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Mediamorfosis, Latin America’s largest new media forum, is returning this summer after the COVID-19 pandemic saw its cancellation last year. As the global health crisis continues to rage across the region, the forum will take place online over July 27-31 this year.

The virtual conference has launched its open call, which will run from May 10 to June 10, for immersive and interactive projects to participate in what will be its 27th edition.

Projects in various formats and genres such as transmedia, VR, AR, and mixed reality are invited to participate in its pitching workshop, designed to prepare Latin American XR and interactive projects for international presentations, pitching sessions and market activities.

Chile is the host country for the second time since 2018. Mediamorfosis has been based in 10 other countries since its launch.

This year’s predominant theme will be XR, or immersive reality. Said Damian Kirzner, director of Mediamorfosis: “This is a current reality for some and for others, it is the immediate future of the audiovisual industry.” “We need to discuss why Latin America should be prepared for this fast-growing development; The key is to be part of the global map,” he added.

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Antonia Valenzuela, executive director of Mediamorfosis Chile, concurred: “It’s fundamental to talk and debate about the issues on how to narrate and distribute, transform and adapt, so that our creative community can fully participate in this new industry.”

The program includes conferences, panels, workshops and one-on-one meetings with the most prominent professionals in the industry. In addition, an online billboard will be available for the audience to experience VR and hybrid projects as well as learn and explore the creative potential of the new technologies.

Mediamorfosis will feature a select group of speakers, all leaders in their field, led by Liz Rosenthal, founder and CEO of Power to the Pixel, one of the pioneering entrepreneurs in digital production and distribution and an expert in media and digital films.

Award-winning Belgian war photojournalist Karim Ben Khelifa will also speak at this year’s edition, presenting the screening of his latest work, “Seven Grams: Solution Journalism and Augmented Reality,” which exposes the horrific cost to human lives in the Democratic Republic of Congo where vital minerals used in smartphones are extracted.

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Mediamorfosis Courtesy of Mediamorfosis

Also participating are Brazil’s Ricardo Laganaro from the company Voyager, which creates immersive experience spaces in Brazil; Jimmy Cheng, Digital Domain director of content and business operations; Antoine Cayrol, producer and co-founder of Atlas V; Paul Bouchard from Diversion Cinema, one of the pioneers in Virtual Reality distribution, and Crossover Labs Director Mark Atkin, an expert in the curatorship and creation of singular projects that combine technical innovations and storytelling.

The projects selected for the workshop that gain further recognition will pass on to the next stage involving one-on-one meetings with distributors, producers and financiers gathered by Mediamorfosis this year.

The event is organized by New Sock, produced by 500 Nanómetros and financed by Chile’s Ministry of Art, Culture and Patrimony through its special international forums program.

Mediamorfosis comes at a time when Latin America adaptation, albeit belated, of new technologies is growing at a fast clip. According to Colombian-based digital venture group Polymath Ventures, internet penetration is at 57% in the region, outpacing Southeast Asia, South Asia or Africa. Furthermore, 70% of the population have mobile subscription services; mobile internet penetration is more than 51%, and is expected to grow at 6.2% year on year.

Smart phone penetration is at 55%, and was expected to grow past 70% by 2020. “Additionally, survey data also shows that Latin American people spend more time on mobile internet than their global peers – the average time online is 3.5 hours for Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina,” it reported.