Virtual Open Doc Lab Talk: Joe Brewster, Yasmin Elayat & Michèle Stephenson

Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Virtual Event


Social Justice in a Virtual World

The makers of the immersive media experience THE CHANGING SAME will discuss the challenges and opportunities their team faced in the development, production and distribution of their provocative story in their quest to use virtual reality and storytelling as a tool for healing and social change. Described by critics as deeply profound and powerful, THE CHANGING SAME recently premiered in the 2021 Sundance Film Festival’s New Frontier program.

Producer and director Joe Brewster is a Harvard-trained psychiatrist who uses his psychological training as the foundation in approaching the social issues he tackles as an artist and filmmaker. Brewster has created stories using installation, narrative, documentary, and print mediums that have garnered support from critics and audiences internationally, including the Sundance-winning and three-time Emmy nominated documentary, American Promise. He is a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow.

Yasmin Elayat is an Emmy-award winning immersive director, United States Artists 2020 Fellow, and Co-Founder at Scatter, the technology studio that coined Volumetric Filmmaking. Yasmin directed Scatter’s Zero Days VR (Sundance 2017), a documentary about cyber warfare and the Stuxnet virus, which won the Emmy for Original Approaches: Documentary. Yasmin’s work has won multiple awards and exhibited at various festivals including Sundance, Tribeca, SIGGRAPH, Festival de Cannes, and the World Economic Forum.

Filmmaker, artist, and author Michèle Stephenson pulls from her Panamanian and Haitian roots to think radically about storytelling and disrupt the imaginary in non-fiction spaces. She tells compelling, deeply personal stories that are created by, for, and about communities of color that reimagine and provoke. Her feature documentary, American Promise, was nominated for three Emmys and won the Jury Prize at Sundance. She is a Guggenheim Fellow and a Creative Capital artist.

Our lecture series is made possible by generous support from the MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation, and MIT Transmedia Storytelling Initiative.

Event Type


Events By Interest

Diversity/Inclusion, Arts/Music/Film

Events By Audience

Public, MIT Community, Students, Alumni, Faculty, Staff

Events By School

School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS)


media, Social Justice, Documentary, New Media, storytelling, tech, Virtual Reality, immersive, VR


Open Documentary Lab
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