About Spark Media
Spark Media is an award-winning production company that specializes in producing documentaries, outreach campaigns and digital media projects that impact social change. Spark Media has garnered over 100 industry awards for its productions. Spark’s seasoned digital team has developed exhibits, educational games, mobile apps, interactive websites, and has recently received a series of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities to develop Search for Harmony, an educational game fusing history, classical music composition and forgotten musical prodigies of color.
Spark Media’s documentary, First Lady of the Revolution, premiered at the Cine Magaly in Costa Rica and has won ten documentary awards at international film festivals. The film is also the centerpiece of a groundbreaking agreement among Spark Media, the Costa Rican Ministry of Culture and the Centro de Cine, allowing the film to be enjoyed at embassies and consulates around the world to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the abolishment of the military. To date, the film has been screened over 25 times in 22 different countries. Spark recently expanded its partnerships, collaborating in June 2019 with the Ministry of Education to screen the documentary for 5000 students at the Cine Magaly. First Lady of the Revolution is enjoying an encore broadcast on public television in the U.S. and premiered on Trecé Costa Rica TV in September 2019, with re-broadcasts throughout 2020.
Statement from Producer Andrea Kalin:
“I am fascinated with the correlation between memory and identity. El 48 invites my Tico friends and peers to go on a journey together. Leave aside what you may already know, liberate yourself from the tyranny of conventional wisdom and teachings. Break free of visual boundaries and the rectangular frame of traditional media. Work for a future of possibility by deepening your understanding of the past. Costa Rica’s revolution took place only a mere generation ago. Yet most Ticos I’ve met appear to only have a basic grasp of those times. Often they are not familiar with the ideas, the bold decisions, the values and passions that were at stake, and the vision that propelled sweeping changes and social reforms—the legacy of which everyone enjoys today. In the El 48 experience, the avatar of Don Pepe hands over a hammer and declares “It’s your turn” Our goal with this experience is that it encourages more and more people to step out, to take their turn, to strike down the walls that separate us and to initiate the important work of reviving memory and helping cure an acute case of historic amnesia.”
Co-Producers and Directors
About UXR Tech
UXRTech is a Costa Rican company that brings together an interdisciplinary team that includes animators, business administrators, experts in VR/AR and digital marketing.
UXRtech uses state of the art technology that allows them to provide their customers with top-notch innovative solutions offering world-class virtual experiences, with totally photorealistic environments and compatible with the main platforms of the market. In 2019, the company incorporated more technologies and resources to ensure they can provide basically all kinds of virtual realities in the market, including augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality.
UXRtech is located in San José, Costa Rica, the ideal place to outsource software development. Their team includes a university professor of the School of Digital Animation, who spots the best talent early, therefore giving the company the best resources possible in the country.
A Tropics Company
About A Tropics Company
A Tropics Company is Costa Rican-based atelier that creates immersive sound and music for media, specializing in crafting unique and custom soundscapes to captivate audiences. A Tropics Company consists of a team of sound artists aiming for new ways to express and create content.
Among their other award-winning projects, A Tropics Company did the sound design, mixing, and audio recording for the award-winning documentary First Lady of the Revolution, as well as contributing to the film’s music score. The documentary was broadcast on Trece Costa Rica TV in Costa Rica and on PBS’s Reel South in the USA.
Statement from A Tropics Company:
“We are very excited to be part of the El 48 VR experience; it allowed us to be part of a team of creatives and mindful story tellers, and that is huge. We also dove deeper into one of our country’s more significant political highlights, and we had to re-live it to recreate the voices and soundscapes of our history to immerse audiences in that date. It’s not every day you get the chance to create memorable projects with memorable people, so of course, we are honored to be part of El 48 VR.”
About Glenda Umaña
Glenda Umaña is one of the most recognized and valued Latin American journalists. She is known for her charismatic, honest, objective and respectful style that has won the sympathy of a global audience. With 26 years on the screen, 18 of them in CNN En Español, Glenda has been dedicated with passion to television journalism and covered the most relevant events of the past 20 years.
Now a freelance broadcast journalist, anchor and media consultant, Glenda is a popular speaker who has headlined numerous conferences and events in Latin America. She is the founder and president of Glenda Umaña Communications (GUC), a company that offers live broadcasts, moderations, speaker opportunities, interviews, reporting, media analysis, documentaries, as well training workshops for students, government officials, candidates for presenters, television reporters, and more.
Glenda has received numerous awards for her work in broadcast journalism, including “Best Television Reporting” from the Association of Central American Journalists. She was elected Grand Marshall for the “Festival de la Luz,” one of Costa Rica’s most acclaimed festival celebrated annually in San José.
Statement from Glenda Umaña:
“This is something that touches your soul. To be able to relive and highlight a part of our history and roots, that make us feel so proud before the world, is an enormous privilege and an honor. Since Andrea Kalin called me and invited me to join this innovative project, I was moved because it is not only for all Costa Ricans; it will also bring non-Costa Ricans closer to our essence and display how our country has developed without an army.”
Volumetric Producer and Emerging Technology Consultant
About Cathy Hackl
Futurist, speaker, and author Cathy Hackl is a globally recognized augmented reality, virtual reality and spatial computing thought leader. She’s been named one of the top 10 Tech Voices on Linkedin for two years in a row, the highest honor on the platform. Cathy is currently working on her second book The Augmented Workforce: How AI, AR, and 5G Will Impact Every Dollar You Make. Prior to that, Cathy was the lead futurist at You Are Here Labs, where she led agencies, brands and companies in applying Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality for marketing and training working with brands like AT&T & Porsche.
Hackl worked as a VR Evangelist for HTC VIVE during the launch of their enterprise VR headset and during the company’s partnership with Warner Brothers’ blockbuster, Ready Player One. She’s the co-author of Marketing New Realities, the first VR AR marketing book ever written. She also worked as Chief Communications Officer for cinematic VR studio Future Lighthouse, where she collaborated on projects with Sony Pictures Entertainment, Oculus, Beefeater, and William Morris Endeavor. Hackl has been featured in media outlets like Forbes, Barron’s, Salon, VentureBeat, Digiday, Tech Target, CMO.com, and Mashable. She is a global advisor for VR AR Association and was recognized in 2016 by NBC News as one of the top Latina women working in VR.
Before working in spatial computing and technology, she worked as a communicator at media companies such as CNN, Discovery, and ABC News and was nominated in 2007 for an EMMY Award for her storytelling work. She’s also the creator of the world’s first holographic press release and loves all things spatial computing, artificial intelligence and futurism.