Skip to content
  • Print

Featured Projects

A Yosemite Welcome.... Excerpt from Kevin Pontuti on Vimeo.

Have you wanted to meet John Muir and hear tales of his travels? Here is a chance to do just that in virtual reality. This 360-degree stereoscopic short film transports you to Yosemite National Park where you are met by John Muir (played by actor/historian Lee Stetson) as he tells you a story about his first encounter with a Yosemite bear. Created by faculty, staff and students at University of the Pacific.

Statement from Program Director Kevin Pontuti
Created by students and faculty at University of the Pacific, this VR short film is one of multiple Muir-inspired projects we're producing that celebrates the 150th anniversary of John Muir's first trek into Yosemite Valley.
As an educator, I think it's important to help students connect historic context to contemporary issues. We plan to expand this project with other Muir stories and settings in hopes of connecting the Muir legacy to a new generation of conservationists.

Jeremy Hanlon

Screenings and Awards:
Mammoth Film Festival
Mammoth Lakes, California 
February 9, 2018 
Official Selection  

Earth Day Film Festival
Chico, California 
April 14, 2018 
Best VR Film            

San Francisco Frozen Film Festival
San Francisco  
July 18, 2018 
SF Premiere 
Best VR Film  

Seattle Transmedia & Independent Film Festival
Seattle, Washington 
July 27, 2018 
Runner Up "Best Transmedia"  

Holly Shorts
Los Angeles, California
August 10, 2018 
Best VR  

Nevada City Film Festival
Nevada City, California 
September 7, 2018 
Official Selection

Yosemite Welcome film team


  • Kevin Pontuti | Director/Producer
  • Lee Stetson | Writer
  • Rena Fraden | Producer/Dean
  • Jimilynn Dorough | Producer/Fundraising
  • Lee Stetson | Key Cast
  • Jeremy Hanlon | Cinematography
  • Jonathan Sosidka | Editor
  • William Lowe | Editor
  • Luke Bolle | Sound Recordist
  • Alexandra Loreth | Location Scout

  • Film Type: Short, Virtual Reality, Web/New Media
  • Genres: Historic, environmental, nature 
  • Runtime: 10 minutes 
  • Completion Date: Nov. 14, 2017 
  • Production Budget: 3,500 USD   
  • Country of Origin: United States             
  • Country of Filming: United States             
  • Film Language: English 
  • Shooting Format: Digital 360 Stereoscopic
  • Aspect Ratio: 360 
  • Film Color: Color   

Stories and Reviews

Media X goes to Mammoth
The Record: Fitzgerald: A virtual encounter with John Muir
The Union: Virtual worlds coming to Nevada City Film Festival

Director Bio:
Kevin Pontuti is an artist and educator based in the United States. He received his MFA from Syracuse University in 1993, then moved to California where he founded the Los Angeles-based production company Studio P Inc. His image-making expertise and collaborative spirit attracted many top artists and designers to his studio. In 2009, Pontuti accepted a professorship at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. In 2017, he returned to California to lead University of the Pacific's Media X program. His teaching and creative practice include film, VR and transmedia studies.