Press Releases


Official AFI FEST Mobile App Now Available To Download

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, LOS ANGELES, CA, October 23, 2015 — The American Film Institute announced today the details for State of the Art – Innovation, Storytelling and Technology, this year's showcase dedicated to immersive storytelling and virtual reality (VR) on November 7 and 8 at AFI FEST 2015 presented by Audi. The two-day event will include panel discussions with leading artists, interactive installations and VR stations accessible to festival attendees. State of the Art will take place throughout locations in The Hollywood Roosevelt hotel, including the VIZIO HDR Lounge. Admission to all panels and events is free for festival guests and passholders.

“The evolution of art is currently being driven by strides in technology, and visual storytelling is our world’s most dynamic example," said Jacqueline Lyanga, director of AFI FEST. "AFI FEST's State of the Art showcase will bring audiences and storytellers together to experience and understand some of today's most cutting edge work."

Google, Dolby Laboratories and VIZIO are sponsors of this second annual State of the Art technology showcase. The opening keynote will be delivered November 7 by visionary animator and VR pioneer Glen Keane, whose esteemed career began four decades ago at Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Also announced today is the launch of the official AFI FEST mobile app which allows users to access the complete festival lineup including the schedule and locations for State of the Art. The AFI FEST app is compatible with Android and iOS devices.


Immersive Storytelling Case Studies – Saturday, November 7
Led by the creative talent behind some of Google's latest Jump projects and Spotlight Stories, this is an in-depth conversation about the development and production of 360-degree and VR films. Panelists include Jessica Brillhart (Principal Filmmaker, Google Jump and Director of WORLD TOUR), Karen Dufilho-Rosen (Executive Producer, Google Spotlight Stories) and Todd Makurath (President and CEO, Bullitt and Executive Producer of HELP).

Filmmakers Virtual Reality & Immersive Storytelling Toolkit – Saturday, November 7
This is a creative and technical guide to immersive storytelling for independent filmmakers, with panelists including filmmaker Janicza Bravo (HARD WORLD FOR LITTLE THINGS), Daniel Burwen (Director of Experience, Jaunt VR), Shannon Gans (New Deal Studios) and director Matthew Gratzner (THE MISSION).

Capturing VR Picture & Sound – Sunday, November 8
A conversation about the cameras, microphone systems and rigs that filmmakers use to shoot and edit VR content will feature panelists Joe Chen (, Patrick Meegan (Jaunt VR), Scot Stafford (Creative Director, Sound & Music for Google Spotlight Stories) and Doug Riggs (Baron VR). The panel will be moderated by Glenn Kiser (Dolby Atmos).

The New Virtual Reality Studios – Sunday, November 8
A conversation with the VR studios developing cinematic projects and films with Hollywood and independent filmmakers will include panelists Tamsin Glasson ( and David Rosenbaum (Jaunt Studios).


AFI FEST invites attendees to sample this emerging technology. Guests can experience and interact with these immersive and virtual reality films on display at The Hollywood Roosevelt on November 7, 12:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m., and November 8, 11:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.


EVOLUTION OF VERSE – A photorealistic, CG-rendered 3D Virtual Reality film takes the viewer on a journey from one beginning to another. DIR Chris Milk. USA

THE MISSION – With immersive 360-degree shots, THE MISSION follows the adventure of a WWII Special Operations team that is dropped into a raging battle on the Eastern Front. DIR Matthew Gratzner. USA

WALKING NEW YORK – and The New York Times come together to capture the birth of a new, large-scale street art installation in New York from renowned French artist JR. DIRS Chris Milk and Zack Richter. USA

WORLD TOUR – A journey through the vast experiences of our world. DIR Jessica Brillhart. USA


HELP – The first live action project from Google Spotlight Stories, HELP uses immersive 360-degree technology to drop the viewer into downtown Los Angeles during an alien attack. DIR Justin Lin. USA

THE FORBIDDEN ROOM – A LIVING POSTER – Initially designed to promote Evan Johnson and Guy Maddin's new film, THE FORBIDDEN ROOM, this looping collection of moving, morphing posters suggests an anachronistic collision between digitally corrupted video files and a damaged silent-era film print. DIR Galen Johnson. Canada. This project can be found at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres from Nov. 7-12.

POSSIBILIA – In this astonishing interactive narrative film by acclaimed directing duo, The Daniels, the tumultuous lives of two quarreling lovers unravel and participants choose how any given scene will play out from 16 parallel universes. DIRS The Daniels. USA. This will be on display at The Hollywood Roosevelt from Nov. 7-12.

About Audi
Audi of America, Inc. and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands globally. The Audi Group delivered over 1,741,000 vehicles to customers globally in 2014, and broke all-time company sales records for the 5th straight year in the U.S. Through 2019, AUDI AG plans to invest about 24 billion euros - 70 percent of the investment will flow into the development of new models and technologies. Visit or for more information regarding Audi vehicles and business topics.

About the American Film Institute
AFI is America's promise to preserve the heritage of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers. AFI programs include the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and the AFI Archive, which preserve film heritage for future generations; the AFI Life Achievement Award – the highest honor for a career in film; AFI AWARDS, honoring the most outstanding motion pictures and television programs of the year; AFI's 100 Years…100 Movies television events and movie reference lists, which have introduced and reintroduced classic American movies to millions of film lovers; year-round and special event exhibition through AFI FEST presented by Audi, AFI DOCS and the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center; and educating the next generation of storytellers at the world-renowned AFI Conservatory. For more information about AFI, visit or connect with AFI at, and

About AFI FEST presented by Audi
A program of the American Film Institute, AFI FEST presented by Audi is a celebration of global cinema and today's Hollywood — a showcase for the best festival films of the year and an opportunity for master filmmakers and emerging artists to come together with audiences in the movie capital of the world. AFI FEST is the only festival of its stature that is free to the public. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognizes AFI FEST as a qualifying festival for the Live Action and Animated Short Film categories for the annual Academy Awards®. AFI FEST will take place November 5–12, 2015, in the heart of Hollywood. Screenings and Galas will be held at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre, the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres, Dolby Theatre, the Lloyd E. Rigler Theatre at the Egyptian, the El Capitan Theatre and The Hollywood Roosevelt.

Additional information about AFI FEST is available at Connect with AFI FEST at, and