Virtual reality returns to MIFF this year, and with it MIFF’s VR Masterclass featuring a line-up of film and VR personalities exploring questions around how VR has changed and how audiences are responding; how storytellers have (or haven’t) adapted with the tech in this rapidly changing world of immersive experiences; and how traditional filmmakers are moving into the VR space.
Panelists include: George Kacevski (Remember), Leo Faber (BADFAITH, the team behind Orbital Vanitas), Gideon Obarzanek (Once Upon a Time in the Western Suburbs), George Gittoes (Fun Fair Jalalabad) and Lucas Taylor (Inside Manus). Moderated by Leah Bunny and Emily Harridge from Real World VR.
Leo Faber has nearly two decades of experience in the television and film industries. In 2015 Faber started focusing on nurturing the Australian VR industry and has produced over 15 VR experiences. With Shaun Gladwell, Faber is the co-founder of BADFAITH, an indie VR content collective of filmmakers and artists pushing the boundaries of virtual reality.
George Gittoes has been making his award-winning and unique films since 1977. His feature film – including Snow Monkey (MIFF 2015) Rampage (MIFF 2006) and Soundtrack to War – have been broadcast and screened at festivals throughout the world. George is also talented and well-respected artist who has won numerous awards for his artistic works made in regions of conflict and war, including the Sydney Peace Prize in 2015. He has worked in countries including Rwanda, Cambodia, Bouganville and South Africa.
Gideon is an award-winning Australian choreographer and former Artistic Director of Chunky Move, which he formed in 1995. His film, Dance Like Your Old Man, co-directed with Edwina Throsby won best short documentary at the 2007 Melbourne International Film Festival. In 2013 he wrote and directed a play, Dance Better At Parties, and later – with filmmaker Matthew Bate (Shut Up Little Man: An Audio Misadventure, MIFF 2011) – he co-directed an award-winning film of the same work. He teamed up with Bate again for the VR dance work Once Upon a Time in the Western Suburbs.
Emily Harridge is the founder of Visual Playground and co-founder of PLaTO Reality and Real World VR, with over 18 years experience in broadcast design, production and animation.
Leah has worked with new technologies since 1998 and consults to some of Australia's largest brands on adopting online strategies and implementing new technologies including 360VR, virtual and augmented reality. She is the founding director of Carousel Creative and Virtual Soup, and co-founder of Real World VR.
Having spent the majority of his career infatuated with how technology can enhance content production, George has produced award-winning branded and original VR films, fully integrated content campaigns and most recently, an original film and digital series distributed via VICE in the US and Blackpill’s digital platform in Europe. A generalist when it comes to content creation, he is currently heading The Pulse's pioneering entertainment studio, developing multi-platform immersive content from conception and acquisition, through to production and distribution.
Lucas Taylor is a multiple AWGIE award-winning writer and director, who has worked extensively across television drama, comedy, factual and interactive genres in both Australia and the US. His recent credits include: Vikings: Athelstan’s Journal for History Channel; Secrets & Lies for Network Ten; The Strange Calls for ABC; SLiDE for FOX8; and films such as The Bourne Legacy and Divergent. Taylor’s first virtual reality film, Inside Manus (for SBS), is screening at MIFF.