Ilaria Vecchi is a Media and Religious Studies Lecturer. She is also a researcher and filmmaker focusing on visual ethnography, interactive documentaries, and Asian cultures at the iRIS Centre (International Research Centre for Interactive Storytelling). She filmed and wrote about the refugees' situation in the Mediterranean Sea and Lampedusa. In 2015, Ilaria left the Lampedusa Film Festival board to further her academic projects. In 2016 she turned her documentary project on the Itako mediums of Japan into her doctorate research. Since returning to academia, Ilaria has published articles on Itako, religion, visual ethnography, and religion's critical study in Japan. She is also working on using interactive documentaries as a research methodology in ethnographic studies. She is also a member of AAA, IVSA, and BASR.