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Meet the creators

Céline Tricart (Director) – The Key

Ethan Shaftel (Director) – Kaiju Confidential

Gerda Leopold (Director) – Ballavita

Maria Courtial (Producer Faber Courtial) – 2nd Step

Joachim Landau (Producer Empreinte digitale) – Alone


About Speakers

Céline Tricart

Celine Tricart is a director who has developed a unique and recognizable style with a strong visual sense due to her background as a director of photography. Her work was showcased in numerous Academy Awards qualifying festivals including the Sundance Film Festival, SXSW, Hotdocs, the Austin Film Festival, the Clermont Ferrand Film Festival and the Chicago Film Festival. Celine was the recipient of a Creative Award by the Advanced Imaging Society, an Aurora Award, two Telly Awards amongst many other accolades. Celine Tricart is a world-renowned 3D and Virtual Reality expert. In 2016 she founded Lucid Dreams Productions, a production company specializing in new technologies and the future of storytelling which was involved in numerous award-winning VR experiences.

Ethan Shaftel

Ethan Shaftel directs film, immersive, and interactive projects. His work includes KAIJU CONFIDENTIAL (Sundance 2019), SPACE BUDDIES (Tribeca 2019) and EXTRAVAGANZA (Tribeca 2017) plus a full-body STREET FIGHTER VR game for Red Bull, a room-sized video installation for Nike, animated parade floats for Disneyland Tokyo, screen content for artists such as Rihanna, Beyonce and Jay Z, plus dozens of award-winning shorts, music videos, and a sci-fi feature.

Maria Courtial

Maria Courtial is co-founder and managing director of one of Germany’s leading VR and VFX studios, Faber Courtial. As producer of award-winning VR films, Maria coordinates and influences the whole production process. Right from the beginning of each film project, she’s working closely together with husband and director Joerg Courtial. Both are fascinated of VR’s infinite possibilities – and their VR films are quite often the result of passionate debates of two creative minds trying to constantly break new ground. When starting “Faber Courtial” back in 1998, Maria’s and Joerg’s objective was to bring more emotion and fascination to the hitherto down-to-earth world of 3D animation. Soon they were assigned with the production of high-profile VFX projects for TV documentaries and exhibitions. And this paved the way to their actual passion: creating outstanding VR worlds by implementing the latest VR techniques and striving for innovative ways in VR storytelling. After their internationally awarded VR projects “Volcanos” and “Gladiators”, their latest VR film “2nd” Step - a thrilling VR journey through space - has been selected to screen on numerous festivals worldwide. In 2018, Faber Courtial also started with the in-house production and distribution of its very own, independent VR film content. The first seasons of their VR series “Follow Me” (dealing with Ancient Rome and the Apollo missions) have just been completed.

Joachim Landau

Producer I Directeur Général at Empreinte Digitale Créée en 2003 par Raphaël Rocher et Benjamin Rocher, EMPREINTE DIGITALE est une société indépendante de production de longs métrages cinéma (Empreinte Cinéma), de séries, de documentaires, d'émissions de flux et de brand content.

Gerda Leopold

Gerda Leopold produced and directed CARROUSEL in 2014, a 360° feature film and BALLAVITA in 2017/18 a cinematic, stereoscopic VR-film. rnGerda studied painting at the University of Arts in Berlin between 1979-1985 and had numerous exhibitions in Europe and the USA. First short films in 2004. In 2008 she wrote and the directed the short film Mauer (Wall), her first film with actors. rnIn 2014 she started her production company AMILUX FILM in Vienna, Austria, focusing on new ways of immersive storytelling. (AMILUX FILM also developed a VR cinema which can host up to 70 people, the CINEMA XR.) amiluxfilm Amiluxfilm is a film production company specializing in cinematic VR. The company was founded in 2014 by gerda Leopold aiming to develop new forms of immersive storytelling.


In exhibition

The Key

“THE KEY” is a 15-minute room-scale (6DOF) virtual reality experience with a strong narrative structure punctuated by moments of interactivity. The participant is lead through different environments, through dreams, and must face challenges and difficult decision in each, experiencing loss. The participant will experience a metaphorical journey from danger to safety. Through this journey a hidden truth is uncovered, and a new beauty revealed.

Kaiju Confidential

Premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in 2019, KAIJU CONFIDENTIAL is an immersive VR comedy about big creatures and small slights. Grigon might not be the biggest Kaiju on the block, but he is the most neurotic. When he discovers legendary Kaiju, Mega-Hydra rampaging on his turf, it becomes a battle of passive aggressive proportions. Starring Blake Anderson (WORKAHOLICS)and Paul F. Tompkins (BOJACK HORSEMAN), and produced by ShadowMachine.

2nd Step

“2nd Step" is a soaring VR expedition through space – accentuated with the beautiful music of Debussy and Ravel – in which the viewer gets an intense feeling of being in the middle of undiscovered worlds while visiting some of the most thrilling settings of current and future space missions, presented in an unprecedented richness of detail! The film has been produced with expert advice of the European Space Agency, thus a huge amount of original data could be integrated as basis for the perfect photorealistic 3D reconstructions of the visited places. A highly intense and thrilling VR experience!


Equipped with a VR headset, installed in a haptic seat for 4 minutes, we find – the users – Alessandra, one of the heroines of the series Missions, from the French label OCS Signature. Separated from the rest of the team, she wakes up, groggy, dazed, in complete darkness. A survival drone then starts; Alessandra, alone in a cave, is plunged into darkness. To get out, she must try everything...Without real assistance, with a limited level of oxygen and no idea which direction to take, she will have to sink in the mysterious depths. Between The Descent, The Martian, and 127 Hours, this is a VR lesson in survival… Could you make it?


Maria is a young, hotheaded but insecure tango dancer. She recently started dating Anton the choreographer of her dance company but isn’t quite sure where their relationship is heading. During a rehearsal Maria loses her temper, after getting ridiculed by the other ensemble members. While leaving the building she falls through a trapdoor into a cellar, where she encounters an old man who invites her into his basement apartment. The old man lures Maria into a mirror reality where she is immersed into her dreams and fantasies. The old man is trying to steal her dreams, so he can experience them whenever he wants. Maria’s dreams quickly turn into nightmares. After facing her darkest nightmares she is able to escape.


Replay Conferences
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