Navid Khonsari (US)
Founder of the NYC-based independent studio iNK Stories, Fast Company calls Navid Khonsari “an innovation agent”, while The Space labels him “one of the five top digital artists of our time”. Khonsari is a proponent of the use of interactive digital media to connect us through story – bringing edgy real stories to video games.
Known for having developed the cinematic look and feel for groundbreaking AAA video games such as Grand Theft Auto/Vice City/San Andreas, Max Payne, The Warriors, Midnight Club, Manhunt, Red Dead Revolver, Alan Wake, Homefront and more, Khonsari also counts The Contract, Pindemonium and Pulling John among his film titles.
1979 Revolution is Khonsari's latest high-profile project - an original docu-video game that puts players into the world of revolution in Iran during 1979. Featured by NPR, the Washington Post, BBC, Wired, VICE, Fast Company, BuzzFeed, Time, Fox News, the Guardian and many other the notable outlets, the iOS, PC, VR-compatible title has been called a “truly revolutionary game” by the New Yorker.
In addition to creating video games, Khonsari is currently producing a slate of VR experiences, including collaborations with The National Film Board of Canada on the Emmy-nominated My Enemy My Brother, Capcom’s The Kitchen, iNK’s original Blindfold (2017) and the first AAA Title completely in VR (TBA). Partnerships include Yale University’s Cognitive Science Department and the Roddenberry Foundation.
Khonsari often speaks on the convergence of technology, art and storytelling to incite empathy and challenge stereotypes within mass media, and has done so at venues such as Sundance, Hot Docs, DICE, Games For Change, FoST, Game Developers Conference (GDC), SXSW, Visions Du Reel, and Film Forward.
Khonsari is a fellow of the New Frontier Lab at the Sundance Institute and recipient of support from Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, IFP and Made in NY. In 2016, 1979 was awarded the prestigious Grand Jury Prize at the 2016 Indiecade festival of Independent games.