Kenji Williams - BELLA GAIA Founder, Creative Director, Composer, &Violinist
Kenji Williams is an Entrepreneur, composer and director for immersive live theater, mixed reality, and interactive data visualization, and is the creative director and producer of the NASA-powered earth-from-space show, BELLA GAIA.
Named a "100 Top Creative" by Origin Magazine, a World Technology Network award finalist in Arts, Entertainment, and Education, and a Grammy voting member, Williams explores the nexus of art, technology, and transformation, through immersive technology platforms from IMAX, Fulldome, Holograms, and XR, while still working with traditional theaters and spaces to make them immersive portals through his unique storytelling methods.
Williams is an artist in residence at the new Movement Lab at Columbia University, and was an Artist in Residence and Visiting Scholar at the University of Colorado at Boulder developing a live 3D Holographic theater show, and designed and directed the world's first augmented-reality Earth ceremony at NASA's IceSat2 launch event.
Kenji's unique vision translates into collaborations with orbiting astronauts aboard the International Space Station, Ocean pioneer Sylvia Earle, Deepak Chopra, to multimedia artist Paul Miller, earning international film awards from Sundance, Lumen Prize, Canadian Society of Cinematographers, Science Media Awards, Best Soundtrack Composition at Macau International Fulldome Film Festival, People's Choice Award Fiske Fulldome Film Festival.
Kenji has garnering media exposure from the Washington Post, Village Voice, BBC, NPR, PBS, Huffington Post and USA Today.
In its 10th year, BELLA GAIA has toured around the world to 15 countries, presenting over 300 shows, and has a Fulldome movie presenting at planetariums around the world including at Fantasy Domes / LINQ hotel on the Las Vegas strip.
Williams tours around the world, at performing arts theaters, museums, and conferences such as, TEDx, Aspen Institute, Smithsonian, Guggenheim Museum, Strathmore, Marin Civic Center, Winspear Opera House, UNESCO, and the U.S. Dep State.
Kenji Williams Honors, Awards, Scholarly Work or Publications:
FILM: BELLA GAIA (Fulldome Film) Science Media Awards
FILM: BELLA GAIA (Fulldome Film) Fiske Fulldome Film Festival
MUSIC: BELLA GAIA (Fulldome Film Soundtrack) Macau International Fulldome festival
2016 VR: BELLA GAIA (VR) Lumen Prize - semifinalist
Film Related Awards:
FILM: "Gossamer" chosen for screening at Cineciege film festival in Toronto.
FILM: "Greenstick" - First place award at Cabbagetown International Film Festival (Toronto).
FILM: "Greenstick" - First Place award at CSC (Canadian Society of Cinematographers)
FILM: "Awakening" - First Place award in TVO Telefest experimental category.
FILM: "Awakening" - Third place for cinematography at the CSC awards.
FILM: “Crack the CIA” wins audience favorite award at Sundance Film Festival
FILM: BELLA GAIA (Fulldome Film) My Hero Award
FILM: BELLA GAIA (Fulldome Film) Transformational Film Festival
Other Awards and recognition:
2014 TEDx Tokyo Speaker, Presenter
2015 World Technology Network award finalist in Arts, Entertainment, and Education
2015 Named a "100 Top Creative" by Origin Magazine
2016 Artist in Residence and Visiting Scholar at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Arts & Sciences
2017 Artist in Residence and Visiting Scholar at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Arts & Sciences
1. “BELLA GAIA: The value of aesthetics in education”, IPS International Planetarium Society conference 2008, Adler Planetarium, Chicago, IL, Author: K. Williams
2. “Bella Gaia: A New Vehicle for Educational Engagement,” IAC-08-E.1.4, 59th International Astronautical Congress (IAC), 2008, Glasgow, Scotland. Author: K. Williams, Co-Author: V. Casasanto.