Miami Tech & Startup News

What might life and work be like in 2030 and beyond? Find out at FilmGate’s XR festival

What might life and work be like in 2030 and beyond? Find out at FilmGate’s XR festival

By Jose Sirven

When filmmaker and self-described sci-fi geek Diliana Alexander discovered that VR could increase audiences’ empathy levels, she and her co-founder were inspired to create a festival that explored where this technology would take the creative world. Thus, FilmGate Interactive was born. 

FIlmGate is an annual event that showcases the latest and greatest in extended reality (XR) tech. According to Forbes, XR is an emerging umbrella term for all the immersive technologies—augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR). This year’s festival is sure to be even bigger and better than last year’s, with a variety of events ranging from open nights at the Frost Science Museum to panel discussions on the future of extended reality.

In its ninth year, FilmGate Interactive Media Festival expects 5,000 engineers, creators, and extended reality enthusiasts to attend the 4-day festival from Friday, December 2nd through Monday, December 5th. 

“We are leaping into a world first imagined by science fiction writers, and everyone from Meta and Microsoft, to independent creators, are exploring what that means. And we are bringing it to Miami for everyone to experience, first hand,” said Alexander, FilmGate’s co-founder and executive director.

Diliana Alexander, executive director of FilmGate

“This year we have over 30 XR projects, 7 tech talks powered by Microsoft, with speakers from Snap, Meta, Magic Leap, Vaudeville (immersive sound studio),” she added. 

Attendees can experience what it may be like to live and work in our world in 2030 and beyond. FilmGate is spread across some of Miami’s most notable venues like the Frost Science Museum, the Fontainebleau, Downtown Media Center, and O Cinema. Most of the experiences are free and open to the public. VIP passes give you access to the Opening Ceremony at the Frost Museum, the sunset cruise, parties, or networking events. Individual tickets are available for the Opening Ceremony and Closing Sunset Cruise/Awards Ceremony.

This year, there are a record number of local creators who have exhibits. Alexander attributes the growth to the new talent graduating from the new XR programs at the University of Miami and Miami Dade College’s Miami Animation and Gaming International Complex (M.A.G.I.C.).

This year’s theme: Solar Punk

Solar Punk is a literary and artistic movement that envisions and works toward actualizing a sustainable future interconnected with nature and community. This year’s FilmGate Extended Reality Festival will showcase a variety of Solar Punk-inspired projects, including “Plastisapiens” and “Spring Odyssey.” 

According to Alexander,  “[The solar punk theme] is a cautiously optimistic way to move forward, hopefully without green washing, knowing that our environment and humans are irreversibly changed by technology and industry.”

Must See Exhibits During FilmGate Virtual/Extended Reality Festival

The festival kicks off Friday evening (Dec. 2) by taking over the Frost Science Museum’s Planetarium where guests can experience audio and visual performances from internationally renowned artists. There will also be a live music performance from a Grammy Award winner. One of the exhibits, The -22.7°C experience, provides participants a sensory and musical immersion into the Arctic circle, based on the creator’s adventures there. 

Don’t miss the five “stunning” Water-and-Climate-Themed XR exhibits. They provide a dive into rarely-experienced underwater worlds and a glimpse into a future impact by climate change. Attendees can experience the possible future of the world’s oldest tropical rainforest, the Daintree, in a constantly-evolving virtual ecosystem unfurling over 24-hours. This particular exhibit, titled Gondwana, along with 4 others will be open Dec. 2nd through Dec. 5th at the Southeast Financial Center.

Those looking to network with industry leaders and hear about pressing topics from creators cannot miss the Tech Talks on Dec. 3rd powered by Microsoft. Experts from Magic Leap, Microsoft, Meta, Snap, Coachella, Atlas and others will discuss the future of the metaverse, XR in education, and the impact of Web3 and AI on immersive technologies. 

The Tech Talks on Dec.3 will conclude with a live motion capture experience, COSMOGENY. Live action avatars whose movements will be controlled by artists in Geneva will be projected on the wall of the Frost Science Museum at 7 pm. 

The full calendar and more information can be found on their website at

Excited about the future of immersive technology in Miami, Alexander describes the current XR landscape as democratic. “As many female creators as male, usually.” In 2013, it was rare to find locals working in immersive technologies. That has changed.

With a strong showing of support for art and tech from the DDA, the Knight Foundation, politicians, and the local art scene, Miami is ahead of its time.

READ MORE: 5+ things to know in #MiamiTech: Get ready to clone yourself for TechBasel/Art Week & more