TODAY THE STORIES FOR TOMORROW

Hear from internationally respected VR, film and TV experts on developments, trends, and emerging technologies.
Meet the frontrunners who are building and investing in the future of VR and immersive media storytelling and production. 

MEET OUR Speakers!

Meet our Speakers!

Virtual Reality and Cinematic VR are exciting new tools to tell stories unlike they have ever been told before. Neither film, nor game, but a whole new way of creative thinking, producing and arranging dramatic and lifelike immersive experiences. At the VR NOW EFM Summit, we share the insights of international film makers, 360 video pioneers and Virtual Reality professional. This program is customized for the needs of a film festival audience, with approachable speakers and lots of opportunities to network.     

Ditti Bürgin-Brook
La Siala Entertainment

Matthew Collado
Littlstar

Anika Giese
Axel Springer SE

Ioulia Isserlis
AnotherWorld VR

Sönke Kirchhof
INVR.SPACE

Oli Lane
The VR Concept

Eddie Lou
Sandman Studios

Karen Nemeth
realities.io

Stéphane Rituit
Felix & Paul

Max Sacker
AnotherWorld VR

EFM VR NOW SUMMIT
PROGRAM

13:00

DOORS OPEN

13:30

MARKET OVERVIEW

Matt Collado – Littlstar

Beyond the Obvious: The Next Generation of VR Storytelling
Flashy experiences from well known brands are highly attractive for new VR users, but what about the more experienced VR audience? Matthew Collado, of the global distribution platform Littlstar, will discuss the evolution of storytelling in VR. He will present case studies that go beyond the obvious to highlight content that engages veteran VR consumers. He will conclude by discussing the future of monetization for VR. Littlstar is a global distribution platform with over 3,000 cinematic VR Experiences from 150 professionals, studios, and networks. Littlstar distributes content to more than 14 different hardware platforms, and reaches over 70 million devices in 170 countries around the world.

13:50

KEYNOTE

Stéphane Rituit – Felix & Paul

Yes! Digital Reality also needs Storytelling
The times of cheap thrill and excitement about VR as a new technology are over. Now, good stories will show what VR as a storytelling medium is capable of.Felix & Paul are leaders in the field of Cinematic VR and masters of storytelling in “Digital Reality” – that’s how they call it. Stéphane Rituit will present the past, present and future of the extraordinary Canadian production studio he co-founded.

14:35

PRESENTATION

Ioulia Isserlis – Anotherworld VR
Max Sacker – Anotherworld VR

Immersive Horror from Berlin: Kobold
Kobold is a haunted house scenario from Berlin. A mix of well casted and played GDR family drama as a linear introduction, and a spooky interactive part that doesn’t rely on jump scares, but an atmosphere thick as November fog on the fields of Brandenburg.  

14:50

PRESENTATION

Ditti Brook – La Siala Entertainment

Schellen-Ursli: Turning a successful family movie into a profitable rollercoaster ride
After world-famous mountain girl Heidi, “Schellen-Ursli” tells an adventurous story of a boy who grows up in a Swiss mountain village. The novel is among the most popular children’s and youth books from Switzerland. La Siala Entertainment co-produced the movie of the same title (2015), and initiated the production of a VR theme park ride in the German Europapark (2017). Ditti Bürgin-Brook, owner of La Siala Entertainment, shows what it means to fully use the potential of a strong IP.

15:05

PRESENTATION

Karen Nemeth – realities.io

Photorealistic Environments in Explorable Virtual Reality: The Production and Potential
Producing photorealistic films in virtual reality can prove a daunting task. Where should one start? The echoing answer over the past few years has been 360° video. But this is not true virtual reality; it limits the degrees of freedom available to the viewer. Photorealistic, volumetric environments that can be explored and interacted with are only possible using a technique called photogrammetry. Until recently this technique of using many 2D images to span up 3D environments has been limited to those with Hollywood budgets. Now Realities.io is bringing it within reach of high-profile independent content creators. What will the future of film look like when makers can tell interactive stories within their real-world locations? 

15:20

PRESENTATION

Thomas Bedenk – Exozet

Bringing interactivity to volumetric video in VR and AR
Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Institut and Exozet cooperate on recording actors with „3D Human Body Reconstruction (3DHBR)” to be included in VR and AR experiences. Using pre-recorded video elements in immersive interactive environments offers great potential. However it can be challenging to address the user in an interactive way. Thomas will show how Exozet is making pre-recorded actors react to the user in order to give a more interactive feel to the experience.

15:30

HOT DRINKS & RECREATION

16:00

PANEL DISCUSSION  

Antoine Cayrol – Atlas V
Liz Rosenthal – Power of the Pixel, Venice VR 
Victoire Thevenin – MK2

IFA Industry Debate: VR: Show me the monetization hosted by Variety
The sophistication and „wow“ factor of both VR technology and VR content have been increasing steadily for years. But making magic is not the same thing as making money. Despite all the investment, viable and repeatable business models remain elusive. What are the different strategies out there? What looks promising, and what looks futile? Hear from some leaders of the industry.

Moderated by Henry Chu (Variety)

17:00

PRESENTATION

Paul Bouchard – WIDE VR

WIDE VR – From feature films to VR Sales
Paul Bouchard manages VR and 360 videos for the French indie film distributor WIDE. He will speak about how immersive media productions add another dimension  of thought and skill to more unusual storytelling ideas, how they start to require more attention and capacities in companies like WIDE – and how especially film festivals work with this new medium.

17:15

PRESENTATION

Eddie Lou – Sandbox VR

A short introduction of the Chinese Market
What does the Chinese VR landscape look like for creators and artists who wish to work with China market? Eddie Lou is not only co-founder and producer of Sandman Studios and exhibited his immersive story “Free Whale” at the Virtual Reality Section in Venice in 2017. He is also the founder of Sandbox VR, one of China’s biggest networks for VR content creators. His own VR festival will take place in Qingdao in summer 2018. Eddie will provide a brief summary on headsets advancement, distribution channels and VR cinemas, and about the VR storyteller community in China. Plus he has tips for people who wish to enter the Chinese VR market.

17:30

PRESENTATION

Oli Lane – VR Concept

The VR Concept – how we bootstrapped a profitable VR arcade chain  
VR Arcades are places where people try out new and high quality immersive experiences – especially those that require expensive hardware and/or too much space for the average living room. Oliver Lane, co-founder of VR Concept, added two ingredients to spice up the VR experience: beer and a tipsy crowd. Up to this moment, his company installed VR Arcades in four pubs in the UK, not just in shabby corners, but as main attractions, with big screens so everybody can watch, cheer and have a pint, or two. In his presentation he will show what kind of content works best, and how his team enhanced the hardware to guarantee fun and safety for more than 17.000 customers with a challenged equilibrium.

 
17:45

PANEL DISCUSSION

Matt Collado – Littlstar
Anika Giese
– Axel Springer SE
Sönke Kirchhof – INVR.SPACE
Stéphane Rituit – Felix & Paul

 

VR Nerds presents: The Virtual Reality Whistleblowers
We have some of the coolest and most experienced VR experts on the EFM VR NOW Summit. To not to gossip around with them would be a crime. Join us for a talk about the latest news and hottest trends in VR. The entertaining and informative roundtable format is curated and presented by the editorial team of VR Nerds. Our experts discuss a selection of news bits. This will keep you updated and give you insights and opinions others can only read about. 

Presented by Phillip Steinfatt, co-founder of VR Nerds  

18:30

COLD DRINKS AND RECREATION


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VR NOW is a new platform, awards show, conference & event series for VR tech, biz & creative content.

VR Now Con is brought to you by the VIRTUAL REALITY E.V. BB. Produced by BOOSTER SPACE – MADE WITH LOVE IN BERLIN. Funded by MEDIENBOARD BERLIN-BRANDENBURG

© 2017 VR NOW. All rights reserved.

 

Christopher Sibley
Phenomenon Media

Christopher Sibley is a multi-hyphenate creative entrepreneur who founded Papalote Productions for creating commercials, documentaries, music videos, and indie shorts, while simultaneously launching SkyFrame Studios – an aerial cinematography company.  As a producer and director, he has successfully crowdfunded a variety of both long and short-form live action projects, screened short films at Cannes, and was the lead creator behind VRVC: Future Stories conference in partnership with Leap Motion and Violet Crown Cinemas.  He has consulted both Michael Shamberg and Casey Affleck in conceptualizing VR and New Media. Recently, he has worked with Patron, USA Today, and Angari. 

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Eddie Lou
Sandman Studios

Eddie is the founder and CEO of Sandman Studios, a VR content studio based in Beijing that produces premium VR experiences. Sandman Studios’s recent work “Free Whale” is selected by 74th Venice Film Festival VR Competition.
Eddie is also an active industry advisor and community organizer for the VR industry in China. Eddie created China’s first independent VR festival Sandbox and worked with AR/VR research and consulting company Greenlight Insight for industry research.
Eddie held degrees from Imperial College London, University of the Arts London and London Business School. Prior to joining VR industry, Eddie has been working as business strategist and consultant for APEC China Business Council, JD.com, iResearch and Accenture.

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Andrew Van Wyk
River Road Entertainment

Andrew Van Wyk is a writer and producer from California, with a MFA from the Peter Stark Producing Program at USC. After graduating with honors from UCLA with degrees in English Literature and Screenwriting, he traveled the globe working alongside Chopard Award winning actor Kevin Zegers, and Academy Award-nominated actor Djimon Hounsou. Shortly thereafter, Van Wyk co-founded Somnium Entertainment with Mr. Hounsou and spearheaded the development of a slate of feature projects, the first of which was the international documentary – FREEDOM PEAK (2014).
Van Wyk has produced multiple short films, music videos and commercials including projects with The Mental Health Association, St. Luke’s Hospital, Chesapeake Energy, iProspect and performing artist Sky Ferreira. As a writer he contributed to articles published in major online media (Huffington Post, CNN, The Hill), had speeches delivered before both the US Congress and the United Nations, wrote copy for start-ups and Fortune 500 companies alike (Oxfam, MHA, Chesapeake Energy, I Am Vibes), and had multiple feature scripts optioned. More recently, Van Wyk co-founded ANML Pictures – a creative collective with offices in Los Angeles and Austin, that develops and produces visual content in a variety of forms.
At his core, Van Wyk is a storyteller. He is an avid world traveler and explorer found in America’s National Parks and various mountain tops on any available weekend. Combining a passion for cinema and literature with a love of storytelling, Van Wyk consistently contributes a unique perspective and way at telling compelling narratives in a variety of mediums.

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Ioulia Isserlis
AnotherWorld VR

Born in Moscow. Studied and worked in New York and Tel Aviv. Based in Berlin.
Ioulia Isserlis is the Co-Founder and CEO of AnotherWorld VR, a content and VR production studio that focuses on creating cinematic and narrative-driven VR experiences. Before founding AnotherWorld (pun intended), Ioulia worked in the fields of content creation, film production/post-production, radio broadcasting, and print and online media management. Since going full-time into creative VR production, she has overseen a variety of projects from historical drama to horror and worked with clients such as Microsoft.

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Max Sacker
AnotherWorld VR

Max Sacker is a filmmaker, Co-Founder and creative director at Anotherworld VR. Before going full time into virtual reality, he wrote and directed a number of award-winning fantasy and horror short films including The Secret Adventures of the Projectionist and worked as a story consultant and VFX supervisor on the social media horror film Unfriend (Warner Bros.)
He is currently working on KOBOLD: a horror film and VR experience that blurs the line between cinema and VR gaming.

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Sarah Kinga Smith
Reverse Engineering Studios (RES)

Sarah Kinga Smith is the founder of Reverse Engineering Studios ( “RES” ), a talent management and production company for digital and traditional media.
Prior to her engagement at RES, she was managing director of London then later US based film funds, overseeing projects from companies like Universal Pictures, Lionsgate and Europacorp. She executive produced commercially successful pictures (“Lone Survivor”, “2 Guns”, “November Man”) and worked with critically acclaimed directors & producers of companies, like Sony, Annapurna, Riddley Scott Associates and Digital Domain.
In 2014 taking a break from film finance, she returned to creative development and joined a talent management company as Head of the International Literary Talent Department. She worked with clients at HBO, Vuguru, Amazon and MakerStudios. Digital companies brought new formats and access to new platforms, pushing creators to adopt new ways of story telling by merging traditional business models of Film & TV with fast paced digital environment.                                    To discover new media formats, in 2015 with her producing partner Micke Hjorth (Chairman of the Board at Starbreeze Studios) she produced a live action immersive VR experience (“Cockatoo Spritz”), which was premiered at Cannes Film Festival in 2016. Since she had showcased immersive and interactive content at International and US festivals, including TIFF, Dubai Film Festival, Brussel Media Summit, Beijing Film Festival and EFM in Berlin.
With a global perspective, as a cross collateralised content creator, Reverse Engineering Studios (RES) was founded to support creatives, to manage IP development across platforms and to utilise technology in suitable media formats including VR & AR. In 2017 RES in collaboration with Eddie Lou (CEO of Sandbox VR & Sandman Studios ) co-founded Pitch Virtual, an online content studio to support great stories and storytellers in creation, communication and collaboration.

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Gabo Arora
LightShed

Gabo Arora is Creative Director & Senior Advisor at the United Nations; Founder & President of LightShed, a virtual reality and social impact start-up; and an award-winning filmmaker represented by Vrse.works. His current focus is on new technologies that promote social causes and make decision-making processes more inclusive. Among these projects, he has developed a viral video campaign for the climate change summit, and worked with internet influencers to promote accountability on global humanitarian aid assistance. His most recent work was as a co-creator, director and producer of the UN’s first-ever virtual reality film series focusing on vulnerable populations. His work has screened at Sundance and other major film festivals. He is a World Economic Forum 2016 Arts and Cultural leader at Davos and a Term-Member at the Council on Foreign Relations.

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Gayatri Parameswaran
NowHere Media

Gayatri Parameswaran is co-founder at NowHere Media – an immersive storytelling studio based in Berlin. She is a VR/360° creator, documentary maker and journalist from India. Her areas of focus are human rights and the environment. As a journalist and filmmaker, she has documented under-reported issues in over 25 countries. Her work has appeared in international media outlets such as Al Jazeera English, Deutsche Welle, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, Weekendavisen and more.
She is part of Oculus VR for Good’s Creator’s Lab 2017.  She co-directed India’s first VR experience about intimate partner violence (IPV) for Love Matters India, which was exhibited at ten Delhi metro stations in June 2017, and has been screened at the USNC-UN Women Global Voices Film Festival in San Francisco. She is an alumni of the German Chancellor Fellowship (Bundeskanzler Stipendium) and was awarded the Youth Champions Initiative grant by the David and Packard Lucile Foundation for innovation in the field of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (2014-15).
She is an Erasmus Mundus Scholar with an MA in Journalism (2009-11), as well as a gold medalist as a Bachelor of Mass Media (Journalism) at the University of Mumbai (2005-08). 

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Melek Balgün
Moderator

Melek Balgün is an IT specialist with a Bachelor of Arts in Media / IT Management. This year, the moderator completed her master’s degree in International Marketing and Media Management. In her moderation, she covers a broad field of knowledge and interest. Her career started at ESL TV where she welcomed the viewers for about 4 years with a friendly smile and her great competence in the field of esports. The freelance moderator is also engaged as a sports journalist at DW where she actively supports the English esports project, DW esports,  since its beginning. “m3lly” is also the face of the Arte webmagazine “Art of Gaming”.

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Thomas Bedenk
Exozet

Thomas Bedenk is a freelance Virtual Reality Consultant. From 2009 until 2015 he was Creative Director, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Brightside Games. He studied Media Design in Nuremberg and Human Factors in Berlin. He is teaching various game related subjects at game schools and universities. Before focusing on the games industry he was freelance interactive designer and developer for about 10 years and worked on special effects in the movie industry for a while. He started his love for games, playing Pac-Man against his twin brother on the Atari 800XL and developed his first own games 1996.

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Niu Yiming
VRARA China Chapter

Niu Yiming has been involved in the AR industry since 2010. He is now working as the director of China Augmented Reality Alliance (ARA) Secretariat and CTO of GallantAR. ARA was established on October 17, 2015 in Xi’an at the first Augmented World Expo Asia (AWE Asia) which is the largest AR and VR conference in Asia. Yiming has established successful cooperative relations with overseas VR/AR companies and is the core partner of Super Ventures and AugmentedReality.org in the Greater China Region. As an expert in VR/AR industry, he has presented talks at major conferences such as AWE Asia, TFC, TEDx . He is dedicated to promote the communication between Chinese VR/AR industry and the international VR/AR industry.

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Daniel Sproll
realities.io

A background in cognitive science, Daniel started his forays into VR over 4 years ago as a researcher studying human navigation behaviour. In the wake of the latest VR renaissance Daniel joined RE’FLEKT as UX Researcher and Designer, working on a wide range of VR & AR projects: data visualization, interactive 360 video and as VR UX lead for the Audi showroom experience. As a member of the team behind Colosse he won gold at the Oculus Mobile VR Jam. In December 2015 Daniel co-founded realities.io with the goal of making amazing real world places explorable for everyone in VR. After spending half a year at the Boost VC accelerator in Silicon Valley, realities.io is now working out of Berlin. Daniels design process is rapid prototyping guided by his scientific background in embodiment, perceptional psychology and neurophysiology.

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Maria Courtial
Faber Courtial

Maria Courtial, industrial designer by trade, is co-founder of one of Germany’s leading CGI studios, Faber Courtial, and producer of the 1st VR production on German TV, the award-winning ZDF documentary “Volcanos in 360 and VR”.
When starting their business back in 1998, the objective was to bring more emotion and fascination to the hithertho down-to-earth world of 3D animation. High-profile projects for TV documentaries and exhibitions paved the way to their actual passion: to fabricate impressive digital realms, from bygone ages to stunning new worlds and breathtaking vistas.
VR and its opportunity to immerse into different times and unreachable places has been a logical step. Since 2014, Faber Courtial has been creating high-quality VR content, again with the declared goal to set high standards in the way of storytelling and the implementation of new VR techniques. Their VR productions won several prizes, such as the Grimme Online Award 2017, the Gold Panda Award 2016 and the 60th Cine Golden Eagle Award.

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Lina Reinsbakken
Nornstudio

Classically trained photographer and artist with an MA in Fine Art and Moving Image Storytelling from London University of the Arts. Lina is a skilled creative director and highly competent in visual communication, with a broad background within illustration and commercial photography. As an international award winning photographer and painter, Lina has had a long range of exhibitions in US and Europe, and worked as creative director at R&M Advertising in NY.
Lina’s fascination for visual storytelling, animation and film has given her specialist expertise within matte painting, photoshop, digital compositing and creating stories.

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Gerda Leopold
Amilux Filmproduktion

She studied painting at HdK Berlin between 1979 – 1985. Became interested in 360° film because of dancing and the relationship between motion, space and the human body. Produced and directed the 360° feature film CARROUSEL in 2014 and built a specially designed projection space for it. The next project BALLAVITA, a narrative stereoscopic VR film is in postproduction now.

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Sara Lisa Vogl
VR BASE

Creative squirrel, chaos kid & in love with the idea of new worlds, I´m on a mission to explore what the heck VR is.
Especially fascinated by UX & art in VR I´m working on the VR game Lucid Trips, teach VR at Design Factory International Hamburg and guide longtime VR Trips in collaboration with academic researchers as the worlds first VR Shaman. A passionate advocate of sharing & caring I´m an active member of the international and local VR community. After exploring the early days of VR setting up the hamburg based VR Nerds collective I´m now networking at VR Base Berlin.

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Christian Glessner
Hololux

Christian Glessner is co-founder and CEO of Hololux, a leading agency for virtual and mixed reality. He accompanies and leads some of the largest German enterprises on their journey into new and emerging virtual realities.  
Christian’s parents were entrepreneurs, and he grew up between computer technology and economics. As a kid, he was deeply inspired by an amber sparkling screen and it’s blinking and promising cursor of an AS/400 in his parent’s office. The “Tabula Rasa” or in other words the chance of creating something completely new from scratch is still driving his passion for information technologies, artificial intelligence and virtual reality.
Recently he was honored again (8th time in a row) for receiving the ‘Microsoft MVP Award’ for Technology leaders, an Oscar-like accolade conferred by Microsoft.

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Marcus Kühne
Audi

Yes I’m a lucky guy! As a real tech enthusiast I have the great opportunity, to identify but also realize fascinating new technologies for Audi since more than 10 years.
In my current role I’m focused on new immersive technologies, which have the potential to revolutionize the marketing, sales and development process but also the complete customer experience. “Vorsprung durch Technik” by using innovative immersive technologies – that’s my mission now!
As an important first step in that direction, Audi has introduced the “Audi VR experience”. This application is a very powerful VR sales tool, that will use new generation HMDs and is able to visualize the complete product range in VR. The Audi VR experience will be also enriched by additional functionalities and exclusive brand experiences, to emotionalize the sales process and turn it to something unique, to buy an Audi.
And the best thing: Because immersive technologies have a fascinating potential to intensify and optimize sales, development or training processes – this will become only the beginning!
I’m looking for motivated innovative partners, which are willing to pursue that way with us and bring fascinating technologies as VR / AR / MR to their final breakthrough.

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AC Coppens
Marketing Cataclyst

AC founded THE MARKETING CATALYSTS to boost the development of innovative and creative players working at the intersection of Digital Tech and Film, VR/AR/MxR, Animation, Games, Design, Music and Sound, with a focus on the specific challenges of entering new markets. We also work as programmers, presenters and speakers for a diverse range of conferences, including Berlinale Talents, Berlinale EFM PropellorSpeednic / Film Tech Hub, Changing the Picture Technology Conference, CPH:DOX Cinema:Science Conference Day, DOK Leipzig/DOK Industry, Future Music Forum, re:publica, SxSW, Tech Open Air, World Cinema Fund… In addition, we mentor interactive and transmedia projects with a focus on audience design/building (Tribeca Film Institute in New York, DOK Leipzig, story:first digital storytelling lab in Munich, PRIMI Pôle Transmedia Méditerranée in Marseille).

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Pieter Van Leugenhagen
Yondr

Pieter Van Leugenhagen is an all-round entrepreneur and marketer with a penchant for immersive experiences. As co-founder and Int. Growth Director at yondr, he spearheads virtual reality marketing in both Europe (Antwerp – Amsterdam – Ibiza) and the US (New York – Los Angeles). Yondr produces high-end 360° videos and virtual reality experiences across the globe, nurturing a growing community of VR creators worldwide.
Pieter is a true immersive marketing evangelist, and a visionary strategist at that. He’s been at the helm of virtual reality entrepreneurship since 2014, successfully venturing beyond the gimmick by pushing boundaries and forging strategic partnerships.
Prior to his VR endeavors, Pieter began his career at MTV and earned his stripes in PR and digital media. Before founding yondr in 2014, he had already built his successful digital agency commefort from scratch. His co-workers describe him as tenacious and empathic, with a great nose for solid business opportunities.
In recent years, he has helped the likes of Mercedes-Benz, Barco, L’Or Espresso, New Balance, Nike, Decathlon and countless others to turn virtual reality into a tangible and valuable business asset.
Pieter spends his his free time enjoying football, music and living the good life.

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Pawel Gajda
Carbon Studio

Manager and Evangelist at Carbon Studio, who’s worked on several VR projects, in which he has been involved in both creative and production aspects of the development. Devoted to developing VR best practices and taking the most of VR technology.

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Kristian Costa-Zahn
Ufa Lab

Kristian Costa-Zahn is Head of Creation and Executive Producer of the UFA digital studio “UFA LAB”. UFA is Germany’s leading TV production company and part of Fremantle, RTL Group and Bertelsmann.
Kristian Costa-Zahn works since 2001 on digital film projects and was one of the co-founders of UFA LAB. He worked as a leading creative on the following online video and transmedia projects among others: the interactive crime project “Wer rettet Dina Foxx”, the award-winning motion comic “Ewig Mein”, the urban culture YouTube Original Channel “eNtR berlin”, the food channel “Munchies”, a joint venture with VICE, the webseries “Der Wedding kommt” and currently on the journalistic Facebook channel “Jäger & Sammler” for funk.
On „Dina Foxx – Deadly Contact“ he pioneered in producing fictional 360-videos in 2013. After that he set a focus on VR with projects like the location-based experience “Virtual Testdrive” for smart and K-MB. He is a founding member of VRBB and part of RTL Group’s VR SyCo. Currently he is producing a volumetric film experience for the UFA 100 year anniversary.
His projects won various national and international awards, among others “New York Festivals Gold World Medal“ (2x), “Best Cross-Platform Fiction” and “Best Interactive Project” at Banff World Media Festival, “Best German Series” at Webfest and two “Telly Awards”. His most renowned success so far was winning an “International Digital Emmy” for „Dina Foxx – Deadly Contact“.

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Sebastian Endler
Amilux Filmproduktion

Studied Film at the SAE Vienna and VFS Vancouver until 2008. Working as cameraman on feature and documentary films since 2008 .
Worked as DoP on CARROUSEL a 360° feature film for a projection space in 2014. In 2017 worked as DoP on the feature length VR Film BALLAVITA.

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Max Salomon
Black Dot Films

Max Salomon is one of the founding partners of Black Dot Films VR – a leading VR & 360 film production company. As the launch content and production partner for National Geographic, over the last 2 years BDF has produced a pipeline of some 30 films for NG’s VR production partnerships with Facebook and HULU and racked up some of the most virally successful VR films across both platforms. Their VR films have been seen by over 150 million viewers.  
With a background as seasoned nonfiction television producers and executives – with over 20 national Emmy wins and nominations between them –  the team at BDF is now at the forefront of transforming VR from just a “cool new tech” into a rich non-fiction storytelling platform that puts the audience at the heart of larger than life stories they capture. Unlike VR tech companies whose upfront hardware investments define the stories they are able to tell, BDF puts the story and content first … and then finds or custom builds the technology the stories require.
From climbing into the spires of giant sequoia trees with scientists studying the impacts of global warming, to getting inside the head of a woman who walks on the wings of an aerobatic biplane, to the intimate experiences of orphaned baby orangutans who’ve never seen a tree and are learning to climb –  BDF goes beyond merely “wowing” the audience and creating “presence”. They’ve pushed at the limits of the medium to create films that deeply engage their audiences in emotional and nuanced narratives with a beginning, middle and an end.
In addition to their award-winning work for National Geographic, BDF is also producing and developing VR content for a variety of other outlets – for major consumer brands, museums and NGO s.
Prior to Black Dot Films, Max piloted National Geographic’s flagship documentary strand, EXPLORER, overseeing over 70 hours of programming. He also created the pilot for NGC’s long-running hit series BORDER WARS and has directed, written and produced high-end “global event” specials for NGC and Discovery.

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Sara Lisa Vogl
VR BASE

Creative squirrel, chaos kid & in love with the idea of new worlds, I´m on a mission to explore what the heck VR is.
Especially fascinated by UX & art in VR I´m working on the VR game Lucid Trips, teach VR at Design Factory International Hamburg and guide longtime VR Trips in collaboration with academic researchers as the worlds first VR Shaman. A passionate advocate of sharing & caring I´m an active member of the international and local VR community. After exploring the early days of VR setting up the hamburg based VR Nerds collective I´m now networking at VR Base Berlin.

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Greg Louden
3rd Eye Studios

Gregory Louden is an Australian Academy Award winning VFX Artist, narrative designer, writer and computer scientist. He studied at the University of Technology Sydney ( UTS ) and was a member of the Games Studio and Creativity and Cognition Studio where he worked on serious games and new media. Following his graduation he joined Animal Logic and worked on “Legend of the Guardians” and “Sucker Punch” as a FX Technical Assistant where he wrote pipeline software and helped with FX shot work. From Animal Logic he went to George Miller’s animation studio “Dr. D Studios” and was a Animation Technical Director on “Happy Feet 2”. After working in Sydney he moved to London where he joined MPC as FX / Crowd Technical Director on “Prometheus”, “World War Z” and “Jack the Giant Slayer” performing shot work. Greg’s last film was acting as a FX TD on “Gravity” at Framestore for which his team’s work received all VFX awards including the Academy Award for VFX. After working in London he moved to the Helsinki to join Remedy Entertainment where he lead the Narrative Design on “Quantum Break” and the early development of “P7” and “CrossFire 2”. Finally he now works in VR at 3rd Eye Studios where he acts as Lead Designer on the “Downward Spiral” franchise, story, mechanics and game structure.  His goal is to always work on innovative projects and tell great stories through any medium.

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Pedro Lopes
Hasso Plattner Institut

Pedro Lopes is a PhD Candidate at Prof. Baudisch’s Human Computer Interaction Lab at the Hasso Plattner Institute, Germany.

Pedro’s work asks the question: what if interfaces would share part of our body? Pedro has materialized this ideas by creating interactive system based on electrical muscle stimulation. These devices use part of the wearer’s body for output, i.e., the computer can output by actuating the user’s muscles with electrical impulses, causing it to move involuntarily. The wearer can sense the computer’s activity on their own body by means of their sense of proprioception. Pedro’s wearable systems have shown to (1) increase realism in VR , (2) provide a novel way to access information through proprioception, and (3) serve as a platform to experience and question the boundaries of our sense of agency.

Pedro’s work is published at top-tier conferences (ACM CHI &UIST) and demonstrated at venues such as ACM SIGGRAPH and IEEE Haptics. Pedro has received the ACM CHI Best Paper award for his work on Affordance++, Best Talk Awards and several nominations. As part of his research, Pedro has exhibited at Ars Electronica 2017, Science Gallery Dublin and World Economic Forum in San Francisco. His work also captured the interest of media, such as MIT Technology Review, NBC, Discovery Channel, NewScientist or Wired.

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Sönke Kirchhof
INVR.Space

Sönke Kirchhof is CEO and executive producer of award winning Full Service VR Studio INVR.SPACE GmbH. He studied political sience in Hamburg and Film – and TV Production at Filmuniversität Babelsberg. He works in the fields of VR, stereoscopic filmmaking, VFX and CGI Postproduction as well as Research and Development in arts and technology since more than 15 years. He is also founder of reallifefilm international GmbH, working as producer and stereographer in all kind of projects. At INVR.SPACE he is in charge of all business related operations as well as deciding on creative and technologic approaches.

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Dr. Oliver Schreer
Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institut

Dr. Oliver Schreer is head of the “Immersive Media & Communication” group at “Vision & Imaging Technologies” department at Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute. He received his Dr.‐Ing. degree in electrical engineering from the Technical University of Berlin in 1999. He was involved in several European research projects acting in various coordinating and management roles. His main research fields and expertise are 3D video analysis, virtual view synthesis, real-time 3D video processing, future immersive media services exploiting AR and VR technologies, 3D video communication, human motion and gesture analysis and touchless interaction with media and content. Since autumn 2001, Oliver Schreer is Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Technical University Berlin. In 2006, he received his habilitation degree from Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Technical University Berlin and was assigned as Associated Professor at the same faculty. He published more than 100 papers in journals and conferences and edited two books at Wiley & Sons, namely “3D Videocommunication” and “Media Production, Delivery and Interaction for Platform Independent Systems: Format-Agnostic Media”.

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Rebecca Liu
VRCORE

Rebecca is the founder and CEO of VRCORE, which is the biggest VR community in China. She started her work in VR since 2014 and has a lot of experience for VR events. Now Rebecca is focusing on promoting China VR industry and bridging the connection between VR industries in China and other regions.

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Susanne Dickel
Into VR

Video journalist Susanne has a faible for learning new technologies. When IntoVR buys new programs or equipment usually it’s her who familiarises herself with it. So it’s no surprise that she was first to rise her hand when Martin Heller asked who would like to dive into VR. That was in early 2015, since then she has shot videos in many different locations and situations and constantly expanded the opportunities of telling stories in 360 degrees: She filmed an operation at the Charité, explored the beautiful islands of Croatia and talked to a woman who lost her loved ones at the Massacre of Srebrenica.
Susanne started learning about VR two years ago and has created more than 100 360° videos. She is one of the most experienced 360° video journalists in Germany. But she thinks, to evolve a new media there need to be many more people who work with it. She gives workshops for trainees and professional journalists. Her short documentary “Making People Happy” received a nomination for the German Web Video Awards 2016, the most important prize in the field of German online video, and a nomination for the Photokina Award 2016. For her work on 360° videos, Susanne was awarded as „Top 30 under 30“ – a list of young influencers – by German „Medium Magazin“ in 2015.

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Dominik Käser
Google

Dominik Kaeser is an Engineering Lead at Google, where he runs the team behind Google Earth VR.

Dominik grew up in Gossau in the Zürich highlands of Switzerland. While attending KZO Wetzikon, he developed computer games and artificial intelligence projects on the side. After graduating he spent a year working as a piano player and teacher in various venues in Switzerland and Kenya, and eventually obtained a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from ETH Zürich and UC Berkeley with a focus on Computer Graphics and Human-Computer Interaction.

Looking to become a technical artist, he moved to California in 2010, and joined Pixar Animation Studios to work on the movies Monsters University and Cars 2. Later he joined Google where he sought ways to combine his skills with his passion for traveling. He discovered virtual reality and became a founding member of the Google VR team. In 2014 he started the Google Earth VR project with the goal of letting anyone travel anywhere in virtual reality.

Google Earth VR launched in late 2016 to wide acclaim, and went on to win the Lumiere Century award by the Advanced Imaging Society (AIS). It is only the second time in history the AIS handed out a Century Award; the first award went to James Cameron for the movie Avatar.

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Daniel Doornink
XR Basefund

Daniel started his career at a large Dutch corporate (ING) where he gained lots of hands-on experience with Design thinking, Scrum, Agile and Lean Startup techniques. He put his experience to good use mentoring start-ups at Rockstart Amsterdam and various other accelerators in Europe and the US.

Early 2014 he started the Dutch community VRNL which currently holds over a thousand members, bringing together everyone passionate about VR in the Netherlands. A year later he organized the first European meetup at NUMA in Paris, uniting the Dutch, German, Belgian and French communities and co-founded VRDAYS Europe.

Recently he founded the XRBASE network with the goal of uniting several physical hotspots in Europe to facilitate- and accelerate the European XR industry. XRBASE is an incubator/co-working space and content production company that creates high-end immersive content.

He is founding partner of XR Basefund, Europe’s first VC fund dedicated to invest in seed- and later stage ventures in the XR industry.

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Marcus Ritter
Interlake

Marcus Ritter is an Interactive Solution Manager at Interlake in Germany. With 12 years of experience as a trainer in a variety of subjects, Marcus has turned his passion into a profession and has become an expert in the e-learning business working with international customers across all industries. Besides working with established technologies, Marcus is constantly looking for different approaches to learning, including Mixed Reality scenarios with HoloLens and other devices. With Interlake being one of the top 1% Microsoft partners in Germany there are lots of opportunities with this new technology as the computer starts liberating itself from the traditional screen.forces behind the German MediaTech Hub in Potsdam. In his free time you can often spot him on his old boat on the lakes around Berlin or in little hotels and restaurants off the beaten track.

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Sven Bliedung
Slice Studios

Sven Bliedung started his career in media design at the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research in 2000. In the beginning, he worked as compositing and dynamic simulations artist on several feature films. In 2006, he founded a postproduction company together with his friends Benjamin Haagen and Michael Göbel. Since then the company has broadened its portfolio and is now providing further services in industrial design, commercials and immersive media. To align the external appearance with the evolution of expertise, the change in name to SLICE was a step taken in 2016. 

As Head of Immersive Media, Sven Bliedung is advising clients and partners on digital transformations by identifying new opportunities, designing innovative solutions and leading the projects up to implementation. Parallel he strongly supports the VR association Berlin-Brandenburg E.V. as Co-Founder and board member as well as promoting and further developing the capitol region as a digital hub within Europe.

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Peter Hu
Auctoreal

Currently CEO at Auctoreal Inc. in China, Peter Hu has more than six years experience as a sales, marketing and business development professional, focused on introducing leading-edge technology into the Chinese markets.  Peter played an early roll in developing AR/VR content during his time in China. Auctoreal Inc. is one of the early AR/VR content develop teams in the Chinese market, developing AR/VR/MR projects in different Chinese cities. In the year 2015 to 2017, Peter also participated in the coordination of the AWE (Augmented World Expo).

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Laura Jeffords Greenberg
Littlstar

Laura Jeffords Greenberg is the Senior Vice President of Business & Legal Affairs at Littlstar, the leading global platform dedicated to immersive virtual reality and 360° content. She manages and oversees the company’s legal department, advising the company on international content acquisition and distribution, development and licensing of software and applications, and business operations. Prior to joining Littlstar, Laura was Senior Legal Counsel at Red Bull Media House in Austria, where she managed international acquisition and distribution for Red Bull content, and provided counsel to the international partnerships team for the launch of Red Bull TV. She started her career in sports working for organizations such as the National Football League (NFL) and Fox Sports. She serves as Chair of International Membership for the Association of Corporate Counsel’s Sports and Entertainment Committee. Laura is licensed to practice law in California, the District of Columbia, and as in-house counsel in New York.

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Ian Forester
VR Playhouse

Ian Forester is the CEO and Co-Founder of VR Playhouse, a VR creative studio based in Los Angeles. Working in Chicago theater instilled in him a passion for creating transformational experiences that drove him to develop, direct, and perform in dozens of new plays and immersive events in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. After winning LA Weekly’s Award for Best Direction in 2008, he served as the Artistic Director of Needtheater in Los Angeles from 2011 until his first encounter with a VR headset in 2014.

That summer, Ian co-founded VR Playhouse to create transcendent experiences in digital space, and it quickly grew into one of the top content makers for VR. What started in his spare room is now a premiere provider of production services for 360 and volumetric video, computer animation, and interactive content for VR and AR. Ian has produced or directed many of VR Playhouse’s 60+ projects, including the world’s first ever 360 lightfield production, VR content for 10 of Fortune’s 100, festival selections for Sundance and Cannes, and award-winning original work for SXSW.

He is a member of the Consumer Technology Association’s Working Group for VR/AR, the Entertainment Advisory Board of RIT, and has been a panelist, presenter, or speaker at VRTO, SVVR, Siggraph, Digital Hollywood, The Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of China, and SXSW. Podcast appearances include Kent Bye’s “Voices of VR” and “It’s All Happening” with Zach Leary, who said of Ian, “He may be poised to become one of the great thought leaders of our generation.”

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Takaka Abramia
Visual Artist

Takaka Abramia is a visual artist specializing in different mediums: Video Art / Art Direction / Graphic Design / Photography / Contemporary Art. She studied Visual Communication at the Academy of Arts Tbilisi. Takaka started her carrier as a Graphic Designer in 2011. Since then she worked several years at the digital studios and also at the advertising agency – Saatchi & Saatchi Tbilisi as an Art Director. In 2016 she started working on the independent projects in Contemporary Art, Photography and Social Innovation.

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Karen Nemeth
realities.io

Producer at realities.io. Along with her team, she enables the production of interactive documentaries in explorable virtual reality. Her work aims to help people rethink what tourism, education, and storytelling will look like when advanced engineering technologies become ubiquitous. Using a project management background which spans from museum construction in NYC to innovation marketing in Silicon Valley and London, she is building the content communities and business models that will be the foundation of the emerging VR industry.

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Ditti Bürgin-Brook
La Siala Entertainment

After working as a tinsmith and studying medicine, Ditti Bürgin-Brook took on the public relations management of Karlheinz Böhm’s relief organization in Africa, thus entering the media world. What followed were engagements as tour manager for Andru Donalds and DJ BoBo – with him Bürgin-Brook was also part of Michael Jackson’s HiStory world tour. Various employments in the television and communication sector and professorships for both international culture management and film and media production were further steps on his path to his biggest success yet, the film adaptation of the Swiss children’s book classic „Schellen Ursli“. The movie was directed by oscar winner Xavier Koller and has broken all records and won innumerable prizes since its release in October 2015. The worldwide success of the movie Schellen-Ursli leaded up to a strong collaboration with the Europa-Park, Rust where since Septmber 2017 Schellen-Ursli got his own Virtual Reality Rollercoaster Ride.

Since 2011 Brook has been teaching both event and culture management and event technology and risk management at the MHMK university of applied science in Berlin and Munich. Furthermore is Ditti Bürgin-Brook teaching Filmproduktion at the Filmuniversität Babelsberg in Potsdam.

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Matthew Collado
Littlstar

Matthew Collado is Co-Founder and Chief Content Officer of Littlstar, a premium Virtual Reality and 360 video distribution platform.  As Chief Content Officer, Collado works directly with major brands, networks, studios and record labels such Nat Geo, Discovery, Showtime, Warner Music, Disney and ABC Television Group to develop, create and distribute immersive virtual reality and 360 experiences.  Prior to starting Littlstar, Collado founded NYC video production company Human Being Media.  At Human Being, he produced branded experiences for GovBall, Bonnaroo, Redbull and Everlast, among others.

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Anika Giese
Axel Springer SE

Anika Giese is Head of Business Development Virtual Reality on a corporate level responsible scouting Virtual Reality Content, Marketing and Technology for Axel Springer SE.
As a journalist and VR enthusiast she is excited for cutting-edge technologies – and how they will shape media companies of the future. Motto: “Ask not what the industry can do for you, but what can you do for the industry”
Previously Anika was Head of Video for BILD Berlin / B.Z. and was later send on a three months Silicon Valley fellowship based in Mountain View for Axel Springer. During that stay, she held the position Business Development for Video while focusing on business models for video and audio. The journalist focused on in-depth knowledge of video technologies, licensing and distribution models.
She deeply cares about the merits of journalism and loves narrative moving images. No wonder for several years she has been working for the ARD as a director for documentaries and for the BBC History & Business format development.

 

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Paul Bouchard
WIDE VR

After having worked in the Films international sales business for five years, Paul Bouchard became Head of Business Affairs and Acquisitions at WIDE in 2014. Currently he is managing the development of WIDE VR, the new department dedicated to sales of narrative content in Virtual Reality. After almost one year working with festivals for location based experiences and VR festivals, WIDE VR has developed a sole expertise on the VR market. Paul always is ready to discover new creative experiences, looking forward to meeting the forthcoming steps of VR, AR and Mixed Reality.

 

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Oli Lane
The VR Concept

Oli Lane founded The VR Concept in the summer of 2016, opening his first VR arcade in a London pub in October of that year. With a degree in aerospace engineering, Oli has previously worked as an engineer and manager on jet engines and commercial satellites. His first company, The VR Concept has just opened its fourth site in the UK and has featured in Gizmodo and on BBC click.

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Stéphane Rituit
Felix & Paul

Stéphane is an acclaimed film writer and producer, and has won numerous accolades at a number of film festivals, such as TIFF and SIFF. At the 66th Cannes Film Festival, he was named as one of ‘10 Canadians to Watch.’ Following his work spearheading productions in the Canadian Arctic, he joined forces with directors Félix Lajeunesse and Paul Raphaël to launch Felix & Paul Studios. Felix & Paul Studios is recognized as a pioneer and key player in the fast-growing industry of virtual reality content. The studio has content creation partnerships with Facebook/Oculus, YouTube/Google, The White House, Funny or Die, FoxNext and Cirque du Soleil. They recently premiered ‘Isle of Dogs VR Experience’ at CES 2018, and ‘Space Explorers: A New Dawn’ at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

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