The School of Filmmaking at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) will present the inaugural
Future of Reality Summit on Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 5 and 6, at the school’s campus in Winston-Salem.
LEARN MORE AND APPLY TO ATTEND
“The Future of Reality (FoR) Summit is an opportunity for attendees to explore, discuss
and network as we delve into the ways emerging technologies such as virtual and augmented
reality will redefine every aspect of our world,” said UNCSA School of Filmmaking
Dean Susan Ruskin.
Professionals in the fields of medicine, business, technology, entertainment, sports
and more are expected to attend.
Day One, Nov. 5, will be an “Immersive Arcade,” an unstructured “hands-on day” where
participants can experience a wide spectrum of immersive media featuring eight exhibitors,
from surgery to e-sports. The second day, Nov. 6, will be a full day of TED-style
keynotes and panel discussions featuring more than two dozen speakers who are industry
leaders and technology pioneers.
Summit host and emcee Kent Bye is host of popular VR podcast, "Voices of VR."
Kent Bye will be the Summit host and emcee. Since 2014, Bye has traveled to the top
VR gatherings around the world and has published more than 700 Voices of VR podcast interviews featuring the pioneering game developers, enthusiasts and technologists
driving virtual reality. He has conducted more than 90 interviews about artificial
intelligence for his podcast The Voices of AI, which recently launched.
While the Summit is open to the public, registration is required. General admission
tickets are $70. VIP tickets are $175, which will enable ticket holders to enter an
hour early and have preferred seating in the theater.
“FoR is an intimate event intended to establish a network of executives, practitioners,
researchers and thought leaders who will not only contribute to the narrative of FoR
but will also help to create an environment for inspiration and collaboration between
attendees and speakers,” said Ryan Schmaltz, Founding Director of the UNCSA School of Filmmaking’s Media and Emerging Technology
Ryan Schmaltz is Director of the Media + Emerging Technology Lab (METL) at UNCSA.
The Future of Reality Summit is the first event of the Lab, which was established by UNCSA Chancellor Lindsay Bierman and Dean Ruskin in spring 2018. As a spin-off of the Institute for Performance Innovation, funded by a $10 million
gift, METL is dedicated to the exploration and production of immersive storytelling
“It’s both a public service and instructional unit, acting as a hub bringing immersive
content, its producers, and technology companies together with UNCSA, our community,
and venture capitalists to explore, test and develop new opportunities for economic
growth in North Carolina,” said Dean Ruskin, who is also the Executive Director of
“The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is uniquely suited to be at the
forefront of this rapidly evolving technology due to the skills we teach and our faculty
connections to the industry,” Dean Ruskin continued. “With the high level of tech
innovation, bio-medical research, and engineering across the state of North Carolina,
we have the ability to leverage one of the leading University systems in the country,
as well as private universities, and focus on the acceleration of home grown startups
in VR and AR.”
Susan Ruskin is Dean of the School of Filmmaking and Executive Director of METL.
Among the industry leaders and technology pioneers who will take the stage at the
- Zeina Abi Assy, a writer and media artist who is the Director of Interactive Programs at Tribeca Film Institute.
- Jacquie Barnbrook, winner of an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. Her experience in leading-edge
technology has led her to producing VR projects including “The Martian VR Experience,” a narrative interactive experience which was
the first of its kind as an immersive cinema experience.
- Phaedra Boinodiris, a member of IBM’s Academy of Technology and IBM’s Blockchain team, where she is responsible for strategy and engagement.
- Diana Ford, the Global Academia and Industrial Research Head at Unity Technologies Labs. Prior to Unity, she taught the world's first AR|VR Games Computer Science (CS) courses
at UCLA, and created and taught the first Storytelling Game AI Engineering course
in CS at Stanford.
- Teal Greyhavens, a partner and creative director at Dark Corner Studios, one of the world’s leading VR content studios and distribution platforms. Since
its launch, Dark Corner has consistently been one of the top downloaded free apps
on the Oculus Store for Gear VR, Rift, and Go.
- Vi Hart, a mathemusician and education futurist known for popularizing the beauty and joy
of mathematics through work such as Doodling in Math Class, Hexaflexagons, Twelve
Tones and Parable of the Polygon.
- John McBride, the CEO and Founder of Looking Glass Studios, a VR/AR consulting firm headquartered in Winston-Salem which is dedicated to utilizing
immersive technologies for improving how businesses operate and connect with their
- Guy Primus, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Virtual Reality Company (VRC), a market leader in the production and distribution of cinematic Virtual Reality
and Augmented Reality content.
- Yelena Rachitsky, Executive Producer of Experiences at Oculus, overseeing dozens of groundbreaking, narrative-driven VR projects that range from
Pixar's first VR project to original independent work. Prior to Oculus, she was the
Creative Producer at Future of Storytelling (FoST).
- Dav Rauch, who directs product development at IDEO with a focus on immersive experience design and emerging tech such as VR/AR. Most
recently, he helped shape design concepts for the future of gaming, a robotic vision
system for the blind, and the consumer experience of autonomous space flight.
- Ted Schilowitz, the Futurist at Paramount Pictures and former Futurist at 20th Century Fox. He was a founding member of the product
development team at RED Digital Cinema.
- Josh Shabtai, Lowe’s Innovation Labs’ (LIL) Director of Lab Productions and Operations. He leads a global team whose mission
is to make the future real today: developing, testing and ultimately scaling LIL’s
narrative-driven productions across the Lowe’s network.
- Kevin Vitale, CEO and Chairman of VRstudios, a leading innovator and provider of commercial virtual reality solutions to the
location-based entertainment industry.
SEE ALL SPEAKERS
Sponsors of FoR include Airtype, Looking Glass, the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts, Lenovo, Lowe’s Innovation Labs, Wheelhouse Media, D-Box, and Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.
by Marla Carpenter