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BTGF is presented by and in collaboration with the following:

    Panel # 7  Sunday, Oct 7, 3:15pm - 4:45pm 

Navigating the Cutting Edge of New Media

Women working in games, VFX, VR, AR,  projection mapping and installations share their experiences in these traditionally male-dominated careers. Panelists discuss obstacles and provide strategies when encountering male backlash and female stereotypes.

Moderator: Virginia Kuhn, Professor of Cinema Practice in Media Arts + Practice, USC

Virginia Kuhn is a Professor in the Media Arts + Practice division of the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Her work centers on visual and digital rhetoric, feminist theory and algorithmic research methods. Kuhn’s research projects include the VAT (video analysis tableau), which applies computational methods to the study of vast filmic archives.


She has published (with Vicki Callahan) a collection of essays titled Future Texts: Subversive Performance and Feminist Bodies (Parlor Press, 2016) and has edited three peer-reviewed digital collections: The Video Essay: An Emergent Taxonomy of Cinematic Writing (The Cine-Files, 2016) with Vicki Callahan; MoMLA: From Panel to Gallery (Kairos, 2013) and From Gallery to Webtext: A Multimodal Anthology (Kairos, 2008) with Victor Vitanza.


In 2005, Kuhn successfully defended one of the first born-digital dissertations in the United States, challenging archiving and copyright conventions. Committed to helping shape open source tools for scholarship, she also published the first article created in the authoring platform, Scalar titled “Filmic Texts and the Rise of the Fifth Estate,” (IJLM, 2010) and she serves on the editorial boards of several peer reviewed digital and print-based journals.


Kuhn was a 2017 recipient of the USC mentoring award for her work with graduate students, and the 2009 recipient of the USC Provost’s award for Teaching with Technology. She directs the undergraduate Honors in Multimedia Scholarship program, as well as the graduate certificate in Digital Media and Culture, and teaches a variety of graduate and undergraduate classes in new media, all of which marry theory and practice.

Marianne Hayden, Animator at Naughty Dog, Inc.

Marianne Hayden is an animator at Naughty Dog, Inc. She is currently in production on The Last of Us 2 and has shipped Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, Uncharted 1-4, and The Last Of Us, and The Last of Us: Left Behind. Hayden has worked on cinematics, IGCs (in game cutscenes), and gameplay animation.


Marianne has worked at a range of studios, including Insomniac, Technicolor,Treyarch, Imagi, and NaughtyDog, Inc. Along with being a professional animator, Hayden uses her theater background to direct motion capture shoots as well as act on the motion capture stage. She earned her SAG card while on maternity leave, doing stunt work for Uncharted 3.


Hayden received her MFA in Film/Video: Experimental Animation from CalArts, a BFA in Acting and a BA in Visual Arts from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.​

Shih-Ting Hung, Film/Commercial Director and Visual Effects Artist.

Shih-Ting Hung loves cinema, and has been a film/commercial director since her first film from USC Cinema School.


“VIOLA: The Traveling Rooms of a Little Giant” is recognized with 35th Student Academy Award® & the cover story of Oscars® magazine Academy Report. Hung goes on to sign with Ridley Scott Creative Group®, and has become the first Asian female director in its history. 


Hung's work has also shown at New York Guggenheim Museum and several modern art museums, with media exposure through The New York Times, Hollywood Reporter, LA Times, and Variety magazine. 


Hung continues to build her work between USA and China. Her multi-cultural experiences give her a distinctive eye to tell stories. Bi-lingual with Chinese and English, embedded with Deluge, Poetess, and Solitude in her name, Hung has also developed a stronger voice for women's rights, love for humanity, and a decent witty sense of humor. 

Paisley Smith, Filmmaker and Creator of Homestay, a personal VR documentary produced by the NFB Interactive Studio with Jam3

Paisley Smith is a Canadian filmmaker & virtual reality creator based in Los Angeles, California and Vancouver, British Columbia. Smith is the creator of Homestay, a personal VR documentary produced by the NFB Interactive Studio with Jam3. Homestay was selected for the IDFA DocLab2017.


Smith is the recipient of the 2018 Sundance Institute and Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Fellowship for her forthcoming work Unceded Territories: VR a collaboration with acclaimed artist and VR pioneer Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, with support from Creative British Columbia.


Paisley is a visiting artist at the University of Southern Interactive Media Division's Mobile & Environmental Media Lab, led by Scott Fisher. Paisley Smith brings her extensive experience in the emerging technology industry to her role as a researcher for the Sundance Institute's New Frontier Story Lab Program and on Kamal Sinclair's Making a New Reality project which investigates strategies for achieving equality and justice in emerging media (funded by the Ford Foundation).


Smith holds an MFA from the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts, which she attended on a Fulbright scholarship. She received her BAH from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. She is an admin of the thriving Women in VR/AR Facebook group, with over 10,000 members of the emerging technology community.

Raqi Syed, Senior Lecturer and MDT Programme Director School of Design, Victoria, University of Wellington, New Zealand

Raqi Syed began her career in feature animation as a Lighting Artist for Disney Feature Animation on films such as Meet the Robinsons and Tangled. She then went on to work as a Senior Technical Director with Weta Digital on films like Avatar, The Planet of the Apes films, and The Hobbit Trilogy.


In 2016 The Los Angeles Times pegged Raqi for its list of 100 Industry professionals who can help fix Hollywood’s Diversity Problem. She is actively involved in the Wellington VR community and has been profiled as a leading figure in New Zealand VR research by The Moon Unit, ProjectR, and The Wellington ICT Graduate School. More recently, she has been selected as a 2018 Sundance New Frontier Story Lab Fellow, and Turner Fellow. She is a recipient of the 2018 New Zealand Film Commission Interactive Development Fund.


As a Senior Lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington, Raqi's research is primarily focused on the relationship between digital technology and storytelling. Her work as a visual effects artist informs her critical writing about cinema and how new technologies continue to shape our understanding of storytelling. Her current research pivots around Expanded Narrativity; the ways in which written prose across genres provide a flexible framework for understanding story world architecture. She also writes about gender and film, film technology, the historiography of visual effects, and the business of visual effects. Her essays have appeared in TechCrunch, Vice, Salon, Quartz, and The Los Angeles Review of Books.


Raqi has an MFA in Animation and Digital Arts from the USC School of Cinematic Arts and an MA in Creating Writing from Victoria University of Wellington.