The New Reality of Virtual Reality: Opportunities at the Intersection of Content and Technology

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have the potential to become the next big computing platform. Like the PC and smartphone, we expect new markets to be created and existing markets to be disrupted. From the cover of Time to the Sundance Film Festival and The New York Times(NYTVR), VR has captured the imagination of the world and is transforming everything from entertainment and advertising to gaming and education. Whether it’s making trailers for major films, producing ad campaigns, games or creating newly imagined VR experiences and VR theme parks, it’s all happening now.

The New Reality of Virtual Reality: Opportunities at the Intersection of Content and Technology panel, co-presented by NYWIFT and MadWomenVR, will feature a conversation with women at the center of this new VR ecosystem who are creating some of the most compelling experiences currently available.

Panel followed by cocktails and VR experiences


Jacquie Barnbrook was the Producer of Sony Pictures Imageworks’ first in-house animated short film The ChubbChubbs! ( 2002 Academy Award® for Best Animated Short Film; BAFTA nominated). She is the founder and President of Reel Vox, Inc.. She wrote and produced an award-winning short film Wear Something Nice; produced Inspire: Chicago Spire; and produced the theatrically released animated short Live Music. She has 20 years of experience in film, primarily in visual effects and animation. Her credits include ContactHaunted MansionSpider-ManStuart LittleBody of LiesSex and the City 2Alice in WonderlandTedThe Hunger Games and Cosmos: A Space Odyssey. Most recently she has consulted on Disney’s Jungle Book and Pirates of the Caribbean 5. Her experience in leading edge technology has led her to produce two VR projects for The Virtual Reality Company: The Bus to Canton, a VR documentary about football star Jerome Bettis, and The Martian VR Experience, an immersive narrative cinema experience.


Jacqueline Bošnjak, a South African-born American hyphenate, is the CEO/ Partner of Q Department® | Mach1™. Q Department is a music studio which she runs with composer Drazen Bošnjak. In 2015 they co-founded Mach1™, a sound technology company that specializes in sound based orientation and presence for virtual reality and augmented reality. Q Department® | Mach1™ virtual reality credits, which feature both their craft and technology, include among others: The Martian VR Experience, directed by Robert Stromberg, Ridley Scott for 20TH Century Fox and The Virtual Reality Company (VRC); Catatonic directed by Guy Shelmerdine VRSE; Muse’s Revolt VR film for Apple Music & VRSE; and the upcoming Oculus Story Studios third VR film Dear Angelica, directed by Saschka Unseld. Bošnjak is also a creative producing partner in Idealogue, an independent transmedia content studio, which has a original series on Vice called Food Hacking, which explores the intersection of food and technology.


Jen Dennis brings with her over 20 years of global production experience and knowledge, working with the largest brands. After a start in the feature film business, Dennis soon transitioned to advertising, transferring her skill set in negotiation and diplomacy from celebrities to brands. Her work has resulted in multiple award-winning campaigns, achieving highest honors at Cannes, the Clios, One Show, to name but a few. She has also worked with agencies such as CP&B, 72 and Sunny, 180 and GSD&M. Dennis is currently EP of Branded Content at RSA Films and most recently worked on The Martian VR Experience.


Bethany Haynes is a partner at Sloss Eckhouse LawCo LLP. Her transactional practice includes structuring and negotiating a wide variety of deals across film, television, branded entertainment ventures and virtual reality for producers, production companies, financiers, writers and directors. Haynes advises clients during all phases of development, financing, production and distribution of projects. She is also spearheading the firm’s work in virtual reality and represents talent working in various capacities in this developing space. She serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of HERE Arts Center, a New York-based theater company that focuses on developing and producing multidisciplinary work.


Marcie Jastrow is an industry veteran with over 18 years in the Entertainment business. Currently the SVP of Sales, Technicolor Production Services, she has been responsible for continuing to grow the company’s sales pipeline across theatrical and broadcast post production services for the last five years. In 2016, Jastrow was also named Head of Business Development within the VR/AR creative community, which represents a significant global growth opportunity for Technicolor. Prior to joining Technicolor, Jastrow served as EVP of Sales at Laser Pacific, which Technicolor acquired in 2011, and as SVP of Sales at Modern Video Film for over eight years. Known for her ability to bring together teams and workflows to make any size project succeed, her passion lays in bringing a creative’s vision to life.


Yelena Rachitsky is the Creative Producer and Head of Education at Oculus Story Studio, leading the efforts on outreach, as well as producing and curating external projects. Prior to Story Studio, she was the Creative Producer of the annual Future of StoryTelling (FoST) summit, an invitation-only event that gathers top executives, marketers, creatives, and technologists with the vision and influence to change how people communicate and tell stories in the digital age. Rachitsky is also a consultant for the Sundance Film Festival’s New Frontier program and spent four years in the documentary division at Participant Media, working on An Inconvenient Truthand Food Inc.


Rebecca Howard (Moderator) is a VR Consultant and formerly the General Manager, Video Production at The New York Times. Howard was responsible for developing and growing NYT’s video content across all platforms. She oversaw content strategy, branding, marketing, distribution, and TV and Film. She supervised product, technology and design including the creation of a proprietary player, the mobile experience and integration of ad tech. Additionally, Rebecca managed film and tv strategy. This past fall saw the launch of a TV show based on the NYT’s popular 36 Hours column on The Travel Channel. Howard launched Virtual Reality at NYT with Magazine Editor-in-Chief Jake Silverstein. The VR film, Walking New York was created with Chris Milk. She led the partnership with the Sundance Film Festival for the 2016 New Frontier program. She worked closely with Google and VRSE to create a VR launch that included distributing Google Cardboard to over 1 million NYT subscribers. 

Produced by Jacqueline Bošnjak and Christina Kotlar 

Special Thanks to Sponsors 
Q Department, The Virtual Reality Company (VRC), Mach1™ and Technicolor





About MadWomenVR

MadWomenVR is part of a movement to get more Women in VR. MadWomenVR through a partnership with Q Department, The Virtual Reality Company (VRC), Mach1™ and others are empowering women in the creative field of Virtual Reality.

April 12 @ 6:30pm
6:30 pm — 9:30 pm (3h)

Wythe Hotel
80 Wythe Avenue (@ N. 11th)
The Cinema Room & Bar
(Private Side Entrance)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
New York, 11249

Join the conversation on social media:
#nywift | @nywift

NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.