Speaking Events

Cyril Tsiboulski speaks to the Geneva International Film Festival audiences.

Photo © Xavier Ripolles Arasa

Geneva International Film Festival: The making of Queerskins: a love story

Geneva, Switzerland

Creative & Technical Director Cyril Tsiboulski presents Queerskins: a love story to the Geneva International Festival audience and jury. In this work, we do not ask visitors to adopt a political stance or to alter their belief systems in a particular way. Rather, we provide the opportunity for visitors to engage with a basic truth—that while Sebastian’s story is unique, the experience of love and loss is universal.

Illya Szilak and fellow NYVREXPO panelists.

NY VR Expo 2018

New York, NY

Writer/director Illya Szilak (left) talked about the making of Queerskins: a love story and why more creators should explore volumetric filmmaking now, as part of the NY VR Expo at Javits Convention Center in Manhattan.

VR FEST MX 2018: Creating Empathy in VR

Mexico City

What are the strategies VR creators have to create empathic states? In her talk “Creating Empathy in VR” in Mexico City, Illya argues that VR is not an “Empathy Machine” but rather a tool that creators can use to activate the visitor. Through the thoughtful use of scale, movement, sound, camera position, and interactivity, we have an opportunity to enable visitors to connect emotionally with stories.

Illya Szilak speaks at the the LA Film Festival Women’s Voices in VR panel, 2018.

Photo by Randall Michelson, Courtesy of LA Film Festival

LA Film Festival: Women’s Voices in VR

Los Angeles, California

“The [...] panel discussion included Dr. Courtney Cogburn, director and producer of 1,000 Cut Journey, Illya Szllak, director of Queerskins: a love story and Emmy Award-winner Lynette Wallworth, who produced and directed the mixed-reality tale Awavena.

Each artist talked about what led them to immersive technology as a medium for their work and gave insight into their goals and results. Most interesting was a discussion regarding how experiencing immersive technology is a profoundly different experience from someone watching a traditional “flat” film.” — Anthony Ferranti

Illya Szilak / Future Humanity poster at Ars Electronica 2018

Ars Electronica 2018: Future Innovators Summit / Error — The Art of Imperfection

Linz, Austria

“We are attracted to errors that open up our understanding and perception of the world and self. (Art does this.) This is an uneasy pleasure because epistemology is linked to phenomenology through the fragile body. What does it mean to perfect? An impossible question! The kinds of data that we privilege and keep determine what we consider to be error. The question itself reflects a value system. To become “more human,” requires courage, curiosity, humility and a recognition that, although all realities are virtual, few of us can live their. For most of us, reality remains a bullet in the brain.”

—Illya Szilak

Illya Szilak and Cyril Tsiboulski speak  at SIGGRAPH 2018

Photo by Andreas Psaltis © 2018 ACM SIGGRAPH


Vancouver, Canada

Storytelling Lessons from Queerskins: 
a love story

  • Storytelling as a way of organizing information

  • Different media privilege different kinds of information and information processing—linguistic, visual, auditory, proprioceptive, etc.

  • What information does virtual reality privilege? What organizes reality for the visitor in VR?
Illya Szilak discusses production of Queerskins: a love story at the immagural VFNYC on May 10, 2018

Volumetric Filmmakers NYC (VFNYC) May 2018

Brooklyn, NY

Volumetric Filmmaking is a growing movement in Immersive (AR/VR/MR) content characterized by interactive experiences created using predominantly 3D scanned imagery, such as volumetric video and photogrammetry, in conjunction with game engines to enable viewer agency within reconstructed lifelike environments.

A true hybrid of video games and cinema, volumetric filmmaking draws inspiration from related creative disciplines, most notably documentary film, immersive theater, cinematic 360 virtual reality, interactive installations, choose-your-own-adventure books, walking simulator games, and generative art.

VR Fest MX 2017

Mexico City, Mexico

In this talk, Illya uses lessons learned from creating our first VR experience Atomic Vacation (currently in production for Oculus Touch) as a jumping off point to discuss narrative strategies for telling stories in VR. Drawing on a wide range of other VR experiences, she shows how the language of VR is evolving and discusses the importance of VR as a spatial medium.