Accessibility statement

Tobias Palma Stade

PhD by Creative Practice 


Thesis - Hands-off Interactive Storytelling in Cinematic Virtual Reality

My thesis is titled Hands-off Interactive Storytelling in Cinematic Virtual Reality, and aimed to experiment with the notion of instinct-based decision-making as a driver
to propose a type of interactive storytelling in immersive spaces that enhances narrative immersion by relying on reacting to diegetic stimuli – especially acoustic
ones – and avoiding explicit interfaces. I did my thesis on a creative practice modality, which allowed me a first-hand exploration of the craft of interactive
cinematic virtual reality from a filmmaker’s perspective. It considered the adaptation of different stages of the film production workflow to an interactive
storytelling one, such as scriptwriting, direction design, blocking, and sound design and recording.
This project was funded by National Agency for Research and Development of the Chilean government, ANID, through the programme of Becas Chile.

Supervisors: Dr Guy Schofield, Simon Van der Borgh.




I’m a Chilean-Italian scholar, filmmaker, writer, and storyteller. I have recently finished my PhD by creative practice in the University of York, in which I worked on a hands-off, instinct-based interactive model for cinematic virtual reality.

Before coming to York, I worked as a freelance filmmaker in Chile, mostly in the music industry and in collaboration with artists from diverse disciplines. I also worked as an academic researcher specialized in arts audiences. I am also a published author of the novel Santiago Underland, released in Spanish in 2015.

Currently, I’m collaborating as a PDRA in DC Labs, and teaching in TFTI as a GTA in storytelling related modules. I’m also preparing a post-doctoral project in which I want to explore acoustic augmented reality, and grassroots and collaborating storytelling.


My research interests include everything related to storytelling and innovation in media. More specifically, participatory practices in audio-visual media, participatory and collaborative storytelling, post-human condition in the arts, interactive storytelling, post-colonial narratives, practice-based research, interdisciplinary approaches to creativity and research, among others.


External Activity

Since 2019, chair of Conferencia Ventana, an international conference on post-colonial relations and conflicts within Latin America and with the rest of the world.

 2021: Proceedings Chair of IMX 2021 conference, New York.


Palma, Tobías (2020) Hands-off Interactive Storytelling: Intuitive Agency in an Immersive Cinematic Film. IMX 2020, ACM International Conference in Interactive Media Experiences. Barcelona, Spain.


Palma, Tobías (2019) The Hunter & the Wolff: An Interactive Cinematic VR story. MAGIS International Film and Media Studies Spring School XVII edition, Post-Cinema Section. Gorizia, Italy.

Palma, Tobías (2019) Lonely Interactivity. Philosophy of Film Without Theory Conference. University of York. UK.


Palma, Tobías (2018) Chilean television against new media audiences: A model failing to update. PILAS Conference. University of Liverpool, UK.


Palma, Tobías (2017) Prosthetics for Imagination: New Media and the changing perception of reality. Artificial Lives Conference. University of Sussex, UK.


Alvarado, P.; García, I. & Palma, T. (2015) Audiencias y Estrategias de Convocatoria en Festivales de Cine nacionales. Revista Comunicación y Medios n.30 (2014). ISSN 0719-1529. pp. 255-270.


Palma, Tobías (2011) ¡A llenar la platea! Esfuerzos, dudas y reflexiones sobre la ciudadanía cultural en Chile. Chapter in: Haz tu tesis en cultura 2010. Consejo Nacional de la Cultura y las Artes. ISBN: 978-956-8327-94-1


Contact details

Dr Tobias Palma Stade
School of Arts and Creative Technologies
University of York
YO10 5GB