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BioBarna Szász is a Budapest-born filmmaker & XR storyteller. He moved to the U.S. in 2017 on a Fulbright and graduated from Stanford University’s MFA Documentary Film program in 2019.
Barna believes that important stories told well can make a great impact. This is why beyond story and dramaturgy he's also an enthusiastic explorer of forms old and new: besides documentary films, his Instagram is loaded with 35mm analog photos, and his recent works include location-based interactive AR/MR experiences, and live VR works as well as 360 documentaries. By thinking openly about form, his goal is to find emotion-driven, impactful stories and present them in a form that best suits them. Using a collaborative approach, Barna works together with communities to amplify their voices so he can best represent them, and brings on experts ranging from psychologists to historians to optimize impact and maximize accuracy.
His documentary work was acquired by PBS’s POV Shorts and the Guardian, Staff-Picked at Vimeo, and screened at DOC NYC, DOK Leipzig, CPH:DOX, Big Sky, Frameline, Outfest, and other festivals. His video journalism work has been viewed by more than 1M viewers and has been shared by more than 100K. As an XR creator, he has been selected for the world’s leading XR workshops and forums such as the NewImages XR Market and the European Creators’ Lab. As a CPH:LAB fellow he’s developed Kvöldvaka, a multi-sensory AR documentary that aims to redefine our relationship with nature, in the era of climate change, and If These Streets Could Talk, a location-based interactive Mixed Reality experience that corrects the historically distorted media representation of the Holocaust.
Before moving to the U.S., Barna earned a BA in Motion Picture at his country's main film school, the University of Film and Theatre Arts, Budapest. Then he worked as a video journalist and later as Head of Video at Index.hu, Hungary’s equivalent of the New York Times. As a lecturer he has taught Video Journalism at Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design. Currently, he lectures on XR storytelling at Stanford University.