JB Davis, President and Founder
John has founded and directed innovation-oriented corporations for the better part of two decades, building institutions that serve clients in over 100 countries. In the course of his work in the entertainment, tech, and environmental fields, he has met with heads of state and led partnerships with Fortune 500 firms, the United Nations, US government agencies, universities, and dozens of private institutions.

John created the Center for New Cinema to illuminate the future of entertainment. He is pleased to provide a valuable glimpse over the horizon for the broad array of industries that hold a strategic stake in it.

Shawn Brixey, Creative Director
Shawn is Dean of Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts (VCUarts), one of the top fine arts programs in North America. He also serves as Special Assistant to the Provost for VCUarts Qatar, the school’s Qatari branch. Prior to VCUarts, Shawn was Dean of the School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design at York University in Toronto – Canada’s largest fine arts school. Before that, he was chair and co-founder of the Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media at the University of Washington (DXARTS), and director of the Center for Digital Art and New Media Research at the University of California at Berkeley.

A graduate of MIT’s CAVS/Media Lab, Shawn has exhibited art and technology works internationally, including at World Expo 2000 (Hannover, Germany), MIT Museum, Berkeley Art Museum, Chicago Art Institute, 1998 Winter Olympics (Nagano, Japan), the first American Design and Architecture Triennial at the Cooper Hewitt National Design, and the European Union Capital of Culture.

Melissa Albert, Marketing Director
Melissa is Principal of O’Neill Communications, offering a broad range of marketing, planning, branding, PR, and other services to public and private institutions — from the US Government to tech startups to arts organizations.

She previously served as Account Supervisor at DDB Worldwide, overseeing integrated communications campaigns for multiple companies, products, and issues. She also founded a multi-platform media network dedicated to parenting.


  • Stephen Lang: Actor, Avatar
  • Alvy Ray Smith, Ph.D.: Co-Founder, Pixar
  • David Linde: CEO, Participant Media; Former Co-Chairman, Universal Pictures
  • Lauren Shuler Donner: Producer, X-Men and Deadpool films
  • Dean DeBlois: Director and writer, How to Train Your Dragon films and Lilo & Stitch
  • Jaron Lanier: Computer scientist and philosopher, “father” of virtual reality
  • Paul Debevec, Ph.D.: Senior Scientist, Google VR; Adjunct Research Professor of Computer Science, USC Institute for Creative Technologies; leading developer of photoreal digital actors
  • Yoky Matsuoka, Ph.D.: Cognitive scientist, roboticist, Chief Technology Officer at Nest
  • Charlton Reynders III: Executive Producer, multiple major IMAX films including To the Arctic 3D and Whales
  • Vince Zampella: CEO, Respawn Entertainment, developer of top-selling Titanfall video game
  • Mark Benerofe: Former VP of Programming, Sony Online Ventures
  • Kristina Hudson: Director, Washington Interactive Network