Michel Reilhac

Michel is a narrative architect and long-time transmedia and immersive media pioneer.

Michel Reilhac is known as a leading international expert for innovation in hybrid storytelling across participatory, interactive and immersive experiences. As the Head of Studies at the Venice Biennale College, the VR competition curator for the Venice Biennale International Film Festival since its inaugural competition in 2017, Michel is regularly invited to speak and teach at major international events, including the Cannes International Film Festival, SXSW, Tribeca Film Festival, TEDx, CPH:DOX, Dixit, Power to the Pixel, Sunny Side of the Doc, FEMIS and many more.

As a speaker and educator, Michel is renowned for his comprehensive and critical understanding of the immersive media landscape, as well as for his focus on innovation in the creative development and application of narratives—not only in film and television, but in broader media and communication contexts, where new storytelling practices are disrupting conventional models. In his teaching, Michel focuses in particular on enabling filmmakers to find a platform for fresh and daring stories that deserve an audience. He strives to allow artists to appropriate XR as a new art form and focuses on immersive storytelling as an artistic medium.

Michel is currently developing an international residency on the the island of Lamu, Kenya. This residency seeks to foster innovative work by creators and small teams from across East Africa, and lay the foundations for a VR hub that celebrates Swahili culture.

From 2002-2012, Michel was Head of Cinema & Film Acquisitions at Arte France and executive director of Arte France Cinema, co-producing around 30 international independent feature films each year, including Lars Von Trier's Antichrist and Melancholia. In 2013, Michel was named Man of the Year 2012 in Film by industry magazine Le Film Français. Michel is also a virtual reality filmmaker himself - his first production Viens! premiered at Sundance in 2016. In 2017-2018 Michel was head of the award-winning independent production company Submarine Channel in Amsterdam. Currently, he also curates the immersive content program at Series Mania in Lille, France.


Watch Michel's talk "Designing Presence in Immersive Reality" at Re:Publica 2018 in Berlin.

In 2018, Michel was also a speaker at the Immersive Summit at Marché du Film during Cannes Film Festival and a mentor at the XR Creator's Lab in Munich. At Series Mania 2018 Michel talked about immersion as a tool for drama writing, while at Cartoon Digital in Ghent he presented a keynote about creative opportunities, financing and distribution models for animated content. Among other events, Michel was a speaker at the preview of VRHAM, the first VR and Arts Festival in Germany in Hamburg an will be a speaker at the STORY Conference in Brussels this February.

Find out more about Michel's work

Follow @michelreilhac on Twitter. 

"VR is the most sophisticated way to represent the world". Watch below Michel’s opening speech at the 2016 World VR Forum: