15 - 22 October 2019

Off-Piste is a place for Norway’s most adventurous, curious and imaginative creative minds to explore the possibilities of virtual reality storytelling. 


Over the course of seven days filmmakers joined by developers, artists, animators, musicians, makers and storytellers of all kinds will voyage to a mountain-top hotel where they will develop original VR experiences and forge a community that will help shape Norway’s VR landscape.

A group of experienced international mentors, led by Mark Atkin and Tom Millen of Crossover Labs, will provide participants with in depth knowledge of the current VR landscape and the evolving language of VR storytelling.

Participants will form multi-disciplinary teams around project ideas which they will develop into a working prototype over the course of the lab. Members of each team will take on a variety of roles as they learn about the VR production process from  ideation to funding to having a finished product.

The teams will then have the opportunity to present their projects at the Nordic VR Forum in Hamar on the 24th of October, and will receive further mentoring after the lab in order to pursue funding to fully realise their experiences.


We are looking to curate an interdisciplinary group of 24 creative professionals from a range of backgrounds. We are looking for individuals who are passionate about their work and are excited about the opportunities that VR might present for the practice. Prior experience with VR is absolutely not required. 

Applicants could come from a variety of backgrounds.
These include, but are not limited to:

  • Film & TV

  • Theatre

  • Games

  • Fine Art

  • Dance

  • Music

  • Animation

  • Creative Technology

  • Radio & Podcasting

  • Writing

  • Journalism

  • Design

  • Illustration

  • 3D Modelling


Mark Atkin

Mark is a curator and director of Crossover Labs, where he has been responsible for leading cross disciplinary training since 2008. He has spearheaded the development of processes which bring together creative professionals from diverse disciplines including film and TV production, animation, games, theatre, VR, AR and interactive design to form new interdisciplinary collaborations and generate ideas for projects. 

Mark curates exhibitions of interactive and VR for a number of festivals including CPH:DOX, Silbersalz Festival and Bergen International Film Festival. In addition he has recently launched Electric Dreams: Festival of Immersive Storytelling which will see its first additions in London and Adelaide in 2020. 

Gayatri Parameswaran

Gayatri Parameswaran is an award winning immersive journalist and creator from India. She is currently based in Berlin, where she co-founded NowHere Media -- a storytelling studio that views contemporary issues through a critical lens. Her work has been exhibited at the Venice International Film Festival, SXSW, United Nations, HotDocs, and have won the ‘Best Use of Immersive Arts’ at SXSW 2019. She’s a Sundance New Frontier’s alumni and likes to explore taboo topics such as war, peace, intimate partner violence and abortion using virtual and augmented reality. Gayatri is most excited about using immersive technologies as a medium to create realities for a desirable future. 

Co-founder, NowHere Media

 NowHere Media is an award-winning immersive storytelling studio that enables audiences to look at contemporary issues through a critical lens.

Gabo Arora

Gabo Arora is world renowned multi-award winning immersive artist, professor and former UN diplomat who works with the most cutting-edge emerging technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality, to tell some of the most important stories of our time. His work has made measurable social impact as part of campaigns for the United Nations, USC Shoah foundation and the Nobel Peace Prize committee, amongst many others, and is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He has had the honor of being the UN’s first-ever creative director; a Davos World Economic Forum Arts and culture leader; a member of the Council of Foreign Relations; and is the Founding Director of a new lab dedicated to Immersive Storytelling and Emerging Technologies ( ISET ) at Johns Hopkins University. 


Mike Robbins

Mike Robbins is an award winning producer, director, and creative technologist at High Road Stories. High Road Stories is a Berlin-based interactive studio for documentary VR, AR, and other immersive content. As a multidisciplinary team, they create digital experiences as well as manage their production with an international network of talented artists. 

High Road experiences have been featured in venues like IDFA, DOK Leipzig, Bergen International Film Festival, and DocAviv, and will be accessible from 2019 in museums and exhibitions around the world.

As partner at his company Helios Design Labs in Toronto he worked on award-winning interactive documentaries such as the Quipu Project, Digital Me, After The Storm, Highrise, and Offshore. This work has been featured in such venues as IDFA, Sheffield DocFest, smartFip@, and Bristol iDocs.

Elin Festøy

Elin Festøy is a creative producer with her own production company, Teknopilot AS, and artistic research fellow at The Norwegian Film School, working on interactive, non-fiction storytelling. She is the producer of the BAFTA-winning mobile game "My Child Lebensborn" and the poetic VR experience "The Voice from the Forest - the poetry of Hans Børli". Festøy has a background in journalism and communication strategy, as well as master degrees on narrative theory and digital communication.

Tom Millen

Tom MIllen is a curator and a director of Crossover Labs, specialising in the production and exhibition of immersive content as well as arranging cross media training and events. Tom curates exhibitions of interactive and VR for a number of festivals including CPH:DOX, Silbersalz Festival and Bergen International Film Festival. In addition he has recently launched Electric Dreams: Festival of Immersive Storytelling which will see its first additions in London and Adelaide in 2020.


Verity McIntosh

Verity is a Senior Lecturer in Virtual and Extended Reality at the University of West England, and Programme Lead for a new MA in Virtual Reality. Launched in January 2019, this industry-led, practice-based masters offers students the opportunity to spend a year developing their craft as pioneering storytellers, adding VR/AR/XR to their creative toolkit, and critically engaging with the politics, business and culture of this emerging field.

Verity has an established reputation as a creative producer, working with talented teams and individuals to develop, expand and realise their ideas on a global stage. As VR lead for Watershed, and as a founding member of Bristol VR Lab, Verity has developed a distinctive voice within the VR/XR community

Mads Damsbo

Mads is a creative producer from Makropol, an production studio based in Copenhagen. Makropol focuses on developing new narratives, utilizing new technology; provoking unexpected emotions and experiences in diverse audiences. Mads’ work includes The Doghouse (2014) - a first- person film installation screened at Festival Nouveau Cinema, NYFF, Cannes NEXT and The Future of Storytelling in New York; The Shared Individual (2016) - a collective VR experience premiering at Idfa DocLab; and Doom Room (2017) - a mixed reality VR performance that was highlighted at Sheffield Docfest and Rotterdam International Film Festival. Recently he produced and exhibited the world’s largest free-walking cinematic VR experience called ANTHROPIA. He is currently developing a slate of projects that challenge the premises of traditional filmmaking and utilize cutting-edge technology to achieve unprecedented experiences. 


Off-Piste will take place at Pellestova Mountain Hotel near Lillehammer, Norway. All participants on the lab will receive full board accommodation. Transport from Lillehammer to the hotel will be provided, however travel to Lillehammer must be arranged by attendees. 

Each team will be assigned the necessary PC and VR equipment required to build their prototypes. It is recommended that participants also bring their own laptops plus any specialist equipment related to their practice (eg. audio equipment, drawing tablet, camera). Attendees will also have access to facilities at the Norwegian Film School and Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences.

Teams will be invited to present their prototypes at The Nordic VR Forum on the 24th October in Hamar. Travel and accommodation to this event is not included. 

There is a course fee of 5000NOK for successful applicants to contribute to the lab costs.


20180628_SPUTNIK_Silbersalz_Donnerstag_C Joachim Blobel_online-07911.jpg

Application deadline 23rd September 2019

Name *
Tell us a bit about yourself and why you want to take part in this lab
This is field is optional and not a requirement to apply

After the application deadline a committee will choose 24 applicants who get to participate on the lab. The participants will be noticed on Thursday 26th, confirming with payment of the course fee.

For some of you it might be possible to get the fee and travel covered:

Applicants from Trøndelag can apply Midtnorsk Filmsenter for Reisestøtte (use reference VR). Midtnorsk Filmsenter will also cover travel (up to 3000,-) and course fee for one participant from their region.

Applicants between the ages 18-30, travelling from Tromsø, Finnmark or Nordland, can apply Tvibit’s Talentfilmfond for cover of travel and course fees.

Applicants from can apply Østnorsk Filmsenter or Reisestøtte, to cover up to 3000,-  for travel and course fees.

Applicants from Akershus, Buskerud, Vestfold, Østfold and Oslo can apply Viken Filmsenter for Reisetilskudd Innland, to cover up to 3000,- for travel and course fees.

Applicants from Hordaland, Sogn og Fjordane and Møre og Romsdal, can apply Vestnorsk filmsenter for Kompetansehevende tiltak, to cover travel and course fees.

Applicants from Rogaland can apply Filmkraft Rogaland for Reisetilskudd, to cover up to 3000,- for travel and course fees.