Filmatic Festival 2016

3rd Annual Filmatic Festival

May 7, 2016

The Filmatic Festival presents visionary artists who transform traditional film-going into active and immersive experiences. The first of its kind in California, Filmatic invites visitors to experience the excitement of merging traditional cinematic storytelling with the latest digital technologies and science.


With declining movie theater attendance, individuals instead are watching and creating movies on their smartphones and tablets as a solitary act. Yet this same technology also allows us to share content, and connect with others, at any time, and any where. We created the Filmatic to explore the ever-evolving ways in which we are consuming and creating media, and to celebrate what movies are to become and our experiences of these new forms.


According to The Wrap, “Virtual Reality is the fastest-growing medium in entertainment and Hollywood studios are scrambling to stay one step ahead of the competition.” ArtPower’s Filmatic Festival, presented at UC San Diego’s Qualcomm Institute, boasts the top virtual reality artists and virtual reality scientists on the planet.

Join us for a full day of cinematic and scientific virtual reality experiences, including the first-in-California synchronized VR cinematic experience, interactive performances, screenings, full body immersive experiences, panels, food trucks, and a slow-motion video booth!

multicopter demo


  1. To explore the future of film going by transforming passive film-going to active and immersive experiences
  2. To present boundary-busting cinematic work by a global community of filmmakers
  3. To explore visionary cinematic work at the intersection of science and technology
larry smarr

Welcome Remarks by Larry Smarr

10 am | QI Auditorium
Filmatic kicks off with a presentation by Larry Smarr, Director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2); physicist; and a leader in the scientific computing, supercomputer applications, and internet infrastructure.

cinematic vr

Cinematic Virtual Reality

10 am – 10 pm | Lobby
Experience film like never before by fully immersing yourself in a new cinematic virtual storytelling adventure created by industry leaders Felix & Paul.

Strangers with Patrick Watson
Experience a one-on-one encounter with celebrated musician Patrick Watson at his Montreal studio.

Nomads: Herders
Quietly observe the lives of nomadic yak herders in Mongolia.

Wild: The Experience
Enter the world of Fox Searchlight’s feature film Wild in an exceptionally intimate moment between Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern’s characters along the Pacific Coast trail.

Jurassic World: Apatosaurus
In close proximity to a living dinosaur, Jurassic World: Apatosaurus offers a moment of awe, beauty, and danger.

crystal star

Crystal Star Voyager and AromaComposer™

10 am – 10 pm | 3D Lab
Never leave your chair as you travel far and wide in an immersive outer space experience that utilizes all your senses. Created by Multisensory Systems (MSS), the Crystal Star Voyager and AromaComposer™ provide dramatic new sensory experiences combining programmed sound and aroma.

figuratively speaking

Figuratively Speaking

10 am – 10 pm | Lobby
Figuratively Speaking is a virtual environment for exploration and contemplation. In Margaret Dolinsky’s made believe world—bulbous faces are bobbing up and down on hillsides as they are overlooking the water. The friendly little buoyant bodies speak in metaphorical tones. Their dialogue, musical yet undecipherable, leads the visitor through a world of fantasy where they live in play, confrontation and worship.


Solarium (California Premiere)

10 am – 1:30 pm, 2–10 pm | Calit2 Theater/VROOM
Solarium is a large-scale, immersive, and site-specific 4K digital video installation of the sun, using images captured by NASA spacecraft Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). With images that are eight times the resolution as an HDTV, SDO watches ultraviolet light invisible to the naked eye to track how material dances through the solar atmosphere.

sonar vr

Sonar (California Premiere)

10 am – 10 pm | Lobby
Sonar is a new kind of cinematic entertainment—striking a balance between traditional movie making and interactive media. Created by artists Philipp Maas, Dominik Stockhausen, and Alexander Mass, this short film is a fully immersive, slow-paced, 360° computer-generated experience created for various virtual reality headsets. An asteroid emerges from the darkness of space, sending signals. A drone dives deep into an extensive cave system in order to locate the source.

speculative landscapes

Speculative Landscapes: The Photography of Connie Samaras

10 am – 10 pm | Calit2 Gallery
Works of photography and video from three of the speculative landscape series by Connie Samaras. These exhibitions are sponsored by the Qualcomm Institute’s gallery@calit2 and the Visual Arts Department, UC San Diego.

Stonemilker (California Premiere)

10 am – 10 pm | Lobby
A virtual reality collaboration between creator Andrew Thomas Huang and artist Björk, Stonemilker explores the possibilities that VR holds for performance platforms outside of the traditional music video world.

filmatic festival logo

Lightning Talks: Artist Presentations

10:30 am | QI Auditorium
Gain a unique insight into each artist’s project and presentation at Filmatic.

irrational exuberance

Irrational Exuberance (California Premiere)

Noon – 10 pm | Performative Computing Lab
Uniquely designed for room-scale VR by artist Ben Vance with collaborators Sam Bird and Joel Corelitz, Irrational Exuberance is an interactive art experience that gives the viewer an intimate connection to the possibilities and wonders of space—where mysterious phenomena, hidden beauty, and the infinite await.

quantum imagination

Quantum Imagination (California Premiere)

Noon – 10 pm | QI Production Studio
The NanoVR™ aims to create virtual reality tools for scientific design and simulation. The NanoVR™ is officially launching its first platform ChemVR™ at Filmatic 2016 with Quantum Imagination as its central piece. ChemVR™ gives users the tools to design simple organic materials that are comprised of carbon and hydrogen in 3D in an intuitive manner like never before. Collaborators for this project are Camille Laut, Micah Siegel, Oleg Utkin, Max Howard, Set Horowitz, John Leyson, Kai Wong, and Jon Topielski.

vr club

UC San Diego Virtual Reality Club Demonstrations

Noon – 10 pm | Production Studio
UC San Diego’s first VR club is open to all students—artists, scientists, engineers, and enthusiasts alike. Check out some of the innovative 3D user interaction projects the club has been working on all year.


Collisions —Synchronized VR Experience (California Premiere)

12:30 pm, 3:30 pm, 6:30 pm, 9 pm | Calit2 Auditorium
Created by acclaimed artist Lynette Wallworth, Collisions transports audience via virtual reality to a remote desert in western Australia to witness the conflict between the Aboriginal and western culture through the story of indigenous leader Nyarri Nyarri Morgan and the Martu tribe. Collisions premiered in January 2016 at Sundance Film Festival and The World Economic Forum. Synchronized version presented by Two-Bit Circus and is produced by Nicole Newnham.


Rhodopsin for Filmatic

1–1:30 pm, 4–4:30 pm, 6–6:30 pm, 9:30–10 pm | RML (1613)
Especially designed for Filmatic, this reenvisioned installation employs film, light, and sound to encourage visitors to think about the process of perception. Organized by WSOHOIDPS (A SHIP IN THE WOODS), the team includes sound artist Greg Smaller, Salk Institute neurobiologist John Reynolds, and is based on the work of vision scientist Patrick Cavanagh.


Ingress Gaming Meetup

1:30 pm Presentation; 2:30 Game Starts | Calit2 Theater/VROOM
Join Flint Dille, creative lead of Ingress, to play the augmented reality game and meet other players at this official Ingress event that will explore UC San Diego monuments and landmarks including the Stuart Collection. All attendees are encouraged to participate.

assembly cognogensis

Assembly Cognogenesis

2–4 pm and 8:30–10 pm | Clarke Center Lab
Assembly Cognogensis is a shared virtual reality environment where two users collaborate within an artificial life world to cultivate the symbiotic relationship between imagination and the evolving environmental system. Wearing neurotechnology with a virtual reality interface, users guide the “creative evolution” of a rich audiovisual ecosystem of sounds, images, and objects. The project is created by Sheldon Brown and his lab at the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination and computational neuroscientist Tim Mullen of Qusp.

audio spatialization

Audio Spatialization Lab Demos

2–4 pm and 8:30–10 pm | Audio Spatialization Lab
Get immersed in virtual acoustic space at the state-of-the-art spatial sound lab at Calit2, highlighting revent work for a new generation of theme park 4D theaters. The new attraction is based on the critically acclaimed BioWare™ game series, Mass Effect™, and is opening this spring at California’s Great America in Santa Clara. Experience the making of immersive sound for future generation 4D attractions and movies. Real-time acoustic simulations will take audience media experience to the next level. You won’t believe your ears!

Collaborators: Petter Otto, Raphael Melgar, Eric Hamdan, Jeff Sandubrae, and Daniel Ross
Mass Effect and BioWare are trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. or its subsidiaries

deriving worlds

Deriving Worlds (World Premiere)

5–5:30 pm | Calit2 Auditorium
Can images be heard? Can sounds be seen? Experience the familiar in unexpected ways through musical compositions inspired by Chinese ink paintings and digitally animated calligraphy created by Pulitzer Prize–nominated composer and UCSD professor Lei Liang, along with cinematographer and editor Keita Funakawa (UCSD ’16).

making the past present

Making the Past Present

5:30–6 pm | Calit2 Auditorium
The ravages of time, natural and man-made disasters, pollution, fatigue, overexposure, and mismanagement, have all taken a major toll on world cultural heritage. Yet there is hope. Explore the power of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) through the lens of next generation digital cinema and literally walk into the arena of scientific discovery and storytelling with Falko Kuester (UCSD professor, director of Calit2 Center of GRAVITY (Graphics, Visualization, and Imaging Technology), and founding member of the Transdisciplinary Imaging Genetics Center).

its a visual revolution

It’s a Visual Revolution!

7:30–8:30 pm | Calit2 Auditorium
We are in deep in the midst of a visual revolution. Join our panel of experts from across industries and disciplines as they explore the world of cinema, advertising, cinema, social media through the lens of virtual/augmented reality and cinematic visual effects, and discuss their visions of cinema in the 22nd century. Panel guests include Benjamin Bratton (moderator), Phillipp Maas (Sonar), Kamal Sinclair (codirector, Sundance New Frontier), Ben Vance (Irrational Exuberance), Nicole Newnham (Collosions, synchronized Collisions), Margaret Dolinsky (Figuratively Speaking), Jurgen Schultze (associate research scientist, Qualcomm Institute, UCSD, and Marble Tracks), and Filnt Dille (creative lead: Ingress).


Marble Tracks

Using a virtual reality system, Marble Tracks is an attempt at creating an interactive 3D puzzle game. The game is created by Kai Wang, Muyu Ma, Robert Maloney, Philip Weber, and UCSD Professor Jurgen Schulze

tunnel of lights

Tunnel of Lights

8–10 pm | Qualcomm Institute Tunnel
Bliss out when you traverse the tunnel of lights that lead up to the Filmatic Festival at the Qualcomm Institute.

ursa major

Ursa Major (California Premiere)

8–10 pm | Bear in the Courtyard
A three channel video projection-mapped universe created by visual artist Gareth Walsh, Ursa Major will transform Tim Hawkinson’s 180-ton Bear sculpture into a galactic spectacle of light, optical illusion, and movement. The artwork is inspired by the Ursa Major constellation, also known as the Great Bear.

Curatorial Team

Curatorial Lead and Founder

Rebecca Webb

Rebecca Webb is especially interested in digital technology and how it’s shaping next-gen filmmaking, and exploring the connection between science and the cinematic arts. In 2014, she inaugurated the annual Filmatic Festival, a digitally-diverse festival that transforms passive film-going to an active and immersive experience. Webb enjoys providing young filmmakers opportunities to screen their work in a public arena at the Up&Coming Student Film Festival she founded in 2008, and teaches media and photography courses at UCSD. Her fine art photography is exhibited in galleries and museums nationwide.

Curatorial Team

Jordan Peimer 

Executive Director for ArtPower at UC San Diego, Jordan Peimer leads a team which oversees a multi-arts season devoted to performance, engagement, and residencies. He is responsible for all aspects of the development, production, and presentation of ArtPower’s public programs and artistic and educational residences.

Patty Rangel 

Patty Rangel is a producer specializing in Virtual Reality Content Development, Mixed Reality and Multi- sensory Systems Integration. At the Centennial Olympic Games, Patty was a member of the Opening
& Closing Ceremonies team and liaison to NBC. She headed creative production, tech integration, logistics, and coordination of a $4.5M budget proposal for the Shanghai World Expo 2010. In the movement of “Increasing Women in Entertainment Technology” , she has been a featured speaker at the Qualcomm Institute’s “Future of Virtual Reality Conference” , at the DigitalLA “Digital Women 2015 Conference” , OpenSim Community Conference, Metaverse Cultural Series, and is a Co-Author/ Ambassador of the “Innovating Women: Past, Present and Future” book project from Singularity University at NASA (sponsored by Google for Entrepreneurs).

Advisory Board

Strategic Advisor

Michael Flaster

Michael Flaster is a multi-award winning producer for radio and television. His work history in new media, broadcasting and film spans 30 years including more than two decades managing and programming for public radio and television stations, most recently as Associate General Manager for KPBS Radio and Television. As President of Traveling Mind Productions he has advised a range of institutions including National Public Radio, the public and commercial broadcasting systems of the Republic of Moldova, the National Endowment for the Humanities and Minnesota Public Radio.

Program Advisors

Alex McDowell

Alex McDowell is an award-winning designer and storyteller working at the intersection of emergent technologies and experiential media. He is founder and creative director of 5D Global Studio, where he and his team design immersive story worlds for industries and institutions. He is a Professor of Practice at USC School of Cinematic Arts. McDowell has 30 years experience as production designer working in feature films, working with directors David Fincher, Steven Spielberg,Terry Gilliam, and Anthony Minghelia amongst others.

Peter Otto

Dr. Peter Otto is the expert in the language and aesthetics of musical and media expression, and accomplished in advanced hardware/software design and engineering, including instrumentation and facilities design, systems and networking applications, and a wide array of media technology research and development areas. He currently holds appointments at UCSD as Technology Director on the Faculty of Music and as Director of Research and Development in the Sonic Arts R&D group at UCSD’s Calit2.

Jurgen Schulze

Dr. Jurgen Schulze is a research scientist at UCSD’s Qualcomm Institute, and an adjunct professor in the computer science department, where he teaches computer graphics and 3D user interfaces. His research interests include scientific visualization in virtual environments, human-computer interaction, real-time volume rendering, and the use of mobile devices for visual applications. He holds an M.S. degree from the University of Massachusetts and a Ph.D. from the University of Stuttgart, Germany. After his graduation he spent two years as a post-doctoral researcher in the computer science department at Brown University.

Stuart Volkow  

Stuart Volkow is a multi-faceted media consultant who has been working in feature films, television and social media technology for over 11 years. He serves as VP of Development at The Institute, an award- winning broadcast and feature film production company ( And Strategist for Venture DNA.

Presenting Sponsor

qualcomm institute logo

Campus Partnership

vr club logo

Community Partnerships

ship in the woods logo
fleet science center logo

San Diego Virtual Reality Club (SDVR)

Contributing Sponsors

clarion logo
unofficial cardboard
green flash logo
ucsd alumni logo

Corporate Partnereships

time machine logo
we lens logo

Individual Supporters

The Weil Family Foundation
Festival Founder Support

Jon and Bobbie Gilbert
Festival Founder Support

Michael and Susanna Flaster
Sponsor of the Crystal Star Voyager

Edith and Paul Sanchez
Festival Founder Support

Eric Lasley and Judith Bachner
Up&Coming Student Film Festival