March 5-8, 2020

The Boulder International Film Festival (BIFF) celebrates the evolution of storytelling by embracing new mediums and technologies that excite audiences when experiencing visual content. The cutting edge and the future of visual content lies in new advancements in virtual (VR) and augmented (AR) reality. For the past three years, BIFF has showcased amazing AR/VR technologies and films in its XR Pavillion, brought to us from the brightest minds and organizations around the globe. This year, in addition to some stunning, poignant, and immersive experiences from this fledgling community, we are excited to host the creative genius of Disney as well as showcasing local AR/VR innovation.


Thursday, March 5, 2020

Galvanize Boulder, 1023 Walnut Street

5:30pm – 8:00pm: BIFF Kickoff Party

Friday, March 6, 2020

Galvanize Boulder, 1023 Walnut Street

12pm – 8pm: VR Theater

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Galvanize Boulder, 1023 Walnut Street

10am: VR Theater Opens
10:30am: Augmented Reality Workshop with Pat Mallek, Mighty Fudge Studios
12pm: XR Science Fair Opens
12:30pm: VLogging with Ryan Van Duzer
2pm: 360 Photography Workshop with Dave Blessing
3pm: Keynote Presentation, The Collaboration Between Art and Technology: Making Disney Animation’s “Cycles” and “Myth: A Frozen Tale” with Jeff Gipson and Jose Luis Gomez Diaz
4:00pm: XR UnPanel
4:30pm: Science Fair Resumes
8pm: XR Theater and Science Fair Closes

Sunday, March 8, 2020

BIFF TalkBack Café in the Tent at 14th and Pearl

3pm – 5pm VR Theater

Disney Animation

This year we're excited to host two special guests and two special virtual experiences from Disney Animation.

Jeff Gipson

Director at Disney Animation


Inspired by the balance of collaboration and creativity, Jeff decided study architecture and received a bachelor of Environmental Design from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He went on to work on more than 70 skateparks around the world before realizing that his love for drawing and storytelling was too powerful to ignore.  While pursuing a master’s degree in architecture, he decided to combine his skills in 3D modeling from building skateparks and apply it to filmmaking. He was an intern at Pixar Animation Studios and Laika Studios before finding his way to Disney.

Jose Luis Gomez Diaz

Lead Software Engineer, AR/VR at Disney Animation


Jose is most recently known for developing new techniques in real time and AR/VR storytelling for Disney Animation as the Lead Software Engineer for AR/VR. Gomez was VR Lead for Disney Animation’s award-winning first VR Short film, “Cycles,”  and became VR Technology Supervisor on the illustrious “Myth: A Frozen Tale” in 2019.

The Collaboration Between Art & Technology: Making Disney Animation’s “Cycles” and “Myth: A Frozen Tale”

Saturday, March 7 @ Galvanize

Jeff Gipson (Director) and Jose Luis Gomez Dias (Lead Software Engineer, VR/AR) discuss the design, challenges, collaborative workflows, and technological execution that were essential to the creation of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ VR short films, “Cycles” and “Myth: A Frozen Tale.” Explore the incorporation of various VR techniques and technology into the production pipeline as a means of facilitating the team’s ambitious creative goals.



Disney’s “Cycles” centers around the true meaning of creating a home and the life it holds inside its walls. The idea for the film is personal, inspired by director Jeff Gipson’s childhood spending time with his grandparents and creating memories in their home, and later, having to move them to an assisted living residence.


Ghost Fleet

Journey with Tun Lin as he retraces his ordeal of slavery in the Thai fishing industry, the 11 years of horrific treatment on board a slave ship and his brave escape from a prison made of water.
Directed by Lucas Gath



Loxa’s family has lived for generations as subsistence farmers in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico. But that generational cycle is changing because of the new middle school—she will now be the first female in her family to go to high school.

The Director, Dane Christensen, will be onsite on Saturday, March 7 to discuss his film.  More information below.


Myth: A Frozen Tale

In a forest outside of Arendelle, a family sits down for a bedtime story and is transported to a mystical and enchanted forest where the elemental spirits come to life and the myth of their past and future is revealed.


2nd Step

2nd Step is a soaring VR journey through space—from the moon to Mars and beyond—to some of the most exciting settings of current and future space missions.
Directed by Jorg Courtial



12 Seconds of Gunfire: The True Story of a School Shooting

This beautifully animated film recounts what happened to first-graders Jacob Hall and Ava Olsen when a 14-year-old boy opened fire on their school playground.
Directed by Suzetter Moyer


XR Experience Kick-Off Party

Thurs, Mar 5, 5:30–8pm

Be the first to check out the exhilarating VR content and help kick off an exciting weekend with Spiked Snowmelt Craft Hard Seltzer and beer from Upslope, as well as a tasty taco bar from Mojo Taqueria.

The Boulder XR Science Fair

Sat, Mar 7, 11am–3pm

Come check out the brilliance of Boulder AR/VR from local university labs, tech teams and professionals.

360 Photography Workshop with Dave Blessing

Sat, Mar 7, 2–3pm, (age 7+)

Get out of the box by checking out the mind-blowing world of 360 photography with Boulder High teacher Dave Blessing, who will present a photo safari, introduce you to a 360 camera and explain this groundbreaking technology.

The director of Loxa will be around on Saturday March, 7 to discuss his virtual reality film, Loxa.  Look for the Meet the Director table.

Dane Christensen is an immersive media and documentary filmmaker who specializes in immersive storytelling with emerging mediums. His work explores stories that change our perception of the world. Dane received his MFA in Documentary Film from Stanford University. His work has been shown on HBO, at Sundance Film Festival and nominated for a BAFTA award.


Following the Keynote, we will be hosting an XR UnPanel.  Haven’t heard of an UnPanel before?  That’s because we made it up.  Some special guests doing incredible work in the Virtual and Augmented Reality Space will briefly be introducing themselves and then adjourning to various points around the atrium to talk about their work and to answer questions.  Look for the following people:

Meagan Little

Meagan Little has been working to provide services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities with Imagine! since 2014. In this time Meagan established herself as a visionary for developing adaptive equipment for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She is now the Assistive Technology Program Supervisor for Imagine! and leads a team of assistive technology instructors at Imagine! Adult community and employment

Chris Baumgart

Chris Baumgart has been working to provide services for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities with Imagine! since 2006. While working as a DSP, and later in management, Chris established himself as an innovator for developing age-appropriate content for adults using Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC, specifically speech generating) Devices before transitioning into the role of Assistive Technology Specialist in 2011. Since then, he has continued to work to provide Assistive Technology Solutions that allow people increased independence and agency throughout multiple environments in their daily lives. Specifically, he focuses on providing people the tools they need in their homes, at Day Programs, or in their vocational environments. When he’s not at work, he can often be found behind a drum kit or buried in his latest literary adventure.

Adam Oosthuizen

Adam Oosthuizen is a South African Immersive Media Creator who has been active in the space for the last four years working on a range of projects from Commercial advertising to Documentary VR for social good covering the wake of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

The short piece, Inside Out premiered at the first Full Dome Film Festival to take place in Africa last year in November and was produced alongside Cape Town collaborators Arkology Studio and Pupil visuals.

Sean Winters

Sean Winters is a composer, sound designer, recording engineer, and coder who works with 3D Audio and Ambisonics in both XR and live production contexts. Recent projects include Murmur – an audio-reactive virtual reality art installation with sculpted forms currently showing at the GOCA in Colorado Springs – and Sunsquabi Live – an up close experience of Sunsquabi’s sold out halloween concert at the Boulder Theater currently showing at BIFF.