William Uricchio Professor, Comparative Media Studies, MIT

William Uricchio
Professor, Comparative Media Studies, MIT

William Uricchio // Professor, Comparative Media Studies, MIT // Panel Moderator
William Uricchio is professor of Comparative Media Studies at MIT as well as at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. His work binds together the future and past of media technologies and techniques. Principal Investigator of MIT’s Open Documentary Lab, William and his team explore new forms of non-fiction storytelling and their implications for authorship, participation and the once stable text. A specialist in old media when they were new, he explores such things as early 19th C conjunctures between photography and telegraphy; the place of telephony in the development of television at the other end of the 19th C; and the work of algorithms in our contemporary cultural lives. William has been visiting professor in Sweden, Germany, Denmark and China, and his work has received Guggenheim, Humboldt and Fulbright awards, and most recently, the Berlin Prize. His latest book is Many More Lives of the Batman (British Film Institute/Palgrave).

Christopher Allen Founder and Executive Artistic Director

Christopher Allen
Founder and Executive Artistic Director

Christopher Allen // Founder and Executive Artistic Director
Christopher Allen is a producer/director of documentary media projects and a programmer of multi-disciplinary events. After graduating from Columbia University and studying at Trinity College Dublin, he co-founded UnionDocs, a Center for Documentary Art, and has been responsible for the organization’s growth from grassroots as the Executive Artistic Director. He has initiated many collaborative projects, uniting the creative efforts of hundreds of artists, documentary makers and communities including Living Los Sures, Documenting Mythologies, Capitol of Punk and Yellow Arrow, which have been exhibited in festivals, galleries, and museums internationally.

In 2014, Brooklyn Magazine named him one of the most influential people in Brooklyn culture. Christopher has served on the juries of film festivals such as RIDM (Montreal) and Doc Lisboa, and on funding panels such as NYSCA and LEF. He collaborates on live media performance projects with artist A.S.M. Kobayashi. 

Kel O'Neill Jongsma + O'Neill, Filmmaker

Kel O'Neill
Jongsma + O'Neill, Filmmaker

Kel O'Neill // Jongsma + O'Neill, Filmmaker
Kel O’Neill is one half of Jongsma + O’Neill, a Dutch-American filmmaking team working at the intersection of documentary, art, and technology. Jongsma + O’Neill are the creators of the Emmy-nominated interactive documentary “Empire” (POV/PBS). They are currently working on two new project: “Exit,” a mobile storytelling project produced by Amsterdam’s Submarine Channel; and “The Ark,” a VR documentary which recently won the inaugural Tim Hetherington Visionary Award. Their work has been exhibited by such world-renowned institutions as Lincoln Center, REDCAT and the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, and has appeared at the New York Film Festival, the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam and South by Southwest. They have written for Vice, the Creators Project, Indiewire and PBS.org. Kel also works as an immersive media consultant for clients such as The Economist. www.jongsmaoneill.com

Sandra Rodriguez Filmmaker and Scholar

Sandra Rodriguez
Filmmaker and Scholar

Sandra Rodriguez // Filmmaker and Scholar
Sandra Rodriguez (PhD), is a documentary maker as well as a sociologist of new media technologies. As a filmmaker, she has directed, shot and produced independent medium and feature length films, broadcasted and exhibited internationally (including We Were There, 2013; Rapayan, 2008; The Enemy Within, 2006). Recently, she has authored and co-directed the 5th episode of the Do Not Track webseries (2015), a personalized exploration of privacy and the new web economy (created by Brett Gaylor, co-produced by Upian, ARTE, BR and the NFB).

As a scholar, her research focuses on understanding our relationship to new media developments and how these are/can be used for social change. A lecturer and a writer, she has published a book and articles on social engagement and mobilization in network cultures, and occasionally collaborates as consultant, public speaker and columnist (Radio-Canada) on new media trends and technology.
She is currently a fellow at the MIT Open Documentary Lab.

Jeff Soyk Creative Director/UI & UX Designer

Jeff Soyk
Creative Director/UI & UX Designer

Jeff Soyk // Creative Director/UI & UX Designer
Jeff Soyk is an award-winning media artist with experience in creative direction, UI & UX design, HTML5/CSS3/JS, and film. His credits include art director, UI/UX designer and architect on Hollow, a 2013 Peabody award-winner and 2012 TFI New Media Fund grantee. Hollow was nominated for a News & Documentary Emmy, received 3rd place in the World Press Photo i-Doc Awards, was a finalist for the Activism award at SXSW, was a finalist for the DocLab Storytelling Award at IDFA, and was FWA: Site of the Day and Adobe Cutting Edge Project of the Week. Soyk’s passion for meaningful stories and multiple mediums has led him to interactive documentary, as he sees potential to create engaging experiences with a positive impact. He works as a freelance creative director/UI & UX designer, is an OpenDocLab fellow at MIT, and teaches interactive media at Emerson College. He has a BFA in New Media Design from Rochester Institute of Technology and an MFA in Media Art from Emerson College.