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PANEL: Virtual Reality
Kleinert James Art Center WOODSTOCK
10/13/2018, 10:00AM
$ 15

Virtual Reality (VR) is the next phase of storytelling for creators and artists. It is an exciting new medium that must be experienced live to be understood. The Woodstock Film Festival Virtual Reality Lounge curators and other VR innovators will discuss today's trends in VR and 360 experience, and explore the fast developing new approaches and discoveries within this immersive art form.

John Benton is a narrative designer whose work ranges from traditional film to emerging media. Most recently, he won the Tribeca Film Festival's Mobile Storytelling Prize, as well as London's PttPixel MarketPrize for his interactive graphic novel. He is a fellow at the IFP NY Media Center, working primarily in VR. Benton's work has been shown in galleries, festivals, and museums around the world. In the last few years he has been working primarily with haptic, an immersive environment. At NYUSPS, Benton teaches digital filmmaking and video game design at the Center for Applied Liberal Arts.

Kiira Benzing is a storyteller crossing the mediums of theater, improv, documentary, fiction, and virtual reality. Her work melds intimate, character-driven portraits with high concept, abstract motifs and a magical edge. She is inspired by blending genres and brings her imaginative flair to filmmaking and creating new forms for storytelling.

Dario Laverde is a senior developer evangelist at HTC with an EE background background. He has 25+ years software development experience, including mobile, embedded, web, and enterprise. Among his various professional roles, he has worked as an Android instructor, consultant, Java architect, author, and entrepreneur. Dario has founded several developer communities, including NYC Java, NYC-GDG, NY Android, and is currently active with the VR community. You can follow him on twitter @virtual_dario.

Stephanie Riggs is an interdisciplinary content creator focused on directing narrative-driven virtual and immersive experiences. She began developing virtual reality in the 1990s, building interactive Virtual Reality HMD projects featured at SIGGRAPH and E3.

Carol Silverman is a painter and an Emmy award-winning set decorator for film and television. Her decorating work can be seen on Saturday Night Live, HBO series Boardwalk Empire, feature film Rough Night, and many others. She was a creative advisor to the NYU Future Realities Lab production of the Holojam in Wonderland VR theater installation at the 2017 Future of Storytelling conference. She was also part of the production team for the VR Arcade at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival.

Samantha Gorman is the co-director of game studio Tender Claws. She specializes in writing for interactive media across genres including expanded cinema, games and virtual reality. Tender Claws' first release PRY ( was one of Apple's 25 best apps of 2015, a finalist for the Future of Storytelling Prize and a finalist in IGF for "Excellence in Narrative." In addition to running Tender Claws, Samantha is a Ph.D. research fellow in Media Arts and Practice at USC's School of Cinematic Arts. She is based in LA.

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The Woodstock Film Festival is a not-for-profit, 501c3 organization with a mission to present an annual program and year-round schedule of film, music, and art-related activities that promote artists, culture, inspired learning, and diversity. The Hudson Valley Film Commission promotes sustainable economic development by attracting and supporting film, video and media production.
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