Main Partner

Digital Imaging Partner

Presenting Partner

Media Partnership


12th – 13th July


As part of ARENA – Video and Beyond 2019 programming in partnership with the National Geographic Society, we will be supporting innovative video, interactive and immersive work created by photographers, filmmakers and visual artists by introducing ARENA Reviews, an industry program of Reviews and talks.

ARENA Reviews are 30 minute long sessions where Italian and European photographers and filmmakers present their video, film, interactive and immersive projects to a group of experts. The expert panel consists of broadcasting and film commissioning editors, funders and curators.

The aim of these Reviews is to facilitate the integration of photography into markets beyond photography, including film, broadcast and video-on-demand, which is rapidly expanding in Europe.

Our long-term goal is for ARENA to become the leading industry meeting place and market for the crossover of photography, film, visual art and immersive storytelling.



As a presenting partner of ARENA – Video and Beyond, the National Geographic Society will select one of the projects presented at this year’s Arena Reviews to receive a monetary prize of up to $5,000.

The winner of the prize will agree to grant the National Geographic Society the non-exclusive rights to use the visual materials submitted for promotional purposes.



Tom Burton – BBC Studios, Head of Interactive, UK
Alberto Lastrucci – Festival Dei Popoli, Director, Italy
Kay Meseberg – ARTE G.E.I.E., Head of Mission Innovation, France
Roberto Pisoni – Sky Italia, Head of Sky Arte, Italy
Rachael Strecher – National Geographic Society, Director of Storytelling Grants and Fellowships, USA
Dan Tucker – Sheffield Doc|Fest, Curator, Alternate Realities, UK



ARENA Reviews are free and open to all photographers, filmmakers and visual artists. We are looking for innovative documentary and hybrid projects driven by photography, video, VR or other visual-based media in development or production stage.

The Reviews will take place on Friday, 12th July and Saturday, July 13th. The National Geographic Society Prize will be announced on Saturday, July 13th during the evening dedicated to projections and awards during the inauguration period of COTM 2019.

Projects selected for ARENA Reviews will be considered for exhibiting in the 2020 ARENA – Video and Beyond installation program in Cortona.



Registration is free and open now through June 23rd.
To apply, please, send us a brief description of your project along with the links to teaser, and description/treatment to this email address:

The number of participants to this edition of ARENA Reviews is limited to 20 and places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

By June 27th the organization will let you know if your project has been accepted. Participation in ARENA Reviews is free. Participants are responsible for their own transportation and accommodation costs.

Alberto Lastrucci
Festival Dei Popoli, Director, Italy

Alberto Lastrucci was born in Florence (Italy) in 1968.

During his studies at the University of Florence, he started working with the Festival dei Popoli – International Documentary Film Festival – being the curator of the catalogue and of some retrospectives. In the following years he joined the Selection Committee and was festival coordinator from 2006 until 2010. In 2011 he was appointed co-director.

In 2012 he was appointed director of the Festival dei Popoli. Since then the festival has organized several retrospectives and tributes to filmmakers of international fame such as: Marcel Łozinski, Paweł Łozinski, Jos de Putter, Vincent Dieutre, Mary Jimenez, Wojciech Staroń, Danielle Arbid, Sergio Oksman, Kazuhiro Soda, Roberto Minervini.

He was member of the Jury in the following film festival: BIFF – Busan International Film Festival, Jihlava IDFF, Etnofilm Ethnographic Film Festival, Siciliambiente.

Kay Meseberg
ARTE G.E.I.E., Head of Mission Innovation, France

Kay Meseberg studied Political Science at University of Potsdam in Germany. He developed since the end of the 90s on many award-wining audiovisual digital productions. Since 2013 he is working for ARTE in Strasbourg, France. After his contribution to the world-first VR-documentary Polar Sea 360 in 2014 he is working on immersive media and other innovative forms and heading the ARTE unit dedicated to the TV of after tomorrow called Mission Innovation.

Kay is a visiting artistic lecturer for the Center of Collaborative Arts and Media at Yale University and Ambassador of Innovation of the IMZ, the International Center of Music and Media in Vienna, co-founded by the UNESCO.

Roberto Pisoni
Sky Italia, Head of Sky Arte, Italy

Roberto Pisoni has worked for Sky Italia’s cinema channels since its launch in 2003, first in production and then as part of the creative direction, helping to define the brand and the network identity.

Since 2009 he has held the role of Programming Manager of Sky Cinema. He previously worked for the Studio Universal channel as an author, programmer, director and promo producer. He has been the director of Sky Arte HD since 2012, the channel’s starting year, and has directed the Sky Arts Production HUB (international hub for the production of cultural content) since its creation in April 2015. His work on television has been rewarded on numerous occasions.

Among the prizes won: 4 Gold Promax Awards, 3 Silver Promax Awards, 2 Silver Telly Awards, 1 D&AD Award, 2 Eutelsat Awards, 1 Gold and 1 Silver Award at the New York Festival.

Rachael Strecher
National Geographic Society, Director of Storytelling Grants and Fellowships, USA

Rachael Strecher is Director of Storytelling Grants and Fellowships at the National Geographic Society, where she leads grant making to support photographers, writers, film makers, data visualization experts, cartographers and other storytellers. Prior to her time at National Geographic, she launched and ran the Aspen Institute’s New Voices Fellowship, a program designed to bring expert voices from the developing world into the global development discussion.

Rachael began her career as a photojournalist in the Middle East, where she covered stories for the Associated Press and other outlets. She has a particular interest in innovative media and expanding the roster of who tells the world’s stories.

Dan Tucker
Sheffield Doc/Fest, Executive Producer and Curator, Alternate Realities, UK

Dan Tucker is an award winning digital director and curator with over 20 years of experience working with broadcasters, digital agencies, startups and international artists. Passionate about interaction and story, Dan works in the intersection between multiple screen industries, from television documentary to virtual reality.

His experience spans the production of TV projects like Charlie Brooker’s How Videogames changed the World to digital projects like the interactive drama Our World War and the VR documentary Easter Rising: Voice of a Rebel for the BBC. As Curator of Alternate Realities for Sheffield International Documentary festival, Dan creates a touring exhibition of digital art and documentary. Showcasing ground breaking immersive and Interactive works from the Guardian, Greenpeace, BBC and National Film Board of Canada.

Tom Burton
BBC Studios, Head of Interactive, UK

Tom Burton is an award winning Executive Producer and Interactive Director with a specialism in innovation and 20 years experience in the digital industry. He is currently the Head of Interactive at BBC Studios and founder of BBC Studios Digital unit. He has worked across the BBC in strategic planning and new business leading on landmark projects.

He was previously an agency founder and consultant for businesses, startups and organisations. He is advising BAFTA (The British Academy of Film and Television Arts) on immersive entertainment and is a trustee and founder of Raucous, a theatre and creative technology collective.