[2017-ongoing] [2022]

[2018-ongoing] [2019]

[2017-ongoing] [2022]

[2018-ongoing] [2019]

b.1991 - Amsterdam, Netherlands


    Ali Eslami's work originates in Virtual Reality, often manifesting as VR / Video Installations and performance lectures. These long-term research projects build up and grow over time through speculative thinking and world-building. by carefully observing the nature of reality, human condition, and constructs that are taken for granted. And tries to push it further to extreme or twisted thresholds. His early influences in art practice came from surrealism, developing alongside a recent fascination with speculative fiction such as the works of J.G Ballard and Theory fiction.

    His engineering background nurtured an obsession with cybernetics and continues to build his curiosity towards the shifting roles of form and function that create virtual worlds. These experiences produce realities that blur fictional and non-fictional narratives and hope to articulate possible futures while questioning the restaurants of space, time, and body. As a practice, this engineering of other worlds brings a lot of exciting methods and reflections to the embodied reality of life itself. In this sense, it has the potential to function as a feedback loop between the real and unreal.

    In 2016, his VR project won the IDFA DocLab Award for “Best Immersive non-fiction” and in 2020 the Golden Calf for Best interactive at Nederlands Film Festival (Nerd_Funk).

    Side activities include Co-curator at STRP Festival, Program advisor at IDFA Doclab.


2010-2014 Bachelor of Civil Engineering - Zanjan National University (Zanjan, Iran)

Artist in Residence

2021-23 Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, (Amsterdam. NL)

2020 Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Guest resident (Amsterdam. NL)

2018-19 3Package Deal, Amsterdam fonds voor de kunst (Amsterdam. NL)

2016 Age of Wonderland, Baltan Laboratories (Eindhoven, NL)

Work Experience

2012-Present     Artist, Freelance

2009-2012        Senior 3D Artist - Savice Interior Architecture Co.

Selected Exhibitions

  • Nerd_Funk

2022 CTM Festival (Berling, GE)  |  Melkweg Expo (Amsterdam, NL)

2021 Patty Morgan Gallery (Amsterdam, NL)

2020 Impossible-bodies Festival (Den Bosch, NL)  |  Nederlands Film Festival [Golden Calf Nominee] (Utrecht, NL)

Geneva International Film Festival (Geneva, SW)

CPH:DOX (Copenhagen, DK)  |  Ambulante Film Festival (Mexico)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Opendoclab R&D

2019 IDFA Doclab (grant recipient) (Amsterdam, NL)


2021 TETEM Solo Exhibition [Enschede, NL]  |  Dutch Design Awards showcase [Eindhoven, NL]

2020 IDFA Festival [Performance] (Amsterdam, NL)

  • Sacred Hill

2021 Geneva International Film Festival (Geneva, SW)

2020 Meta Marathon (Dusseldorf, GE)

Online Video Essay commissioned by IMPAKT (Essay by Jason Bahbak Mohaghegh)

2019 Museumnacht Amsterdam (Amsterdam, NL)  |  Nederlands Film Festival  (Utrecht, NL)

Neuhaus Artistic Research, Het Nieuwe Instituut (Rotterdam, NL) 

  • False Mirror

2019 The Overkill Festival (Enschede, NL)  |  Getxophoto Festival (Bilbao, SP)

AMaze Festival (Berlin, GE)  |  Ambulante Film Festival (Mexico)

Diversion Cinema Showcase in Galerie Cinema (Paris, FR)

2018 IDFA Doclab Spotlight (Amsterdam, NL)

  • Big Air with Go (Commissioned by NIKE)

2019 VR Installation, Melt Festival (Leipzig, GE)

  • DeathTolls Experience

2019 Nexus Gallery (Melbourne, Aus)|  Ambulante Film Festival (Mexico)

2018 Published online at Oculus Store | War on Screen Festival (Paris, France)

2017 Published online at Steam and Viveport  |  Global Health Film Festival (London, UK)

Festival du Nouveau Cinéma (Montreal, CA)  |  Bergen Film Festival (Bergen, NO)  

British Council South American Tour | Paris Virtual Film Festival (Paris. FR)

Sheffield DocFest (Sheffield, UK)  |  Kaleidoscope VR Showcase Vol 2

SXSW Virtual Cinema (Austin, USA)

2016 IDFA Festival (Amsterdam, NL)  |  Dutch Design Week (Eindhoven, NL)

  • Snow VR

2018 WoW Masquerade 24H West (Amsterdam, NL)

2017 IndieCade Showcase at E3 Expo (Los Angeles, USA)

2016 Todaysart Festival (The Hague, NL)  |  Mutek VR Salon (Montreal, CA)


2020 Program Advisor and Co-curator at STRP Festival (Eindhoven, NL)

Program Advisor at IDFA Festival  (Amsterdam, NL)

2019 Jury member of goEast Film Festival VR Competition (Wiesbaden, GE)

Program Advisor at IDFA Festival  (Amsterdam, NL)

2018 Jury member of IDFA Doclab’s Competition for Immersive non-fiction

Founder member of Plurality University (U+)

CPH:Lab participant (Copenhagen, DE)

IDFA’s Cross-Media Forum Participant (Amsterdam, NL)

2013 Temp-Illusion Live AudioVisual Performance at TADAEX Festival (Tehran, IR)

Selected Talks / Conferences / Workshops

2021 Hogeschool van Amsterdam - Multimedia Design - Lecture (Amsterdam, NL)

University of Applied Arts, Vienna - Lecture (Vienna, AU)
Netherlands Film Academy - Master of Film - Lecture (Amsterdam, NL)

MIT University Hacking XR, False Mirror Lecture (Boston, US)

2020 We Are Public Livestream, False Mirror VR Lecture (online)

Meta Marathon, False Mirror VR Lecture (Dusseldorf, GE)

Johns Hopkins University, False Mirror VR Lecture (New York, US)

MoMA Museum of Modern Art - False Mirror Showcase (New York, US)

The University of Denver, False Mirror VR Lecture (Denver, US)

2019 Eindhoven Film Festival,  False Mirror VR Lecture (Eindhoven, NL)

Unpackaging 3Package Deal, False Mirror VR Lecture (Amsterdam, NL)

GetxoPhoto Festival, False Mirror VR Lecture (Bilbao, ES)

Mutek Montreal, False Mirror VR Lecture (Montreal, CA)

Sensorium Festival, Virtual Embodiment VR Lecture (Bratislava, SL)

A Maze Festival, Live lecture from VR, (Berlin, GE)

Salwa Foundation, VR Workshop (Amsterdam, NL)

The Hmm. Presentation (Amsterdam, NL)

Artez University, ‘Behind the Net’ Workshop, (Arnhem, NL)

Sharjah Art Foundation, Panel speaker at Sharjah Film Platform (Sharjah, UAE)

2018 Speculative Design VR Workshop, University of Applied Sciences, Master of Digital Design (Amsterdam, NL)

IDFA Doclab, False Mirror VR Presentation (Amsterdam, NL)

2017 Tumo center for creative technologies, VR workshop (Yerevan, Armenia)

Forum Des Images, Why Virtual Reality?! Roundtable, (Paris, FR)

Royal College of Arts, VR Symposium (London, UK)

Sheffield DocFest, Join The Resistance Panel (Sheffield, UK)

Tehran ACM Siggraph, VR Production Workflow Workshop (Tehran, Iran)

2016 Artez University, VR Masterclass (3 Days) (Arnhem, NL)

IDFA Doclab, Interactive Conference Talk (Amsterdam, NL)

Dutch Design Week, Advanced VR Development and Design (Eindhoven, NL)

Dutch Design Week, VR as new Medium, Workshop (Eindhoven, NL)

STRP Scene, Introduction to VR (Eindhoven, NL)

VPRO Medialab’s Meet the Makers (The Hague, NL)

2014 Expanded Reality Presentation, Re-Shape Tehran (Tehran, Iran)


2016 IDFA Doclab’s Best Immersive non-fiction

2020 Golden Calf best Interactive (Nerd_Funk)

Recognition & Press

FeaturesThe Creators Project  |  MIT’s Open Documentary Lab  |  Yahoo News  |  Financial Times 

Fast Company  |  Het Parool  |  Variety Quartz UploadVR | Road to VR

Interviews  ArteTVVPRO Dorst  |  2Docs.nl  |  IDFA.nl  | Voices of VR 

Nominations Nederlands Film Festival Golden Calf and Director’s Forum Award 2020

Dutch Design Awards 2021 Geneva International film festival 2021

IDFA Festival competition for Immersive-nonfiction 2016 & 2019

Sheffield DocFest 2017     SXSW Virtual Cinema 2017    Kantar’s Information is Beautiful Awards 2015

Lumen Prize Shortlist 2017     One World Media Award Longlist 2018