FilmGate Interactive
Media Festival #08

GUEST SPEAKERS

Lady PheOnix

Executive Producer and Director

Lady PheOnix is the leading voice for contemporary digital art and culture, providing an essential platform for the art and artists of our time. As a passionate producer of creative works at the intersection of art and technology, she is deeply interested in the relationship between humanity and virtual beings. In the pursuit of furthering the power and cultural relevance of crypto art, she organized the landmark digital exhibition Proof Of Sovereignty, the first curated NFT auction offered at a major auction house (Christie’s). She is the founder of Crypto Fashion Week, a celebration of personal power, identity, and Ready-to-Wear digital garments. From her widespread audience in the earliest days of Clubhouse, Lady PheOnix is leading the charge when it comes to integrating new technologies in creative endeavors.

Alex Kipman

Head of Microsoft HoloLens/ and developer of Xbox Kinect

Alex Kipman is a Technical Fellow who leads the MIXED REALITY team at Microsoft.  An innovator at heart, Kipman has led five major break-through products for the company, including Kinect in 2010.  Microsoft HoloLens and Microsoft Mesh - Windows Mixed Reality software platform - are his latest product creations, bringing holograms and immersive experiences to Windows. Kipman is named as the primary inventor on more than 150 patents since joining Microsoft in 2001.

 

Alex was born in Curitiba Brazil and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Software Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2001. TIME Magazine featured Kipman consecutively in 2010 as high-profile “Digital 25” list of innovators and in 2011 as “100 People of the Year.” In 2012, he was named National Inventor of the Year by the nonprofit Intellectual Property Foundation.  Most recently, Alex was recognized by the Smithsonian as a recipient for the 2019 American Ingenuity Award.

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Kenny Walker

Kenneth Walker, known as Kenny to his friends and now a much greater community of people, has first hand experienced the loneliness of the grieving process. With the creation  of Breonna’s Garden, Walker was exposed to the healing power of a digital community. He has continued to interact with people from around the globe, taking his journey to social media and working diligently to keep Breonna Taylor at the forefront of people’s minds. Walker is now well known as an advocate, not just for preserving Taylor’s memory, but for providing support to others in any way that he can.

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Executive Producer 

Joanna Popper is an award-winning Hollywood and Silicon Valley media executive with a track record of launching cutting edge content and technology to drive revenue, audience engagement and brand love. She currently leads HP’s Virtual Reality initiatives for Go-To-Market and Location Based Entertainment. Joanna is Executive Producer on “Breonna’s Garden” which premiered at the Tribeca Festival. 

Joanna was selected as “50 Women Can Change the World in Media and Entertainment,” “Top 50 Original Thinkers in VR,” “Top Women in Media: Game Changers,” “Top Women in Media: Industry Leaders,” “Digital It List,” “101 Women Leading the VR Industry” and is on the Coalition for the Women in XR Fund.

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Ju’Niyah Palmer

Ju’Niyah Palmer--sister, best friend, and confidant to Breonna Taylor--has become a voice above the noise, offering support for those who have lost a loved one. The young woman has spent the almost two years since the tragic death of her sister finding ways to honor her memory, and in the process has become an advocate for safer spaces to grieve across the board. In navigating the grieving process, Palmer connected with Lady PheOnix, eventually helping conceptualize Breonna’s Garden providing her and many others around the world an easily accessible digital safe space. Since then, she has started her own business, Bree’s Kollection, where she sells wigs, always keeping her sister in mind and honoring her memory.

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Adrian Melendez Lozano 

Director of Habesha Project

Adrian Melendez Lozano is the founder and Director of Habesha Project. He has a Bachelor’s in Law from the Panamerican University (UP), and a Master’s in Political Science from the Jean Moulin University Lyon 3. In 2013, he joined the global response to the Syrian crisis, working in South Lebanon and then in refugee camps in Iraqi Kurdistan. He founded the Habesha Project in 2015 as a way to respond to the Syrian crisis in 2014. Since then, the Habesha Project has grown steadily and has given education opportunities to dozens of students from Syria, Yemen, Venezuela, Honduras, among other countries. Under Juan Manuel’s leadership, the Habesha Project has expanded to Tijuana, Mexico with a partnership with the US Comittee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI). An office that aims to provide free legal advice for migrants crossing the border. 

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Juan Manuel de la Rosa López

Legal Coordinator of USCRI Mexico

Juan Manuel de la Rosa Lopez is the legal coordinator and office manager of USCRI Mexico. He holds a law degree from the Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes and is studying a specialty in international migration at the Colegio de la Frontera Norte (COLEF). He has worked as a legal advisor on legislative and regulatory matters at the Secretary of Government as well as at the State Human Rights Commission and the Public Defender's Institute, all in the state of Aguascalientes. The immigration issue has always been central in his professional career, so he has developed several investigations related to the subject, the most recent around the revalidation of university studies for refugees in Mexico.

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Shonee Arroyo-Kreimes 

Shonee Arroyo-Kreimes is a multidisciplinary video artist based in Montreal. Her practice involves animation and installation, through which she investigates the mimesis of technological and biological life forms by constructing virtual worlds that have their own digital ecologies. She holds a BFA in Film Animation from Concordia University, where she is currently an MFA candidate in Intermedia.

Mélanie O'Bomsawin

Mélanie O’Bomsawin explores video in all its forms. Born to one W8banaki parent and one Quebecois parent, she uses her installations, documentaries and projections to probe her connection to those who were here before her and those who will come after.

Maude Thibodeau

Maude Thibodeau has been creating interactive and engaging projects for more than 10 years. Her career as an art director and interactive experience designer led her to some of the top creative agencies in Montreal, including Sid Lee and Urbania Media. She has spent the last five years at Dpt., an innovative Montreal studio that explores the intersection of cinema and gaming, art and code, research and design. Her role allows her to be involved in the conception, design, writing, and art direction of a variety of immersive experiences. 

Olivia Klawonn

Olivia is a graduate of Hofstra University’s Film Studies/Production department and was the co-host of a talk show on film called The Screening Room at Hofstra’s radio station, WRHU. Her first experience on a film set was working as a production assistant on X-Men: New Mutants in Boston, MA. Since then, Olivia has expanded her scope to fine arts, working as an associate at a fine art gallery where she explored contemporary art curation, collections, and sales work. Her interest in augmented reality and artificial intelligence in the arts is a result of watching her inhumanly smart brother pursue his Ph.D. in artificial intelligence and machine learning. 

Monica Lopez De Victoria

Monica Lopez De Victoria is a Miami-based multi-disciplinary artist and performer/choreographer in artistic (synchronized) swimming. She graduated from Florida International University with a BFA in Photography/Video in 2002, and has weaved these two art forms together over the past two decades. She is both Puerto Rican Latinx and Caucasian German/Swedish American. Monica’s colourful videos, performances, installations, augmented-reality projects, costumes, textiles, and experiments visualize the unseen layers around us. Most recently, this has involved the hypnotic visual language of water, waves, and sunset colour smears. 

Fereshteh Toosi

Fereshteh Toosi is an artist of Iranian and Azeri ancestry whose projects foster animistic connections through encounter, exchange, and sensory inquiry. Fereshteh lives and works in Miami, Florida, on Miccosukee, Seminole, and Tequesta land. Fereshteh designs experiences augmented by electronics, audio, video, and media transmissions. These intimate live-art events often take place outdoors in gardens, parks, and waterways. The immersive performances are produced in conjunction with sculptures, short films, installations, and poetry. Fereshteh is an Assistant Professor in the Art and Art History Department of the College of Communication, Architecture, and the Arts at Florida International University.  

Susan Harper

Susan Harper became Consul General in Miami, the senior representative of the Government in Canada, responsible for Florida, Puerto Rico and USVI in 2016. Her office, the Consulate General, covers commercial, economic, political, public affairs, customs, law-enforcement and migration issues, and provides consular and commercial services. It includes four government departments, and coordinates with Department of National Defense staff in the territory. Susan was Canada`s Senior Arctic Official (2013-16), and Director General in the trade policy area, covering policy, negotiations and regulatory issues (2009-13). She was at the Embassy of Canada in Washington DC (2004-09), where she became the Minister (Economic Affairs). In 2001-04, she was Canada`s Ambassador in Montevideo, Uruguay. She previously held trade positions in Yaoundé, Paris and Buenos Aires. Prior to joining the Government of Canada, Susan taught at both Cambrian College in Sudbury, and George Brown College in Toronto. She holds an MBA from the Ivey School of Business, at Western University, and an Honors BA in Math and English, from Queen’s University.