In today’s fast-paced world, news is everywhere — on computers, tablets, and phones in addition to traditional media outlets like newspaper, television and radio. We are often moved by what we read and hear, but we’ve struggled to find ways to participate, to actually reach out and change the news. RYOT gives you the power to "Become The News" by linking every single story to an action. It's what's going on in the world AND what you can do about it.
We create award-winning documentaries that have the power to change the world. From feature-length docs and character-driven shorts to experiential VR pieces that broach new frontiers, we tell stories of resilience that move audiences to take action. Our films have been official selection in 50+ international film festivals. In 2015 we have films slated to screen at TriBeCa Film Festival, South by Southwest, Hot Docs International, and Slamdance among others.
RYOT is one of the leading content studios creating documentary-style virtual reality films. We inform, entertain, and activate, to ignite change through next generation storytelling.
RYOT Gear is made 100% sustainably in the USA. Through clothing and accessory collaborations with artists and organizations, we inform, entertain, and activate to ignite change through next generation storytelling.
Our mission is to rebrand activism into something that Millennials and Plurals can identify with and aspire to. We help guide companies and organizations through the creation of disruptive yet authentic cause marketing campaigns and then we get these campaigns in front of an audience that cares. As a creative agency, RYOT has a team of award-winning creatives who produce documentary films and advertising content for some of the largest, most socially conscious brands and nonprofit organizations in the country.
Established in 2011, the RYOT Foundation was founded with the sole aim of funding the creation of Haiti’s first and only little league baseball team, the Tabarre Tigers. The mission of the RYOT Foundation has since expanded. Through innovative projects and strategic partnerships, RYOT Foundation now focuses on sustainable ways to foster hope in the midst of despair and to give a voice to the voiceless. The RYOT Foundation funds programs that allow kids to be kids, no matter what their surroundings dictate. RYOT Foundation works hand in hand with RYOT News to give people a way to directly impact the news they are reading, by linking every story to causes that are relevant, effective and making an impact on current events. The Foundation also sends first responders to post-disaster zones, helping to get aid where it's most needed.
Bryn is the Co-founder of RYOT, the first immersive media company based in Los Angeles linking content to action. Bryn has overseen the production of over 60 virtual reality films created by RYOT in collaboration with some of the most well-known brands in the world, including global VR news partnerships with The Huffington Post and The Associated Press. As a documentary filmmaker, Bryn has co-directed and produced 10 award-winning documentaries from Liberia to the Arctic, including "Body Team 12" - 2016 Oscar nominee for Best Documentary Short. The film is set to premiere on HBO in March 2016. Bryn was named one of Esquire Magazine's "Americans of the Year" as well as a "Hollywood Maverick" by Details Magazine. Before starting RYOT, Bryn spent years as a humanitarian, serving in the Peace Corps in Africa and working in Haiti, where he helped build the country's largest secondary school in Port-au-Prince, which now educates 3,000 Haitian youth per year.
David is the Co-founder of RYOT, the first immersive media company based in Los Angeles linking content to action. David spent the last decade as a first responder and frontline contributor for Reuters, the BBC and CNN, covering some of the world's largest natural disasters and wars. As Vice President of Operation Blessing International, he has traveled to over 100 countries. As an award-winning filmmaker, David’s work profiles countries in need and brings new stories back to the stateside audience. His most recent film “Body Team 12” is a 2016 Oscar nominee for Best Documentary Short. The film is set to premiere on HBO in March 2016. David has assisted in RYOT’s major role in the virtual reality space, partnering with aid workers, filmmakers and citizen journalists in 10 countries to create VR films and produced the first ever VR film from a disaster zone with the Nepal Quake Project. Additional accolades include being named one of Esquire Magazine's "Americans of the Year" as well as a "Hollywood Maverick" by Details Magazine. David grew up in the Middle East and England. After receiving his degree in Philosophy from Oxford University, he moved to Africa to work in the non-profit sector.
Molly joined RYOT when it was just 3 people in a living room. As COO, Molly oversees all operations across all departments and has produced RYOT Films from Kenya to the Arctic to Liberia, including the Oscar nominated film Body Team 12. Before RYOT, Molly designed, implemented and managed highly-leveraged philanthropic strategies for celebrities such as Ben Stiller, Shakira and Kobe Bryant. While working at The Obama White House, identifying candidates for political appointment, she made it to the Top 50 on Season 10 of American Idol. She has been featured in The New Yorker, The Seattle Times, The Washington Post and been a speaker at Nexus, SXSW and TEDxBerlin.
Director of Digital Content
Stash Slionski is a Director, Cinematographer and Executive Producer based in Los Angeles. Spanning the spectrum of branded content, sports, music videos, documentaries, commercials, and feature films, his work has been recognized by the Emmy's with nominations and several awards. Originally from New York City, Stash honed his style in the arduous and fast paced world of live network television, shooting and producing show opens and features for high profile events like the Super Bowl, NBA Finals, MTV Music Video Awards, Wimbledon, and the Olympics. Stash has collaborated alongside icons as varied as Justin Timberlake, Madonna, Snoop Dogg, Bruce Springsteen, and U2 and has produced brand work with with some of the biggest agencies in the business. Dedicated to socio/eco/environmental causes, Stash has shot in some of the most challenging and remote locations throughout the world, and his passion and unparalleled work ethic have solidified longstanding partnerships with several non-profits and charities which he continues to support.
Head of Data and Product
Rigel Zeda Stone (yes, his real name) was brought to life by two hippies in the rural town of Hilo, Hawaii. Since then Zeda has stepped away from his rainy tropical roots to pursue the advancement of technology in cutting edge markets. He has helped develop, market and create technologies ranging from cellulosic biofuel production to an overlay based interactive video technology and his latest passion project, Kinship, a patent pending digital time capsule for the delivery of content in the future. Zeda joined the RYOT tech team to help break, remold and push the current news industry into the future by creating a more personal, inspiring and action driven consumption model. Currently living in Laguna Beach, he spends his spare time supporting a local organization dedicated to providing support and rehabilitation for single adult homeless individuals in Orange County called the Friendship Shelter.
Front End Web Developer
A native of Arizona, Zach spent his first twenty-five years living there before making the move out to Los Angeles. Ever since he can remember, he’s been interested in anything technology-related. He followed that path all the way through college by graduating from the University of Arizona with a double major in Management Information Systems and Operations Management. At RYOT, Zach works on the entire web development process, including design, development and deployment and any IT work that may arise. His second passion is electronic dance music. He co-founded EDMHUB.com , featuring everything related EDM music. On weekends, you are guaranteed to spot him at a music show or festival.
Culture & Social Editor
Ben both writes and edits stories, assists with formulating and implementing social media strategy, and periodically gets in front of the camera for RYOT. Born in Venezuela, raised in San Diego, and reluctantly transplanted to Los Angeles, Ben found a loving home away from home with the RYOT family in March of 2014. After picking up a Bachelor's in political science back in 2011, he took a few years to aimlessly wander hot and far-away lands before returning to the states because the IRS told him to stop dodging his student loans. But for how insatiable his lust for travel may be, there's nowhere in the world he'd rather be right now than with RYOT, slangin' cultural activism and empowering young people to shape the world around them.
Senior Editor / Post Production Manager
Khalil is a film editor, writer/producer, and visual artist. His experience spans across scripted and un-scripted television, commercials, music videos, and virtual media. His edited work has appeared on CBS, ABC, FOX, Spike Network, ABC Family, Animal Planet and The National Geographic Channel. He was educated at Loyola Marymount University and the Crossroads School in Santa Monica. He resides in Venice, California where he was born and raised.
Virtual Reality Production Supervisor
Dirk grew up in a small ski town in Colorado called Breckenridge. After college, he turned his sights on becoming a radio DJ at a country station (to his shame) under the name Sterling West. He later moved on to work for local and national TV networks, putting in time at channels like MTV, Discovery Networks, and Starz. During a 7-year stint in China, Dirk hosted a popular children’s television show, fell in love with his now-wife Daria, started a scooter gang (non-violent) and did everything from directing video for live concerts, to producing 360 sphere video. He has since returned to the states, where he has a small production company of his own and handles all aspect of stitching virtual reality footage for RYOT.
As a writer, Anna believes that if your story touches someone, whether in a good or bad way, you’re telling a good story. Despite having a college degree in business from Webber International University in Central Florida, Anna has chosen a writing career, preferring to surround herself with people who believe their voices, their words, and their actions can change the world. One of her biggest dreams is to travel beyond the Earth and into space. She is currently detoxing from a lifelong Dr. Pepper-and-Milky-Way habit and she welcomes your support in this time of strife.
A fusion of man and machine, Dougal was engineered in the frozen wastes of northern New York to be the ultimate creative professional. His development continued at UCLA's Design and Media Arts Labs where his technical abilities and processing speed were honed and refined. Dougal was deployed in numerous design missions throughout China and the US, operating as a creative consultant to equally numerous companies and firms. Now he designs for RYOT, developing all manner of experimental media. When not working, he is in "sleep mode."
A graduate of USC, Hayley’s had the privilege of working directly at the intersection of media and social change. She’s taught sex-ed in Uganda, led theater classes for incarcerated youth, developed campaigns for documentary films, and produced a virtual reality short on sexual assault that premiered at Sundance Film Festival. She currently assists in running and fostering the growth of RYOT films, and thrives on bridging the gap between filmmakers and activists. She peaked at age 10 when she starred in a string of Mattel doll commercials, and now she spends her free time with friends and family, and singing showtunes.
Originally from the small East Coast town of Meriden, Connecticut, Tania moved to California at 19 to pursue her dream of being a director at the Art Institute of California – Los Angeles. Along the way she found herself interested in camera work, lighting, editing and directing. Her passion for film has led her to work on music videos, documentaries, commercials and short films, as well as her own projects. This passion may or may not have been a factor in her naming her chihuahua Leeloo, after the character from the Luc Besson film, The Fifth Element.
Creative Project Manager
Matt assists Alma Har'el, our Global Creative Director as a Creative Project Manager, helping bring visions to fruition, and helping to curate artistic and musical content for the site. He is a self-made man of many hats: beatmaker, remixer, DJ, compilation curator, art aficionado and video artist.Formerly one-third of weirdo synth-rap group Restiform Bodies, and one-whole nice guy raised in New England, now living in the New Wild West.
Christian is the Global Editor at RYOT, and has spent the last 5 years documenting conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Gaza, Somalia, Central African Republic and more. A High School dropout from London, he has done work for VICE, The Economist, MSNBC and Vocativ, to name a few.
Jackson’s search for the light in what often seems like a dark world has ultimately led him to RYOT, where he oversees the Action part of the website. He majored in psychology and played football in college, but hasn’t seen the inside of a gym since then. After graduating from school, he spent some time in Amman, Jordan, working for the UN so that he could see the Syrian refugee situation up close and do what he could to help. When he’s not at the office, you might find Jackson watching Alan Watts videos on Youtube or playing ukulele under a tree somewhere.
Born and raised on the outskirts of Worcester, MA, Dan honed his skills at a young age, using his father’s VHS camcorder throughout his high school years. Teaching himself basic editing techniques and motion graphics, Dan decided to make the fatal financial mistake of attending the New England Institute of Art in Boston, MA for one year before moving to Los Angeles to finish school and pursue the world of film, video and graphic design. Since graduating in 2012 with an Associates degree in digital filmmaking from the Art Institute of California, Los Angeles, Dan has made film a hobby and a career choice.
Head of RYOT Gear
Born and raised in Venice Beach, Smiley graduated from NYU with a degree in Environmental Studies and Sustainability. Before joining the RYOT team, she produced photo and video shoots for Slate Magazine and prior to that, founded GUNS. GERMS. $TEAL, a high-end street wear brand that is known for their technology influenced wearables. [GG$] counts Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky and Justin Bieber as fans and clients. Smiley now handles and manages the RYOT Gear portion of the site and is never not wearing a cowboy hat.
Board of Directors
Gareth is a director and investor in RYOT.org. His mandate is to live as widely as possible taking every opportunity to encourage the call to action on matters of social justice. A producer on a number of films including Body Team 12, his business advice is highly sought after when he isn't pursuing one of his many passions like travel, vintage anything and scuba diving. He also sits as a board member of Dying With Dignity and The Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research and has spoken to international audiences on a range of social issues.
Board of Directors
Previously a director of Rogers Wireless Communications Inc. and Rogers Media Inc, Martha is committed to helping causes around the world through the Rogers Foundation and RYOT Foundation. She has been a passionate advocate and supporters of social issues in Haiti for half a decade.