Projects selected from the first interactive documentary call of Catalan Broadcasting Corporation

The Catalan Broadcasting Corporation (CCMA) opened last year the first call to coproduce interactive documentary. The projects selected were published a few weeks ago. Of the 28 projects presented in this first call, the Department of Digital Media and Documentary of the CCMA and New Television Formats of Television of Catalonia (TV3) selected six projects, in accordance with their current funding possibilities.

Each project will receive a financial contribution to carry out the co-production during the whole of next year. Some of the selected projects are based on linear documentaries (which TV3 will broadcast soon) and others on native formats related to interactive documentary. According to the information provided by the CCMA, “the aim of this initiative is to explore the narrative possibilities of interactive documentary as a specific audiovisual format in a process of definition and continuous transformation, with its own codes and its innovative nature”.

But the incursion of the CCMA goes beyond this first call to the external co-production, because during last summer the interactive documentary El Swissleaks de Falciani (Falciani’s Swissleaks) was released, a piece related to a television documentary which was selected for the opening of DocsBarcelona Festival 2015 and  broadcast by TV3 recently.

Swissleaks 1

Interface of the project Falciani’s Swissleaks

In autumn 2008 the bank employee Herve Falciani organized a telematic theft of the HSBC Private Bank in Geneva, obtaining data involving many of his customers. With his daring he unveiled banking secrecy in Switzerland and its impact was global. The documentary is a production of Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion in co-production with Polar Star Films and SWR, in cooperation with Arte and TV3 and La Marea (a monthly paper magazine and a daily digital medium that are committed to rigorous  journalism, in-depth reporting and culture) also participated.

Swissleaks 2

Interface of the project Falciani’s Swissleaks

In addition to this webdoc, the CCMA portal has released recently an interactive and educational documentary on the history of Catalan literature called Ariadna. Un recorregut interactiu per la història i la literatura Catalana del segle XX (Ariadna. An interactive journey of Catalan literature of the twentieth century, Gemma Rodriguez and Laura Piaggio, co-produced with Gueparins). The Catalan Broadcasting Corporation collaborates in this project with the support of the Institute of Catalan Letters and the The Spanish General Society for Authors and Publishers (SGAE). In this case, it is an interactive documentary that explores the relationship between society and literature through a tour of the main Catalan authors of the twentieth century and the social and political events that marked their lives and literary production. The documentary also opened a digital space for collaboration and collective creation through which the user can play with and participate in a cultural heritage that belongs to him/her.

AriadnaImages from Ariadna. Un recorregut interactiu per la història i la literatura catalana del segle XX . Source: Piaggodematei Website.

We will now get back to the six projects selected for co-production by CCMA during the next year:

Amb títol (With title), from Fundació Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Pompeu Fabra University Foundation) is a project that deals with the experience of studying in college, the expectations generated and the role of universities in society. Directed by Neus Ballús, outstanding alumni UPF who holds four Gaudí Awards and a nomination for the Goya for her first feature, The Plague (2013), and produced by Jordi Ballo, professor of Audiovisual Communication at the UPF and winner of the National Film Award and Barcelona Award, ​​among other awards. We invited Neus Ballús and Joaquim Colàs to interDocsBarcelona 2015 and you can check the progress of their work in this video:

Neus Ballús and Joaquim Colàs presnting Amb títol at interDocsBarcelona 2015

Diaris de presó (Imprisonment Diaries) is a new interactive project from Intropia Media (Serrana Torres and Tània Balló) on the prison world for young people in Catalonia. Intropia Media is a production company that has projects like Las Sinsombrero, a transmedia project on women of the generation of 27 (presented in 2014 in the last i-Docs Conference in Bristol) and Oleg, a documentary about the composer Oleg Karavaichuk, one of the most important musicians in the history of Russia, in a movie that portrays the creative process of this extraordinary composer from an intimate perspective.

Focus SpainFocus Spain, the first latin panel at i-Docs Conference 2014

La llamada (The Call), from the production company Inicia Films is an interactive experience around organ transplants, focusing on organ donation from the perspective of the person who is responsible for communicating the death to the family and requesting authorization for donation. The living coordination ONT (National Transplant Organization) is configured as an essential point in this narrative, a nexus that unites all the protagonists. The project has this title because all the characters enter the scene from a call. The user can, from interactive storytelling, follow all the steps in relation to a donation and go deeper into them.

Valerie Delpierre and Mar Medir presnting La llamada at interDocsBarcelona 2014 (only available in Spanish)

Orgull of Baix  (Down Pride), from Al Pati Productions (Isabel Fernandez and Anna Carreras), is a webdoc on the Baix Llobregat, an area near Barcelona, complementing a linear documentary, an initiative that received aid for investments in information technology and communications (ICT) Management of Creativity and Innovation of the Cultural Institute of Barcelona.

El pati de Darrere (Backyard) is a linear documentary that highlights the landscape of Baix Llobregat, the wealth of agricultural land, real estate speculation, and the strength and pride of its people, even though the region has often been regarded as Barcelona’s “backyard“. The Baix Llobregat is a region that experienced unbridled growth in the second half of the twentieth century.

The project harnesses the potential of the story and its characters to build an interactive and participatory space which will serve for the visibility, appreciation and knowledge of the Baix Llobregat, and improve their relationship with the citizens of Barcelona.

Sexe, maraques i chiuahues (Sex, maracas and Chiuahuas) from Minimal Films, is an interactive project based on the life and the creative universe of the musician Xavier Cugat. This curious man spent most of his musical projection in Hollywood and participated in the soundtrack of the first films with sound. He appeared with his orchestra performing in several films, always in the role of rhythmic music director while holding in his arms his chihuahua puppy. In 1940 he recorded the song “Perfidia” with singer Miguelito Valdes, which became one of the biggest hits of the moment, besides being a benchmark for many other orchestras like Perez Prado. His orchestra was a collection of musical artists from which great tropical musicians arose.

Xavier CugatThe musician and artist Xavier Cugat

Sexy, from Setmagic Audiovisual, is the last selected project, an interactive and informative proposal on adolescents and sexuality. Sexy gets to know teenagers and get closer to their questions, to give answers and tools to improve their personal relationships. The project aims at answering questions about adolescents such as: Are teenagers today as oversexed as they seem? Do they know what sex really means? Do they dominate the language of their body?

We wish all these proposals the best of luck and we are very happy that the Catalan Broadcaster, one way or another, has finally entered the field. Hopefully they will open the second call soon… we will keep you informed!

Arnau Gifreu