From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
FoundersBryn Mooser, David Darg, Martha Rogers, Molly DeWolf Swenson
OriginsLos Angeles
Key people
Bryn Mooser, David Darg, Molly Swenson, Martha Rogers, Gareth Seltzer
Parent organization
Yahoo Inc.
SubsidiariesRYOT Studio, RYOT Films, RYOT Lab
Websitewww.ryot.org Edit this at Wikidata

RYOT /ˈrət/ (or, riot) is an American immersive media company founded in 2012 by Bryn Mooser, David Darg, Molly DeWolf Swenson and Martha Rogers, based in Los Angeles. It specializes in documentary film production, commercial production, virtual reality and augmented reality.

In April 2016, RYOT was acquired by HuffPost.[1]

In May 2021, RYOT was acquired by Apollo Global Management alongside other Verizon Media properties for $5 billion. The transaction was closed on September 1, 2021.[2]


Founding and early years[edit]

Bryn Mooser and David Darg met in Haiti during the weeks after the earthquake of January 2010. Both were in the country doing humanitarian work, Mooser with Artists for Peace and Justice, to build a school, and Darg with Operation Blessing, to build water and sanitation systems. After working alongside each other and becoming friends, Mooser and Darg had the idea to create a baseball league for the young boys of the Tabarre neighborhood of Port-au-Prince.[2][3]

Soon after, Mooser and Darg returned home to America, brought on Molly DeWolf Swenson as COO, and launched RYOT News as “the first news site linking news to action.”

Founding investors are Canadians Martha Rogers and Gareth Seltzer, and other notable funders include Todd Wagner and Jason Calacanis.

Celebrity activists Olivia Wilde, Ian Somerhalder, Ben Stiller and Sophia Bush were early supporters of RYOT and endorse their efforts worldwide. Olivia Wilde and Elon Musk are Executive Producers on numerous RYOT Films.

Founding Directors of the company alongside Mooser and Darg were Stash Slionski and Stacey Leasca while the first reporters included Benjamin Roffee, Vanessa Black, Stefan Todorovic, Tyson Sadler and Christian Stephen.

2015-present: VR and later productions[edit]

RYOT began producing 360/VR videos for other media organizations, advertisers and nonprofits in 2015. In their first produced 360/VR films for partners such as The New York Times,[4] NPR,[5] The Associated Press,[6] Huffington Post[7] and Sierra Club.[8]

RYOT is credited as the first company to capture in 360 video,1. An active war zone (Syria), a disaster zone (Nepal), underwater with wild dolphins (Bahamas), and is the first company to produce VR news and comedy series on a major network (Hulu).


RYOT Studio is Verizon Media's in-house branded content agency.

RYOT Films creates content in traditional & immersive formats across film, TV, digital, and VR, producing content for nonprofits and brand partners including The New York Times,[3] NPR,[4] The Associated Press,[5] Huffington Post[6] and Sierra Club.[7]

RYOT Lab is Verizon Media’s technology and innovation hub for emerging technologies, in partnership with Verizon Lab.

Awards and nominations[edit]

RYOT Films was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject) for Body Team 12 in January 2016. Body Team 12 was also honored at the Tribeca Film Festival, the Mountainfilm Festival, the Palm Springs International Film Festival, and the Austin Film Festival for Best Documentary Short.

Linear filmography[edit]

Year Film Director Release Date Notes
2011 Sun City Picture House David Darg October 15, 2011 Production
2012 Baseball in the Time of Cholera David Darg, Bryn Mooser April 21, 2012 Production
2013 The Rider and the Storm David Darg, Bryn Mooser 2013 Production
2014 Meet the Hitlers Matthew Ogens October 18, 2014 Co-Production (on Showtime)
2014 Mitimetallica David Darg, Bryn Mooser December 5, 2014 Production
2014 Positive Linus Ignatius 2014 Production (in association with)
2015 Gardeners of Eden Austin Peck, Anneliese Vandenberg April 24, 2015 Co-Production (on Netflix)
2015 Body Team 12 David Darg April 19, 2015 Co-Production (on HBO)
2015 Sailing a Sinking Sea Olivia Wyatt March 14, 2015 Production
2015 Sweet Micky For President Ben Patterson January 24, 2015 Co-Production (on Showtime)
2015 The Painter of Jalouzi Bryn Mooser September 25, 2015 Production
2015 Salam Neighbor Zach Ingrasci, Chris Temple June 20, 2015 Production
2016 El Púgil Angel Manuel Soto 2016 Production
2016 Watani: My Homeland Marcel Mettelsiefen April 12, 2016 Production (in association with)
2016 Wasfia Sean Kusanagi May 2016 Production (on National Geographic)
2018 On Her Shoulders Alexandria Bombach January 2018 Production
2019 Earth Nigel Tierney, Federico Heller April 2019 Music video production
2021 Flee Jonas Poher Rasmussen December 2021 Production

Mooser and Darg documented their work with the young boys in Haiti in their Tribeca award-winning film Baseball in the Time of Cholera, which follows the rise of the Tabarre Tigers and the concurrent outbreak of Cholera in Haiti. The film played at film festivals around the world and finished with a special Congressional screening in Washington, D.C.[8]

A year later, Mooser and Darg, debuted their third film at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, a documentary short titled The Rider and The Storm, which chronicles a New York surfer who lost everything in the Breezy Point fires during Hurricane Sandy.[9][10][11]

Executive-produced by Olivia Wilde and Paul Allen, RYOT's Oscar-nominated Body Team 12 profiles a young Liberian health worker who collects the bodies of the dead in Monrovia at the height of the Ebola outbreak in 2014, and won Best Short Documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival 2015.[12] It debuted on HBO in February 2016.[13] On Her Shoulders, a documentary about Nadia Murad's fight against ISIS, debuted in competition at Sundance Film Festival in January 2018, where it won a Directing award for a U.S. Documentary.[14]

The Painter of Jalouzi was the first documentary to be shot entirely on an iPhone 6S Plus.

Virtual reality filmography[edit]

Year Film Director Notes
2015 Growing Up Girl[15] David Darg Production
2015 The Crossing Tyson Sadler Production
2016 Big Picture: News in Virtual Reality Production
2016 Virtually Mike and Nora Nora Kirkpatrick Production
2016 Bashir's Dream Angel Manuel Soto Production
2018 Take Every Wave: Laird in VR Tarik Benbrahim Production
2018 Dinner Party Angel Manuel Soto Production
2019 Tales From The Edge Tarik Benbrahim Production


  1. ^ "Verizon's AOL's Huffington Post acquires virtual reality studio RYOT for $10 to $15 million". TechCrunch. 20 April 2016. Retrieved 2019-09-04.
  2. ^ "Verizon to offload Yahoo, AOL for $5 billion". Reuters. 3 May 2021. Retrieved 2021-05-03.
  3. ^ "NYT VR Releases New 360 Film 10 Shots Across The Border | VRFocus". VRFocus. Retrieved 2016-03-16.
  4. ^ "Wilco In 360: Behind The Scenes At NPR Music's Tiny Desk". NPR.org. Retrieved 2016-03-16.
  5. ^ "Virtual Reality Journalism Is Coming To The Associated Press". Fast Company. 5 November 2015. Retrieved 2016-03-16.
  6. ^ "Join Susan Sarandon In Greece At The Refugee Crisis Frontlines". The Crossing. Retrieved 2016-03-16.
  7. ^ "Jared Leto Tours The Arctic In A New Virtual Reality Climate Change Campaign". Co.Create. 8 October 2015. Retrieved 2016-03-16.
  8. ^ "Baseball in the Time of Cholera". Huffington Post. April 18, 2012.
  9. ^ "The Rider and the Storm | 2013 Tribeca Festival".
  10. ^ Bischof, Jackie (April 18, 2013). "At Tribeca, Profiling Life After Sandy". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
  11. ^ Anderson, John (February 1, 2013). "Documentaries Thrive in Sandy's Ruins". New York Times. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
  12. ^ "Why You Need To See This Olivia Wilde-Produced Ebola Documentary". Forbes. Retrieved 2016-02-18.
  13. ^ "'Body Team 12': HBO Documentary Films Acquires Short Doc". The Hollywood Reporter. 10 November 2015. Retrieved 2016-02-18.
  14. ^ Hipes, Dominic Patten,Patrick (2018-01-28). "Sundance Film Festival: 'The Miseducation Of Cameron Post', 'Kailash' Land Grand Jury Prizes – The Complete Winners List". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-01-30.
  15. ^ Archer, Dan and Katharina Finger. "Walking in another’s virtual shoes: Do 360-degree video news stories generate empathy in viewers?," TOW Center for Digital Journalism (MARCH 15, 2018).