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Navigating Alternate Realities at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2017

Starting this Friday and running until 14 June, the Alternate Realities programme at Sheffield Doc/Fest features a great selection of talks and projects from the interactive and immersive documentary field. The majority of the talks this year are part of the Alternate Realities summit which kicks off on Sunday. A day curated by digital creative Dan Tucker and hosted by May Abdalla …

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Catching up with the creators of The World in Ten Blocks

Released at the end of 2016, ‘The World in Ten Blocks‘ is still attracting attention in the interactive documentary field, featuring in the Alternate Realities Exhibition at this years Sheffield Doc/Fest. The project explores the stories of immigrant entrepreneurs in Toronto’s Bloorcourt neighbourhood through an i-doc that weaves together photos, video and text with a first-person perspective that places you …

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Why do interactive stories matter?

Why do interactive stories matter, especially after the Brexit and Trump vote? This was the springboard for a discussion held earlier this week for the London launch of the recently published i-Docs book. Organised by Sandra Gaudenzi, the event was part of “disLAB presents”, a series of free encounters from the Digital and Interactive Storytelling Lab at Westminster University. Attended by industry folk, …

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12 fully-funded collaborative PhDs with industry partners

The 3D3 Centre for Doctoral Training has been awarded 12 fully-funded PhD studentships from the National Productivity Investment Fund to in October 2017. Each studentship is a collaboration between one of the three universities’ research centres and an industrial partner that guarantees training and access to facilities, a variety of internships/placements and in some instances co-supervision. All students will be part …

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Light into VR darkness – an in-depth interview with Arnaud Colinart

When directors Peter Middleton and James Spinney were working on their documentary Notes on Blindness, their attention was on finding a filming style that could convey the deepest emotions sensed in John Hull’s voice – a professor of religious education at Birmingham University that went blind in 1983 and spent much of a decade recording his journal on tape as …

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The ups and down of interactive factuals

  I have just returned from the Doc Tank Laboratory in Prague, where I was invited to mentor 5 interactive projects and lead them from concept to pitch in 4 days. Luckily enough, organizer Miriam Ryndová had lined up a great team of experts: William Uricchio (MIT Open Doc Lab), Arnau Gifreu (Transmedia Expert), Suzanna Lotz (Transmedia Expert), Bruno Choiniere (Akufen Studio), John MacFarlane (POV Digital). Christian Popp (Zuzu Productions) and Arjanne Laan (William de Kooning …

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Drone hacking and the next generation of storytellers

As we are launching a brand new MA/lab in digital and interactive storytelling (disLAB) at Westminster University, we have been internally debating which are the essential skills that the next generation of storytellers will need in order to succeed in our digital media landscape. The disLAB team, Dr David Dunkley Gyimah, Dr Massimiliano Fusari and myself, are having weekly brainstorms to map out the core values …

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#HACKED: Syria’s Electronic Armies – through the eyes of its makers

Launched on the 4th of October by Al Jazeera,  #Hacked is a web app that invites users to investigative a deadly cyber war in Syria, while the clock is ticking. Through mobile interviews, internet searches, and investigations, users need to un-tangle a network of cyber criminals without having their own phones hacked. Designed for mobile and tablets, but also playable …

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“How to weave a narrative between physical science, myth and human experience”

An interview with Jeremy Mendes on the use of scientific data in artistic documentary projects    The project the Canadian artist and documentary maker Jeremy Mendes is probably best known for is his pioneering interactive documentary Bear 71 (which has also been fervently discusses on i-docs.org).  After documentaries which he co-created at the NFB – among others The Seven Digital …

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Play #Hacked and don’t get hacked

Al Jazeera English launches a mobile game about the Syrian cyberwar: #HACKED – Syria’s Electronic Armies. Learning from her experience while producing Pirate Fishing in 2012, Juliana Ruhfus, senior reporter for Al Jazeera’s People & Power investigative and current affairs strand, has decided to go mobile for her second interactive investigation. Pushing the boundaries of traditional journalism,  #HACKED is Al Jazeera’s latest experiment …

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Cyber Chile

It is amazing how much one can learn in 5 days. I am just back from Santiago del Chile, where I spent 5 days far from “other things to do” and free to listen, observe, absorb and let connections happen. Mike Robbins and myself were invited by Maria Court (remember The Quipu Project?), Enrique Rivera (Director of the Media Art …

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Data as a Narrative Device – ‘A Means to an End and not the End itself’

An interview with Janine Steele and Loc Dao on data-driven story-telling and emotional engagement During his stay as a Fulbright Scholar in the Digital Studios of the NFB in Vancouver, Lomax Boyd, a scientist and documentary producer at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, had the opportunity to work with Janine Steele and Loc Dao of NFB/Interactive. As Chief Digital Officer …