3. Spotlight: Women in VR - Shari Frilot
By Alice Bonasio
Shari Frilot is the long-time curator of New Frontier and Senior Programmer for the Sundance Film Festival, and she has for many years been a fierce champion of integrating immersive technologies in its many forms in the film festival storytelling space. In 2012, for example, she took a chance on Nonny de la Pena's Hunger in Los Angeles, having the vision to predict how the new medium would eventually change the cinematic landscape. (It was in that same year that Palmer Luckey attended the Festival as Nonny's intern).
"VR and how technology is being embraced by storytellers is something that kind of spurted out with the prototype of the Oculus Rift at the 2012 New Frontier," she said in a 2018 interview. "I'm just floored that the experiment worked. It actually did create a new world. It creates these new worlds in terms of the storytelling, but it created a material business that carries on the spirit of the experiment."
These days, New Frontier remains an experimental section of the festival where artists try to figure out what they're trying to do when they cross practices or collaborate with a different genre.
"I'm out for diverse experiences and expressions and as many different kinds of people who can put practices in the room, the better. I personally feel it's necessary to remember that technology is not something that is separate from us; we literally are made of the same things, the same material. It's an extension and our brains are formed by technology and always have been since caveman times," she concludes.
Every Tuesday, we'll shine a spotlight on the female trailblazers making their mark in immersive tech and their work. If you have a story you think we should feature, just hit reply to this email or tweet me @alicebonasio.