led roundtables; hands-on workshops; and immersive exhibitions. In addition to the Summit, FoST also produces a wide range of year-round content and programming, including: Tech Tastings, designed to showcase a sampling of cutting-edge technologies and emerging projects to a smaller audience; storytelling workshops, where participants can learn how to harness new mediums to more effectively tell their stories; curated exhibitions with local and international organizations; an annual award-winning series of short films; and popular social media channels aimed at FoST’s network of over half a million enthusiastic followers.

Sandra Rodriguez, Ph. D.
Creative director and filmmaker, Sandra Rodriguez, is also sociologist of new media technologie. In the last 16 years, years writing and directing award-winning documentaries broadcasted internationally before moving into the interactive realm. She directs VR projects, works as a UX consultant and VR/AR mentor for public and private media and hackathons. Author of articles and a book on networked cultures, she acts as UX consultant, mentor, and is a regular public speaker on immersive media and digital storytelling and AI and creativity in events such as: Cannes Film Festival, Sundance New Frontier, IDFA, SXSW_Edu, RIDM, Mutek, Singapore Film Festival, Frontières IA, etc. Sandra currently heads the Creative Reality Lab at EyeSteelFilm, an Emmy-awarded company based in Montreal, that explores new futures for non-fiction storytelling (Deprogrammed, Big Picture VR, MANIC VR, Chomsky vs Chomsky). As a visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Open Doc Lab), she teaches MIT’s first course in immersive media production (in collaboration with Oculus: Hacking VR MIT).

Ted Schilowitz
Futurist at 20th Century Fox then Paramount Pictures, in charge of exploring new and emerging technologies, Ted Schilowitz was part of the team that developed the Oscar-winning RED Digital Cinema used in ultra-high resolution movies. He also co-founded and created the G-Tech hard drive storage line, and helped to develop and launch the Apple desktop video division of AJA Video, creating professional video products favoured by some of the world's leading producers. A sought-after keynote speaker, he has been featured in many publications including Wired, Variety, NY Times, Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Hollywood Reporter, etc.

Douglas Eck
The Principal Scientist at Google leads the Magenta Project, a Google Brain effort focused on generative models for media using deep and reinforcement learning. Doug also worked in rhythm and metre perception, aspects of music performance, machine learning for large audio datasets and music recommendation for Google Play Music. His PhD in Computer Science and Cognitive Science at Indiana University in 2000 was followed by a postdoctoral fellowship with Juergen Schmidhuber at IDSIA in Lugano, Switzerland. Before joining Google, Doug was Associate Professor in Computer Science at Université de Montréal.

Dan Tucker (moderator)
Dan is an award-winning digital director and VR producer with over 20 years of experience working with broadcasters, digital agencies, startups and international artists. Passionate about interaction and story, Dan is experienced in production for television, VR, games, web, mobile, apps, campaigns and digital strategy and has lead large productions and facilitated powerful partnerships. His experience spans the production of digital projects like the interactive episode of BBC Three’s Our World War and the VR documentary Easter Rising: Voice of a Rebel. As the current Curator of Alternate Realities for Sheffield International Documentary Festival, Dan has programmed and showcased award winning VR and interactive works for the Guardian, Greenpeace, BBC and the National Film Board of Canada.

Charles Melcher (moderator)
Founder and CEO of the award-winning independent publishing house Melcher Media, and Founder and Director of Future of StoryTelling (FoST), an annual event that brings together creators reinventing narrative in the digital age.

Lance Weiler (moderator)
An alumnus of the Sundance Screenwriting Lab, Lance Weiler is a pioneer in mixing storytelling with technology and “one of 25 people helping to reinvent entertainment and change the face of Hollywood” according to Wired magazine. Nominated for an International Emmy in digital fiction for Collapsus: The Energy Risk Conspiracy, he saw his award-winning collaboration with David Cronenberg, Body/Mind/Change, premiere at the TIFF Lightbox while Frankenstein AI: A Monster Made by Many was part of Sundance Film Festival's official selection. He is a founding member and director of the Columbia University School of the Arts’ Digital Storytelling Lab.

Pete Billington
As co-founder of Fable, Pete Billington has explored how interaction, innovation and magic converge to create original works. His years spent working with, and learning from, the most progressive and technically daring filmmakers of our time have led him to virtual reality. In his recent work Wolves in the Walls, the director, writer, artist, and immersive storyteller explores how to emotionally bond with the audience through interaction, innovation, and a little magic.

Heather Smith
As an experiential exhibit designer, Heather Smith has been exhibited in Los Angeles, Cuba, and the United Nations. She holds a BA in Jewish Studies from San Diego State University and is a concept developer of New Dimensions in Testimony, conversational interviews developed to introduce interactive stories to the public. Her work has been featured on NBC's Today Show, in The New Yorker, and on the BBC. As CEO of StoryFile, she oversees its interactive storytelling app that uses powerful natural language processing and artificial intelligence to make video interactions seem like real conversations.

Andrew Mitrak
He is the Director of Marketing at HaptX, the startup bringing touch to virtual reality. Prior to HaptX, Andrew produced marketing videos for companies including Microsoft, Hasbro, and AT&T. One of his VR pieces with HaptX debuted at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Andrew earned his Master’s in Communication from the University of Washington in Seattle.

Mathias Chelebourg
French director and designer Mathias Chelebourg has worked on Web documentaries, ad campaigns, music videos, art installations as well as VR contents and experiences. Intrigued by the narrative potential of immersive cutting edge technologies in the field of VR, AR and theatrical hybrid installations, he turned his talent to designing and directing Alice, The VR play, a free adaptation of the Lewis Carol masterpiece using live comedian motion capture which premiered in the official selection at the Venice Mostra. His recent VR documentary The Real Thing and the Baobab-produced immersive theatre experience Jack are currently touring the world.

Aaron Bradbury
His obsession with immersive storytelling has led him to explore a multitude of technologies and techniques. His research on immersive cinematography has been published in academic journals worldwide and he has been invited to present his films and artistic insights at Tribeca, Cannes, Siggraph, IDFA, AFI, SXSW and Annecy among others. Often inspired by time, his narratives have dealt with the vastness of cosmic repetition, and the split-second neurochemistry of the brain as we fall in love. In 2017, he was invited to consult on immersive content creation for Steven Spielberg.

Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn, Ph.D.
Associate Professor at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia, and founding director of the Games and Virtual Environments Lab, she investigates mainly how interactive digital media such as VR and AR transform traditional rules of communication and social interactions, shaping the way people think, feel, and behave in the physical world. She is the recipient of the Mary Alice Shaver Promising Professor Award from the American Academy of Advertising and the inaugural Early Career Award from the National Communication Association's Health Communication Division.

Jessica Brillhart
The founder of Vrai Pictures independent studio, Jessica Brillhart is an immersive director, writer, and theorist. Previously, Jessica was the principal Filmmaker for VR at Google where she worked with engineers to develop Google Jump, a virtual reality live-action capture ecosystem. She has created a range of highly acclaimed VR experiences, working with NASA, the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, Google’s Artists and Machine Intelligence program, and the Montreal Canadiens. In 2017, Jessica was heralded by MIT Technology Review as an innovator and pioneer in the field of virtual reality filmmaking and immersive entertainment.

Doug Trumbull
We owe the special effects in 2001: A Space Odyssey to the legendary filmmaker and visual effects pioneer Douglas Trumbull. He went on to work on such classics as Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and Blade Runner, all of which earned him multiple Academy Award nominations for Best Visual Effects. He is also the recipient of an Academy Award for Scientific and Technical Achievement and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Cinematographers. He is currently involved in the evolution of visual effects using virtual digital sets and electronic cinematography.

Anil Seth
He investigates the biological basis of consciousness by bringing together research across neuroscience, mathematics, artificial intelligence, computer science, psychology, philosophy and psychiatry. He has published over 150 academic papers and edited the bestselling popular science book 30 Second Brain. Anil is Editor-in-Chief of the academic journal Neuroscience of Consciousness, a Senior Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and a Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellow. He was the 2017 President of the British Science Association (Psychology Section), and his 2017 TED talk has been viewed over 6 million times.

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