Virtual Reality returns to Transitions Film Festival in 2020 to explore the potential of these cutting-edge technologies to create change in the world. Real World VR presents talks & a virtual reality showcase over three days featuring local & international immersive documentaries & animations about social impact, technological innovations, futurism & revolutionary ideas that are leading the way to a better world.

This panel of immersive filmmakers- Ben Bray, Cristina Napoleone, Lester Francois & Nicola Petredis will discuss their recent virtual works with virtual reality technologies, with specific reference to films officially selected as part of the Real World VR – Transitions Film Festival showcase.

PANEL TALKS – Mon 24th – Talks 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm + networking – 11pm
VR showcase sessions before & after the talks must be booked online as spots are limited

$5 (Includes Panel Talk + Q&A + Networking).
Must book on Eventbrite as this event will sell out.

Dr. Christian Thomson AO – (“Bayi Gardiya”- Singing Desert).

Dir. Lester Francois & Anna Brady– Studio Bento (Collingwood Arts Precinct).

Nicola Petrides – Rat & Dragon Producer – SUTU (Future Dreaming & Heart of Darkness).

Cristina Napoleone – Director of TERRAIN Projects (Sanctuaries Of Silence & The Atomic Tree). 

Hosted by Leah Bunny & Emily Harridge.

Limited spots are available to view “Bayi Gardiya” (Singing Desert) by Dr Christian Thompson AO a bold, ambitious and new virtual reality work on the night. (Please select sessions in the registration).




Dr CHRISTIAN THOMPSON AO is an Australian born contemporary artist whose work explores notions of identity, cultural hybridity & history. Formally trained as a sculptor, Thompson’s multidisciplinary practice engages mediums such as photography, video, sculpture, performance & sound. His work focuses on the exploration of identity, sexuality, gender, race and memory. In his live performances and conceptual portraits, he inhabits a range of personas achieved through handcrafted costumes & carefully orchestrated poses & backdrops.

In 2010 Thompson made history when he became the first Aboriginal Australian to be admitted into the University of Oxford in its 900-year history. He is currently a research affiliate at the Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford. Thompson holds a Doctorate of Philosophy (Fine Art), Trinity College, University of Oxford, United Kingdom, Master of Theatre, Amsterdam School of Arts, Das Arts, The Netherlands, Masters of Fine Art (Sculpture) RMIT University and Honours (Sculpture) RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia and a Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of Southern Queensland, Australia. His works are held in major international and national collections. In 2018 he was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the visual arts as a sculptor, photographer, video and performance artist, and as a role model for young Indigenous artists.

Thompson has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally, having been included in exhibitions such as ‘Australia’ at the Royal Academy for the Arts, London, ‘We Bury Our Own’, The Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, Valencian Institute of Modern Art, Valencia, Spain, ‘The Other and Me’, The Sharjah Museum, United Arab Emirates, ‘Hijacked III’, QUOD Gallery, Derby, United Kingdom. ‘Shadow life’ Bangkok Art and Cultural centre, Bangkok, Thailand. ‘The beauty of Distance/ Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age’, 17th Biennale of Sydney.

Thompson’s work is held in major public and private collections including: Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Aboriginal Art Museum, Utrecht, The Netherlands, The Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford & University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane.

CRISTINA NAPOLEAONE (Sanctuaries of Silence & The Atomic Tree)

Cristina Margherita Napoleone is a multi-disciplinary artist living and working in Melbourne on Woiworung and Boonwurrung country. She has a background in geography with emphases in environmental ethics, post-humanism, and climate communication from the University of Melbourne and the University of California, Berkeley.
Cristina’s studies have informed her work in virtual and mixed reality, live audio-visual projections, photography, and writing.

She frequently collaborates with San Francisco based Emergence Magazine and Go Project Films on a variety of projects, including an immersive VR botanical installation for Austin’s SXSW in 2018 for the award-winning Sanctuaries of Silence. In January 2020, Cristina founded TERRAIN Projects, an initiative that creates playful physical and digital spaces to remind humans that they are embedded in a more-than-human world. As digital projects of TERRAIN, Cristina is currently in post-production of a VR animated short film on snow leopard conservation and in pre-production for on an online real-time strategy game emphasising climate change innovation with an early access public demo sometime this year.


Lester Francois is a filmmaker working across many formats including VR. In 2018 his award-winning interactive VR documentary RONE premiered at SXSW and went on to screen at Cannes NEXT, the New York International Film Festival and many more.

Since making RONE Lester has made three more VR street art documentaries and was flown to South Africa to direct a series of short VR arts docs for an exhibition in Soho, London.

Named a 2018 ‘One to Watch’ by Screen Producers Australia; Lester is currently developing a slate of VR projects and has received development funding through Screen Australia and Film Victoria for his next major VR documentary “The Fun of Fear”.

Lester is a 2019 SPA award winner and an Australian Directors Guild nominee. He has spoken at SXSW, Future Film Festival, Real World VR and The Melbourne International Film Festival.


Nicola Petrides is lead producer/cinematographer for Rat & Dragon having produced fiction, documentary, commercial films and photography for TV, cinema, web and print in over 20 countries. Her love of a slightly twisted tale means she’s always looking for that dark thread to pull from a story and ensures her productions are multi-layered in meaning, and an adventure to behold.

Nicola has screened at Tribeca Film Festival, Raindance Film Festival, Cinequest Film Festival, Sedona Film Festival, the Melbourne International Film Festival, the San Diego Film Festival and the Munich Film Festival.

Nicola was responsible for filming the integral Future Dreaming 6 part documentary series on SBS which ties the VR piece into the broader context of reality surrounding life as a youth in remote WA filmed in Melbourne, Roebourne and New York throughout 2018 and 2019. Nicola represented Sutu and the Heart of Darkness team at the Raindance Film Fest in 2019 documenting its public screenings at Raindance and on Federation Square.

LEAH BUNNY (Real World VR)

Leah Bunny is a digital transformation specialist & Co-Founder/Producer of Real World VR, one of Melbourne’s flagship XR (VR/AR/MR) communities that presents a series of high-quality XR -virtual, augmented & mixed reality events, festivals & experiences since 2016.

Genres include immersive filmmaking, virtual & augmented reality production, immersive sound, music & education, VR/AR/MR arts and VR for social & environmental impact. Partnerships include MIFF VR, Ballarat Tech School and Transitions Film Festival (SLF).


Showcase dates:
Mon 24th Feb – 4:00 pm – 10:30 pm
Wed 26th Feb – 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Sat 29th Feb – 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Experience Three Virtual Reality Films

PACKAGE #1 (Viewed on HTC Vive)
– Future Dreaming – Dir. Sutu (Stuart Campbell) (13 mins)
– Heart of Darkness Dir. Sutu (Stuart Campbell) (13 mins)

PACKAGE #2 (Viewed on Oculus Go)
– Sanctuaries Of Silence – USA – Adam Loften & Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee (7 mins)
– The Atomic Tree – USA – Adam Loften & Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee (10 mins)
– Collingwood Arts Precinct – dir. Lester Francois & Anna Brady – Studio Bento (5 mins).

– Pneumo Hacker – Taiwan – dir. Lai Kuan-Yuan (11 mins)
– MOWB(VR) – Japan – Kazuki Yuhara (13 mins)
– I Make Birds – Korea – dir. Studio ZinZa (15 mins)

Loop Project Space & Bar
23 Meyers Plac, Melbourne VIC

$7 on the night!