UWE focusses on fast-changing world of interactive documentaries

Issue date: 17 March 2014

Venue: Watershed

1 Canons Road



Dates: Thursday 20 and Friday 21 March 2014

To attend the event, register at the UWE Online Store.

UWE Bristol is presenting i-Docs, a two-day event dedicated to the fast-developing world of interactive documentary, at Bristol's Watershed on 20 and 21 March. Everyday technologies - from the internet to the smart phone and tablet - offer exciting new possibilities for documentary making and i-Docs investigates this world where storytelling meets interactivity and participation.

The two-day programme features Elaine McMillion's Hollow (selected for IDFA DocLab and SXSW festivals) and the Guardian's interactive online story Firestorm. Speakers include William Uricchio from MIT Open Documentary Lab, interactive documentary pioneer Bjarke Myrthu and new media artist Hank Willis Thomas, whose Question Bridge project was selected for the Sundance festival.

On 20 March there will be a special evening performance of the award-winning interactive theatre event Choose Your Own Documentary, selected for the Tribeca Storyscape Festival, plus a Q&A session with writer/performer Nathan Penlington and producer Sam Smail.

Associate Professor Mandy Rose from UWE Bristol's Digital Cultures Research Centre, said, “i-Docs brings together leading practitioners, producers and scholars to show, debate and reflect on cutting edge and award-winning work.

“The past two i-Docs conferences have been sell-out events. This year we will have two full days of focussed and challenging conversations in which leading practitioners will interrogate new production models, consider methods of engagement and evaluation, and explore new territories for participatory and collaborative media.

“People today expect to access stories on tablets and phones. Gaming is becoming ever more popular. All these trends are reflected in projects showcased at i-Docs. For example, Ramona Pringle's Avatar Secrets for iPad is a first-person documentary told on a tablet, and Offshore is a non-fiction about the global offshore oil industry presented as a game. Author Naomi Klein said of the project, 'For a visceral sense of the extreme risks of drilling 5.5km holes in the ocean, see this gr8 interactive doc.'”

i-Docs is convened by Dr Judith Aston, Dr Sandra Gaudenzi and Associate Professor Mandy Rose. It is presented by UWE's Digital Cultures Research Centre. i-Docs 2014 programme is available as a PDF or online at the i-Docs 2014 site. Some tickets are still available.

Mandy continued, “For people interested in pioneering developments in documentary, the Watershed in Bristol is the place to be this March.

“In the lead up to i-Docs 2014, at 4pm on Wednesday March 19, UWE's DCRC will unveil the Future Documentary Showcase of ground-breaking work developed over the last six months by teams involved in the REACT Sandbox process.

“In my role as an advisor to the project, I have watched as the collaborators have grappled with challenges around design and storytelling, and seen the projects evolve from initial ideas to cutting-edge prototypes.

“Digital culture has brought a raft of new possibilities to documentary - cheap, accessible production tools; the open and connected exhibition and distribution platform that is the web; tablets and phones offering mobile and tactile interfaces; social media providing new access to communities of interest. Any one of these would be significant for documentary - but together they produce a context that's transformative, and it's that territory in which the Future Documentary collaborations have been working.”

The Future Documentary Showcase is being held at the Watershed at 4pm on Wednesday March 19. Tickets are free, but must be reserved in advance.

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