UCL Anthropology


Immersive Factual Storytelling MA Launch

27 January 2022, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

Immersive Factual Storytelling MA Launch

Join us for this panel event to launch the new UCL Immersive Factual Storytelling MA

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







UCL Anthropology

Some of the air has been let out of the hype bubble around Virtual Reality in the last couple of years, partly due to the pandemic. But VR is here to stay and is being widely used across enterprise, health and education.

This year UCL launches its new Immersive Factual Storytelling MA (which has grown out of the Immersive Studio in the Ethnographic and Documentary Film MA). To mark the launch, Anthony Steed, Professor of Virtual Environment and Computer Graphics at UCL, Jessica Driscoll, Head of Immersive Technology at Digital Catapult and Nexus Interactive Arts Creative Director, Kim Leigh Pontin, are coming together for a one hour lunchtime online event to discuss:

  • where the VR market is at
  • the role of narrative in VR as it matures
  • the role of universities in Immersive Media

The panel is chaired by the Programme Leader of the new MA, Dinah Lammiman, Professor of Immersive Factual Storytelling, UCL.

About the Speakers

Anthony Steed

Professor in the Virtual Environments and Computer Graphics group (group leader) in the Department of Computer Science at University College London

Anthony has over 25 years’ experience in developing virtual reality and other forms of novel user interface. His work spans engineering of displays and software to user engagement in collaborative and telepresent scenarios. He received the IEEE VGTC’s 2016 Virtual Reality Technical Achievement Award. Recently he was a Visiting Researcher at Microsoft Research, Redmond and an Erskine Fellow at the Human Interface Technology Laboratory in Christchurch, New Zealand. The UCL Virtual Environments and Computer Graphics group has three high-end VR facilities: a CAVE-like facility, a large HMD and motion capture room and state-of-the-art haptics controllers.

Jessica Driscoll

Head of Immersive Technology at Digital Catapult

An immersive technology specialist Jessica Driscoll is the Head of Immersive Technology at Digital Catapult. She has an MA in Digital Culture and Technology and experience of working with a variety of technologies from virtual reality, augmented reality and haptics in the creative and industrial sectors.

Kim Leigh Pontin

Creative Director at Nexus Interactive Arts

As Creative Director at Nexus Interactive Arts, Kim-Leigh specialises in directing interactive volumetric capture experiences, as well as interactive narrative design for emerging tech.

Kim-Leigh’s background is in XR, interactive TV, emerging technology interaction design, and interactive storytelling. She brings ideas of embodied interaction and speculative design to the world of television production and product design.

Previously she has worked at Sky VR Studios, the BBC, Amazon and Apple and studied Design Interactions at the Royal College of Art. She has won a BAFTA, Emmy & D&AD for interactive TV work, and three VR pieces that Kim-Leigh directed were recently shown at the Venice Film Festival (2017, 18 & 19).

Dinah Lammiman

Programme Leader & Professor of Immersive Factual Storytelling at University College London

A producer and reporter for BBC Current affairs for 19 years, Dinah's experience in storytelling media is extensive. For much of her career she specialised in making long-form documentaries about parliament and both UK and international politics. She presented and reported on BBC TV and made several hundred radio programmes, many of which she also presented, achieving significant press acclaim with her stories. In addition, she also devised new formats for BBC programmes and spent some time at Cbeebies, the BBC's pre-school division, creating and leading their parenting strategy.

Dinah's main interest throughout her BBC and associated career has been in exploring creative approaches to factual storytelling using new and existing technology. Most recently, before joining UCL's staff in 2020 she was a producer with the BBC's VR Hub - an incubator project exploring the potential for VR as a mainstream storytelling medium. Dinah is also co-founder of PastPorte, and continues to create immersive installations for Museums and Attractions in the UK and elsewhere. Current clients include the Churches Conservation Trust, The National Trust for Scotland, Oxford University and Hampton Court Palace. Her practical industry experience and industry contacts help facilitate student opportunities in and beyond the academic realm.