2018
Lamu,
Kenya



CARSON BEKER (USA)

Carson Beker (Ash Bone) is a storyteller, writer, theatermaker, performer, ghost wrangler and experience creator. They are the co-founder of the Pirate Art School The Escapery. Their written has appeared in Fourteen Hills, Spunk, Foglifter, and Cutthroat. Their plays have been produced or developed at Custom Made Theater, Exit Theater, and Z-Below. They are a Clarion West 2018 writer, a Lambda Fellow, and a Tin House Scholar. They haunt GhostCatProductions and at www.Escapery.org.

EDWARD BUTTON (USA)

Edward Button is a award winning Director of Photography and Director. He has shot around the globe for clients such as Gillette, Care International, Western Union, Sony/BMG and shot feature film work for directors such as Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, Doug Liman, Liz Hinlein, and Anthony Fabian. He was the Producer and Director of Photography on the feature film “Other Peoples Children” which was awarded “Best Cinematography” at the Brasov International Film Festival. Edward started his career working in the camera department for Emmanuel Lubezki ASC on Terrence Malick’s “The New World” and the Coen Brother’s “Burn after Reading.” Currently, Edward has been working extensively in Virtual Reality having served as Director of Photography and Producer on Doug Liman’s cinematic VR series “Invisible.” He shot and was Supervising Producer on the VR Music Video Reeps One “does not Exist” with The Mill, has worked with Emblematic Group, and is Technicolor NY’s Artist in Residence where he is collaborating on a VR project with artist Shantell Martin and developing cinematic VR projects. Amongst others, Edward’s work has been screened at The Cannes Film Festival, The Sundance Film Festival, and the Brasov International Film Festival where he won the Best Cinematography award. He holds Masters degree’s from the American Film institute in Cinematography and NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.

SANDRA CREIGHTON (CAN)

Sandra Creighton has been involved in the media industry for over twenty years and is an independent Creative Producer and Co-Founder of the recently launched Lenz Light Film Fund. She develops and produces stories suitable for all media platforms and has been Instrumental in the development, production, and distribution of feature films, television, music and digital projects. Feature film titles include Equinox, (d. Alan Rudolph), Red Hot (d. Paul Haggis). Working in the digital age since 2003, Sandra was instrumental in the prototype development, project management and marketing of interactive tools for music, tourism and transmedia platforms for television shows and online projects selected credits: Indigenous environmental TV APTN digital Down to Earth, Environmental Series TVO Green Heroes, and digital social project Working Voices. Nominated for two Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards (music and video production), panel moderated at WOMEX, on behalf of the Canada Council of the Arts, jury member for the Canadian Aboriginal Awards and panel participant at the Durban Film Festival, Canadian Radio-Television and Communications Commission’s Round Table for Diversity, guest lecturer The Story School- Toronto, Cornerstone Institute, Cape Town and workshop leader NFVF, Johannesburg. Sandra is a Canadian of African American, Choctaw and Irish decent.

SAMARAH DAHER (USA)

Samarah Daher is a seasoned professional with over a decade of experience in broadcast and digital media. After graduating from The New School in with a degree in Social and Media Studies, Samarah began laying the solid foundations for a career on the frontlines of media industry change and modernization. After gaining valuable knowledge in the field, Samarah took her keen visionary skillset to casting where she worked as head of operations for Barbara Bana and soon went on to become a production manager at Al Jazeera at a crucial time for the international broadcaster, as they attempted to expanded production and audience reach in the United States. In 2015 Samarah accepted a position at Refinery29, where the women’s media conglomerate was seeking visionary leadership to build a video department from the ground up. Samarah applied her knowledge of production and managerial prowess to the task. Among her many accomplishments at Refinery29, Samarah spearheaded the company’s channel launch on SnapChat Discover, overseeing production, programming, and content strategy and also reorganized Refinery29’s YouTube content strategy resulting in a doubling of subscribers and increasing watch time by 463% in less than a year.

FAY DARMAWI  (USA)

Fay is an urbanist, cultural producer, and social impact financier. She is the Founder and Executive Producer of the SF Urban Film Fest (SFUFF), a film festival focused on civic engagement inspired by great storytelling. Fay is a recipient of a 2016 YBCA Fellowship where she developed “Megaphone” a prototype of a social impact product of home delivered boxes curated with objects that symbolize social movements to increase visibility and participation in social change. She was invited to participate in the Valletta 2018 Curatorial School in Malta as part of the European Union Culture of Capital programming. She is currently working on “Society’s Soul”, an interactive short documentary film series on homeless students in the San Francisco public school system. Her 20-years of experience as a leader in affordable housing development and finance as well as 5-years of screenwriting training informs her media-related work. Her affordable housing client list includes Silicon Valley Bank, Bank of America, and the City and County of San Francisco. Her screenwriting training is from UCLA and Community of Writers at Squaw Valley (CA) and a few of her screenplays have placed in various competitions. She earned her undergraduate degree in art history and urban studies from the University of Pennsylvania and her graduate degree in city planning from MIT.

ROBERTO DRILEA (USA/ROMANIA)

Roberto Drilea is a filmmaker working at the intersection of technology and storytelling to create experiences that reflect and refract human complexity. Roberto was a 2016 Oculus VR For Good Creator and his first VR experience, “Use Your Imagination,” written in collaboration with a group of young artists on the autism spectrum, premiered at SXSW 2017. Originally from Bucharest, Romania, Roberto received his degree in film production from Northwestern University, and is currently based in Brooklyn, freelancing under his media production banner, Pixel+Rhyme.

MATT FORBECK (USA)

Matt Forbeck is an award-winning and New York Times-bestselling author and game designer. He has designed board games, collectible card games, roleplaying games, miniatures games, and interactive toys and has written comic books, video games, mobile games, alternate reality games, magazine articles, novels, nonfiction, screenplays, and short fiction. His work has been published in over 10 languages. He has thirty novels and countless games published to date. His latest work includes the novel Halo: New Blood, the Magic: The Gathering comics, The Avengers Encyclopedia, the 2014 edition of The Marvel Encyclopedia, the Monster Academy YA fantasy novels, and the upcoming Shotguns & Sorcery roleplaying game based on his novels. His projects have been nominated for 28 Origins Awards and won 17. They have also won five ENnies and a Scribe Award. He is a proud member of the Alliterates writers’ group, the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers, the International Thriller Writers, and the International Game Developers Association. He lives in Beloit, Wisconsin, with his wife Ann and their children: Marty, Pat, Nick, Ken, and Helen. Those last four are quadruplets, but that’s a whole ’nother story.

LEE-SEAN HUANG (USA)

Lee-Sean Huang is the cofounder and creative director of Foossa. As a community-centered designer and social innovation strategist, he has devoted his career to fostering creative civic participation and building movements for the common good. He was previously the founding member of the design practice at Purpose, creative director of Meu Rio and a co-founder of Hepnova Multimedia. He has worked on five continents and has collaborated with organizations including the United Nations, Human Rights Watch, the SEIU, the Dalai Lama Center, the Brazil Foundation, the Packard Foundation, the Grammy Foundation, the Kigali Genocide Memorial, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Tenement Museum. Lee-Sean is a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts MFA Design for Social Innovation and has previously lectured and taught at the New School, New York University, Cornell Tech, the College of Staten Island, the University of California Los Angeles, and the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. He also teaches capoeira at the New York Capoeira Center and is a founding trustee and treasurer of the Awesome Foundation New York. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Government from Harvard and a master’s from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU.

INGRID KOPP (SOUTH AFRICA)

Ingrid Kopp is a co-founder of Electric South, a non-profit initiative to develop virtual reality and innovative mobile storytelling projects across Africa. She also works on monitoring and evaluation of media in Africa through Multiply Bureau. Until the end of 2017 she was a Senior Consultant in the Interactive Department at the Tribeca Film Institute and she still curates the Tribeca Storyscapes program for interactive and immersive work at the Tribeca Film Festival. Along with MIT’s Open DocLab, she leads the Interactive Media Impact Working Group, exploring how emerging media engages audiences and produces Immerse, a publication for Medium, as an extension of this work. Ingrid started her career in the Documentaries department at Channel 4 Television in London before moving to NYC in 2004 and has been based in Cape Town since 2015.

KADET KUHNE (USA)

Kadet Kuhne is a visual and sound artist who generates synthetic stimuli as an investigation of subjectivity through systems of control and technological mediation. With a preoccupation of what constitutes consciousness, Kadet aims to prompt visceral, even pre-verbal emotional and physical responses to the invisible forces of particles and vibration that construct all matter. Taking form in experimental video, installation, interactivity, soundtracks, performance, 3D printing and 2D print, Kadet’s works have been presented nationally and internationally at select venues such as the Museum of Art Lucerne, Sundance Film Festival, de Young Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, Contemporary Art Center Villa Arson, San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, LACE Gallery, and Crossroads Film Festival. Kadet received a master’s degree in Integrated Media and Music Composition in Experimental Practices from the California Institute of the Arts in 2004. Based in Oakland, CA, Kadet collaborates with artists locally and remotely such as Mary Franck, Alba G. Corral, and mem1. For two decades Kadet has worked as a sound designer and composer for film, video games, television, apps, interactive installations, live performance and products. She works with clients such as Electronic Arts, Google, Disney, Konami, and Mattel, designs sound for award-winning independent films that have screened at festivals such as Sundance, Cannes and Toronto, and creates soundtracks for commercial clients such as Adidas, Toyota, and Pokémon. Most recently Kadet started working for Telltale on the video game titles Batman, Minecraft, Walking Dead and Guardians of the Galaxy.

ASHLEY MAYNOR (USA)

Ashley Maynor is an award-winning filmmaker and librarian who uses digital and analog technology to tell compelling stories.  Her work as director includes the documentary “For Memories’ Sake,” which screened at the Library of Congress, the Nashville Film Festival, the Maryland Film Festival, and on the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers, among other venues, and the transmedia project, “The Story of the Stuff.” She also produced the critically-acclaimed feature film SOMETHING, ANYTHING (New York Times Critics’ Pick) and the ITVS co-production “Quick Feet, Soft Hands,” starring Greta Gerwig, both written and directed by Paul Harrill and writer/director Cameron Nelson’s debut feature, SOME BEASTS (US-in-Progress selection; IFP Narrative Lab).  She is a past recipient of the Sundance Institute’s Sheila C. Johnson Creative Producing Fellowship and has been previously named as one of “10 to Watch” by Independent Magazine and a Library Journal “Mover & Shaker” for innovative digital storytelling.   Her work has been supported by the Sundance Institute, the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), the Austin Film Society, the Southern Humanities Media Fund, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

IOANA MISCHIE (ROMANIA)

Ioana Mischie is an L.A.-based Romanian cinematic storyteller, awarded for filmmaking, creative writing, interactive concepts and a Fulbright Grantee at USC School of Cinematic Arts, researching transmedia storytelling and mixed reality as part of her doctoral study. After graduating UNATC’s storytelling-driven BA and MA, her cinematic projects as writer/director (“237 Years”, “Cumulonimbus”, “Goya”, “Tulousophy”, “Die, please”, “Tiki Taka”) have traveled to more than 50 festivals worldwide (Palm Springs ISFF, Hamptons IFF, Thessaloniki IFF)and were developed in prestigious international programs (Berlinale Talents, Sundance Workshop in Italy, Cannes International Screenwriters Pavilion etc.). She has successfully collaborated as a writer/director with Channel 4 in the UK (for two doc webseries with a record of views) and with the Oscars-awarded Legende Films (for the short fiction “237 Years”). Co-founder and Head of Storyscapes, an NGO focusing transmedia storytelling and expanded narratives initiated in 2012 and since 2015 the programs coordinator of CINETic, a recently created Eastern European research centre focussing the interaction between neuroscience and groundbreaking audio-visual paths. Envisioning the world as a neo-creative playground, she deeply believes that storytellers are the “architects of the future” (Buckminster Fuller).

CHRISTIAN PARKER (USA)

Christian Parker is a director, dramaturg, and Chair of the graduate Theatre program at Columbia University, where he also heads the Dramaturgy concentration. Recent projects include a show in development with the theatrical band The Petersons, directing workshops of Kirk Lynn’s My Heart is a Library, Yours is a Museum for New Harmony Project, and Lynn Rosen’s The Imperialists for New Dramatists, Laura Eason’s Sex with Strangers for City Theatre Company in Pittsburgh, Leslie Ayvazian’s new play Out of the City for the Merrimack Repertory Theatre in Massachusetts. He served as dramaturg on The Tempest for Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Play On! program, and for the world premiere of the musical Found by Hunter Bell, Lee Overtree and Eli Bolin at the Atlantic Theater Company. From 2001-2014 he was the Associate Artistic Director of Atlantic Theater Company, where he directed plays by Tina Howe, Ken Weitzman, Jeff Whitty, Leslie Ayvazian, Kevin Heelan, Kate Moira Ryan, and Rolin Jones. Prior to his tenure at the Atlantic, he spent several seasons as the Literary Manager at Manhattan Theatre Club. Christian has produced, directed or dramaturged over fifty premieres of new American and British plays on, off and off-off Broadway, including works by David Lindsay-Abaire, David Auburn, Cusi Cram, Keith Reddin, and Dael Orlandersmith, among others. He speaks Russian and was part of the national artistic advisory board for the CITD New Russian Plays initiative. In his first foray into the dance world, he completed a residency through the Joyce Theatre with Gallim Dance on their piece Sit. Kneel. Stand. He is a proud founding member of the new itinerant theatre company, New Neighborhood. He has worked with Sundance Theatre Institute (Utah and Morocco), Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Lark Play Development Center, New York Theatre Workshop, Rising Phoenix Rep, The 24 Hour Plays, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Bread Loaf, Kenyon Playwrights Conference, where he is Resident Director, New Dramatists and Perry-Mansfield. He served on the Tony Awards Nominating Committee from 2014-2017. Recent publications include critical articles for Contemporary Theatre Review (UK) on Sam Shepard and Simon Stephens. He holds a BA from Middlebury College and an MFA from Columbia.

MARY PILON (USA)

Mary Pilon is the author of “The Monopolists,” (Bloomsbury, Feb 2015), a New York Times bestseller that tells the true story of the board game, Monopoly. For years, the story was that the game had been invented by a man during the Great Depression. But it actually originated with a left-wing woman, Lizzie Magie, during the Progressive Era as a protest against the monopolists of her time. Largely lost to history, Magie’s story, as well as its unlikely exhumation have been the brunt of scandal for decades, culminating in a Supreme Court case and 40,000 board games which, as far as anyone can tell, are still buried somewhere in Minnesota. (A feature film of the story from the producers of “Adaptation” and “Little Miss Sunshine” is currently in the works.) Previously, Mary covered sports as a staff reporter at the New York Times and business at The Wall Street Journal, focused on narrative and investigative work at each publication. In addition to the Times and the Journal, as a freelance journalist, Mary regularly writes about sports, business and politics for the New Yorker, Esquire, Vice, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Fast Company, MSNBC, among other publications. (She is currently working on her second book, “The Kevin Show,” forthcoming from Bloomsbury, and is developing with colleague Seth Porges “Prologue,” the first-ever multi-layered podcast series.) An honors graduate of New York University, Mary made the Forbes magazine’s first-ever 30 Under 30 list for media, but is more proud of being a native Oregonian, a fledgling marathoner and once landing an apartment in Brooklyn by writing a love letter invoking Virginia Woolf.

MICHEL REILHAC (FRANCE)

Michel Reilhac is an independent VR filmmaker and interactive story architect. He is a pioneer in Virtual Reality filming. His latest VR film “Viens!” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2016.He created a site-specific installation of “Viens!” with interactive VR for the Custom Paradise Exhibition at SomoS in October 2016. Michel Reilhac is a thought-leader for hybrid forms of storytelling, and immersive, participatory, and interactive experiences. He is also Head of Studies for the Venice Biennale College, and Head of the Cross Media College at Scuola Holden, Torino, Italy. He has been invited as Group Leader and speaker at the Power to the Pixel Conference and the Pixel Lab. He is frequently invited to teach and speak at international events (Cannes International Film Festival, Sunny Side of the Doc , Dixit, FEMIS, CPH: DOX.). He is also an international curator for Hybrid content and VR films (Berlinale Film Market; World VR Forum in Crans Montana, Switzerland; Cannes International Film Market, NEXT Pavilion; Paris Virtual Film Festival; Venice International Film Festival; …)From 2002-2012, Michel Reilhac was Head of Film Acquisitions at Arte France and executive director of Arte France Cinema. In 2012, in recognition for his work at Arte, Michel was named Man of the Year in film by the French trade magazine “Le Film Français.”Michel’s past includes his work as a contemporary dancer and producer of international tours for major dance companies; a stint as designer and director of the Forum des Images, Paris; the design and production of innovative events and shows based on his original concepts; and the direction of documentary and feature films (All alike, The Good Old Naughty Days , …). He holds an MBA in International Marketing.He lives and works between Paris, Berlin and the island of Lamu, Kenya where he is establishing a writers residency.

LOUISE SALTER (UK)

Louise is an actress who creates digital and film content to generate entertaining, meaningful narratives. Her experience ranges from working with Emmy-nominated production companies on award-winning documentaries and feature films to festival-popular short films and producing YouTube channels. In this year of 2018, Louise has been the recipient of three awards: Best Sci-Fi Short Film for creating How to be Human, Best Actress in a Sci-Fi Short Film for How to be Human at Miami International Science Fiction Film Festival and Best Actress in a Leading Role for Butterfly. Louise is currently leading a new science fiction web-series titled W.A.R.S and has recently co-founded FUTR.works to facilitate and grow a number of creative projects, including the feature film adaption of How to be Human.

CO-HOSTS

CHRISTY DENA (AUS)

Christy Dena is a writer-designer-director who has worked on award-winning pervasive games, film, digital and theatre projects. Her clients include Nokia, Cisco, Weiden & Kennedy, and Bangarra Dance Theatre. Her comedy web audio adventure “AUTHENTIC IN ALL CAPS” won the “Digital Narrative” category at the 2-14 WA Premier’s Book Awards, won the “Interactive Media” category at the 2014 Australian Writer’s Guild Awards, and was Finalist for “Best Writing in a Game” Award at the 2012 Freeplay Independent Gaming Festival. She was commissioned to create an game installation for Experimenta’s 2015 International Biennial of Media Art: Recharge, and that was Shortlisted for the 2015 International New Media Writing Prize and is currently touring Australia and can be downloaded online. She was granted Australia’s first Digital Writing Residency at The Cube for her project “Robot University,” for the Australia Council for the Arts and QUT. Christy co-wrote “The Writers Guide to Making a Digital Living” for the Australian Literature Board, has a PhD in Transmedia Practice, presented and published worldwide, and is a Member of the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Christy is Chair and Department Coordinator of Games, SAE Creative Media Institute.

LANCE WEILER (USA)

Lance Weiler is a storyteller and entrepreneur. An alumnus of the Sundance Screenwriting Lab, he is recognized as a pioneer because of the way he mixes storytelling and technology. WIRED magazine named him “one of 25 people helping to re-invent entertainment and change the face of Hollywood.” Always interested in experimenting with new ways to tell stories and engage audiences, Lance has designed experiences that have reached millions of people via theaters, mobile devices and online. In recognition of these storytelling innovations, BUSINESSWEEK named Lance “One of the 18 Who Changed Hollywood.” Lance is recognized as a thought leader in the entertainment space. He sits on a World Economic Forum steering committee for the future of content creation and is a founding member and director of the Columbia University School of the Arts’ Digital Storytelling Lab. He  is also a Professor in Practice at the Columbia University School of the Arts. Lance is currently developing a slate of film, tv and gaming projects.