KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Ghassan Fayad 

Ghassan Fayad serves as founder and president of Kngfu. Over the 10 years since the company’s creation, Kngfu has achieved a position of leadership in Montreal’s digital media, entertainment and cultural industries, and has won numerous honors including Webbys, CNMA, DigiAwards, Boomerang, MIP, Geminis, Numinx awards among others, working with such partners as the NFB / ONF, Al Jazeera, Ubisoft, France Televisions, Radio-Canada, the Montreal Canadiens, TV5, ARTE, Huffington Post, Cirque du Soleil, La Presse, CBC, Alliance, Paperny Films, Moment Factory, Canal D, Bell, Sympatico and Téléquebec.

Ghassan has come to be a respected voice in the Canadian New Media landscape. A regular lecturer at INIS, mentor and invited to speak at countless conferences and panels – including SXSW, HotDocs, FNC, RIDM, MIP, Banff, NextMedia, DocAgora – and member of the jury at 2008’s Boomerang Awards and 2009’s CNMA awards.  Throughout his career, Ghassan has held various positions, from producer, director, senior developer to creative director. He has explored numerous other fields such as software architecture, design, video, animation and illustration. With his 360 view of digital media production, he has dedicated the later years towards production and creative direction of socially meaningful projects that push the boundaries of documentary, fiction and gaming. He has recently been focusing on international co-production kickstarting projects between Canada, France, Belgium, Germany and Qatar.

Ghassan obtained his Bachelor’s and Master’s in Computer Engineering (McGill, 2001) and studied digital media production at INIS.

Ralph Dfouni

In 1994, Still finishing his Masters in French Literature and Cinema at McGill University, after a B.A. in Communication Studies from Concordia University, Ralph Dfouni jump-started his career conceiving and directing commercials and music videos. In 1997 he wrote and directed a 10-minute political-musical short featuring Middle Eastern diva-superstar Magida El-Roumi, that contributed to a change in the general perception of the narrativity of music videos and the concept of what is generally accepted of this genre in the Middle East. Ralph then started to reflect upon the adaptation of linear cinematic language and the possibilities of transferring it onto the new and open platform of the web.

Co-Founder, President and Executive Creative Director of BlueSponge until 2006, Ralph has worked the cinematic language angle on the digital platform by developing interactive video-based and algorithmical environments that have earned respect and highly acclaimed recognition from the artistic and institutional milieus in Canada and abroad, as well as a broad media coverage. His work has reaped countless rewards and continues to be the subject of many conferences and studies worldwide, vastly considered to have contributed to the maturing of new media and digital video language, along with its declinations on different platforms (ranging from TV to Print and Direct Marketing Strategies). His work for television includes many innovative short documentaries and original portraits of people and places for CBC’s ZeD, TV5 and CTV, with an insistence on cross-platform (called transmedia today) content, as early as 2002. In Film, Ralph has been mostly working on a consulting basis (narrative structure) as well as Editing for Features. He also directs music videos for pleasure and friends (Lhasa de Sela, Patrick Watson). He is currently working on the screenplay of a feature film, using new media language to knit many sub-linear plots into one major storyline.

Ralph has steered BlueSponge into incorporating storytelling and video as a major component on the web, and inversely in adapting the new media approach to video and television content. Since 2006, Ralph has been leading interactive projects for organizations like the CBC, Greenpeace and Al-Jazeera, spanning from webdocs to augmented reality experiences. He remains to this day Facebookless and Twiterless.

Ivan Giordano

Creative director and founder of alterastudio.it, he started his career as film reviewer, then he has been working as director, assistant, cameraman and editor for documentaries that have participated in major festivals.

In 2011 he founded Altera Studio, a digital production company that is a creative factory where technicians and producers join forces to shape experimental and innovative projects for the advertising and entertainment industries. As creative director of Altera Studio he in charge of the developing of new projects and to lead the creative process. He developed in closed collaboration with Juliana Ruhfus from AlJazeera Pirate Fishing interactive, the first AlJ interactive investigation.

SPEAKERS

Kate Shanahan is Head of Journalism at DIT Dublin and an award winning journalist and radio and television producer. At Dublin Institute of Technology she lectures on both the taught post-graduate M.A programs and the undergraduate journalism degree programs. In the undergraduate program she specialises in journalism practise and on-line journalism. Her research interests include women in media, politics and society, as well as the impact of on-line news and citizen journalism. She was awarded a DIT Teaching fellowship for research into media entrepreneurship, and set up the Schools first media entrepreneurship courses as a result. She has also set up Ireland’s first children’s news website with content supplied by DIT journalism students. The site has been shortlisted for six different national and international awards.

She began her career in print journalism and then moved to Ireland national radio station RTE Radio 1 where she worked as a Senior Producer/Series Producer in current affairs across a wide range of programs. Moving to the independent television  sector she worked as a Producer, Series Producer and latterly Executive Producer in first lifestyle and then current affairs strands for RTE. She worked as Senior Producer on General Elections and the Northern Ireland elections. Her awards include national media award (News Features) Justice and the Media award  (Incorporated Law Society) Book award. . She is the author of ‘Crimes worse than death’ (Cork University Press) an analysis of violence and social change in Irish society. She has worked as facilitator for the Council of Europe Mediane program, and  organised the first EJTA Autumn  in DIT Dublin in 2014. She contributes to RTE, TV3,  Today FM and the Irish Times. In 2013 she was shortlisted for feature writer of the year for her opinion columns in the Herald newspaper. She has contributed papers to national and European conferences on media, politics, media literacy and online journalism. She is one of the contributing writers to Press Gang, New Island books, due November 2015, about her work as a woman journalist in 1980’s and 1990’s Ireland.

Andreas Veglis is a Professor end the head of the Media Informatics Lab at the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He received his BSc in Physics, MSc in Electronics and Communications, and PhD in Computer Science, all from Aristotle University. From November of 2010 until February of 2015 he was head of the postgraduate program of the Department of Journalism & Mass Media Communication, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. In March of 2012 he was elected Deputy Chairman of the Department of Journalism Mass Media Communication. His research interests include information technology in journalism, new media, course support environments, data journalism, open data and distance learning. He is the author or co-author of 12 books, he has published 58 papers on scientific journals and he has presented 86 papers in international and national Conferences. Professor Veglis has been involved in 25 national and international research projects.

Beat Rüdt is head of studies for visual journalism at MAZ, the Swiss School of Journalism in Lucerne. He wants to make sure that his students understand the best ways to present information to the audience in  print and online. Beat worked as an editor for several newspapers and tech-magazines. He still publishes regularly as a freelancer.

Alexandra Stark is Head of Studies at MAZ, the Swiss School of Journalism in Lucerne where she tries to convince her students that the future of journalism depends on their willingness and capability to embrace new methods of research, publication and telling stories. Alexandra is a trained teacher and holds Masters degrees in International Relations (University St.Gallen) and «New Media Journalism» (University Leipzig). She has more than 20 years of expericence as a journalist and worked as a freelance Moscow-correspondent for 7 years, where she discovered how much fun working across platforms can be. She continues to work as a freelancer specialising in economic coverage and is teaching Data-Journalism at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. Alexandra is interested in what impact technology has on journalism and journalists. She publishes her ideas, mostly in german, on her blog (www.journalism-reloaded.ch).

Giordano Cossu is an independent journalist and documentary maker. Passionate about new interactive storytelling formats and development issues worldwide, with an Engineering Degree and a Master in Journalism from Crisis Area, he is author of “Rwanda 20 years on”, Prix Italia 2014, a webdocumentary on the 20th anniversary of Rwanda’s Genocide, and “Goudou Goudou, the ignored voices of Haiti’s reconstruction”, a webdocumentary on the aftermath of Haiti’s earthquake. He has reported on social, political and environmental issues from Kosovo, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Haiti for RFI, TV5 Monde, France 24 (France), La Stampa, La Repubblica and L’Espresso (Italy). He is the founder of Hirya Lab (www.hiryalab.net), an innovative agency specialized in the conception, design and production of cross-media projects about global issues worldwide.

Andrea Marinelli, born in Perugia in 1982, is a contributor of Corriere della Sera. He is the co-founder of Peninsula Talks,  a multimedia magazine about datajournalism.

Katia Marinelli always wanted to become a photo-reporter. Instead she spent most of her professional life amongst musicians and journalists, walking from one newsroom to another, from printed to online magazines, from radio to video news, beginning as contributor, becoming web manager. After observing the way in which different news outlets ran, she started to experiment with digital storytelling possibilities and learned to code. ninasafiri.de.

Giampaolo Musumeci is a freelance journalist reporting on African issues, immigration and war zones. He’s the co-author of Confessioni di un trafficante di uomini (Chiarelettere, 2014) about migrant smuggling and human trafficking, written with Andrea Di Nicola. Nessun luogo è lontano is his foreign affairs program on Radio 24. He’s contributor to Swiss National Radio’s Rete Due and Radio France International’s English language service. He worked in Libya, Somalia, RCA, Afghanistan, Egypt and Congo, reporting for Sky News, Rainews24, Channel4 and a wide variety of international press. I filmed documentaries for MTV in Belfast and Afghanistan. Congotales is his first web documentary focused on Kivu, DR Congo.

Born in 1985 and based in Milan, Stefano Rizzato is a writer and reporter for the daily newspaper La Stampa, addressing quite a large range of topics, from social affairs to science and technology, and working both on the print edition and online. Graduate of “Walter Tobagi” School of Journalism of Milan (2012), one of the Italian centers of excellence in journalism education, he is currently working as a teaching assistant and coordinator in the same institute. In the past, he also contributed for the digital edition of other news outlets such as Sky Sport and Focus.

Matteo Scanni – I am a journalist and documentarist specialized in investigative reporting, with a soldi background in newspapers, new media and video production. I am co-director of the school of journalism at UCSC, the largest private university in Europe, where I also teach Investigative video journalism. Recently I’m focused on webdocs, interactive long forms, and other cross-media stuff. Over the years, I have been contributing for a number of Italian dailies and magazines, covering current affairs, original stories, and developing personal long-term projects. I like original points of views, great characters, good framing. terribly serious about that.

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