Posts filed under 'New Media'
FIR is hitting Europe next week. First up, Brussels, for the European Media Event, and then to the pebble beaches of Slovenia, for the third and final re-iteration of the EsoDoc sessions of this year.
Both visits involve mentoring emerging new media doc projects, with talented and experienced creators.
And speaking of emerging projects, we here at FIR are gearing up to announce our new FIR project very, very soon. Its been in the works for over a year, and we are close to a public announcement, so stay tuned.
Meanwhile, watch our events and new page for FIR screenings and events this fall.
September 1st, 2009
Great new project emerging in the States, a documentary film + online engagement.
THE WAITING ROOM is not just a film about the health care crisis. It is a place for change: an organic melding of traditional documentary film and innovative social media. The central question of the project, “what r u waiting for?” is directed not just at policy makers but also at individual citizens like those sitting in the waiting room – isolated, tired, stuck – who now possess the means to use their own voices to push the agenda of health care reform.
It’s got an amazing team: Emmy-award winning media-makers, matched up with digital information designers, and an oscar-winning executive producer. Check it out: http://whatruwaitingfor.com
July 9th, 2009
In another digital twist on the NFB’s challenge for change project, E-cinema comes to the island where it all began:
A scene from The Children of Fogo Island, which the National Film Board produced on the island in the 1960s and 1970s. (NFB)
A new project promises electronic delivery of films, including documentaries and dramas, to residents of Fogo Island, about eight miles off the northeast coast of Newfoundland.
It’s the first English-language test of a plan by the National Film Board to make thousands of films available to remote communities that do not have access to cinema.
The Fogo Island e-cinema theatre, to be operating by November, is a collaboration with the Shorefast Foundation, a charitable organization that works to promote economic sufficiency on Fogo.
Films will be made available electronically from the NFB’s collection of 13,000 productions, as they become digitized. All the NFB’s newest releases are available in digital format.
The films can be delivered overnight via a high-speed internet line, beamed to the Fogo screening room from a server in Montreal.
The Shorefast Foundation foresees film clubs or other community associations getting together to choose what they want to see, and setting up a screening night in the e-cinema.
That will initially be a conference room near the centre of the island, but later could be in a new community arts centre.
Fogo Island doesn’t currently have a cinema, Shorefast’s Zita Cobb told CBC News, and it got reliable internet access just a few months ago.
That’s why the foundation was eager to bring islanders this chance to get together and see films, she said.
“Cultural vitality is a key to keeping rural communities vibrant,” she said, adding that the island is facing great transitions as it adapts to disappearing fisheries and today’s economic problems.
It is not the first NFB collaboration in Fogo, which has a population of 2,700 in just 11 small communities.
Back in the late 1960s, a series of NFB films made on Fogo examined isolation and poverty on the island. Filmmaker Colin Low worked with island residents to create 28 short films about their lives in a media program called Challenge for Change.
People can see themselves
Those films led to a groundbreaking process of community development that continues to this day.
“It was a time of great crisis, the provincial government was thinking of relocating the population,” Perlmutter said. “It allowed them to understand common problems and solutions and the fish processing plant was built and it created an economic reliability and it was done through film.”
With the e-cinema set to open in November, the people in those groundbreaking films can see themselves.
“Now we have them all, and they’re beautiful now that they’re digitized,” Cobb said of the Fogo Island films. “It gives us our stories back.”
The film project in the 1960s “provided an opportunity for us to get to know each other and to see the outside world,” Cobb said. She believes the e-cinema will do the same thing for the small communities of Fogo.
The NFB’s e-cinema network began as a pilot project in five French-speaking Acadian communities in 2007.
The NFB plans to build a chain of e-cinemas to provide a forum for showing Canadian films to Canadians.
June 18th, 2009
It’s a 5-day workshop in the beautiful city of Ottawa. The seminar is highly interactive: come workshop your ideas. We’ll talk about using new platforms, the interweb, collaboration and making media that actually matters. We had a great time last year, please join us and spread the word. May 26-31. http://www.cstc.ca/sift/sift-doc.asp#2
April 29th, 2009
Congrats to our pal producer Martin Potter in Australia, who has just launched a great new project, Big Stories, Small Towns.
Big Stories, Small Towns is an innovative online film project and a true Australian first. Developed and produced by the Media Resource Centre (MRC) in partnership with Screen Australia and the SA Film Corporation, its aim was to create an opportunity for experienced filmmakers to work with residents of a regional town to bring their personal stories about living in the community to the screen. The resulting films are presented in an online format only via a specially created website.
Award-winning documentary makers Jeni Lee and Sieh Mchawala (see bios below) lived in Port Augusta for several months last year - making films with the locals to create an inspiring portrait of the town. The project has been shaped through extensive
consultation and the resulting stories reveal what the community knows as its hidden truths.
“This was the first time a filmmaker residency of this type was conducted in Australia and we were thrilled it took place in regional South Australia,” says MRC director, Gail Kovatseff. “We’re especially delighted with the quality and content of the films which have been produced. Instead of sensationalised stories about rural decline and dysfunction, these are moving personal insights into a community which is diverse in age, race and economic fortune – but bound by an amazing sense of spirit.”
The international online premiere of Big Stories, Small Towns will take place at the Mercury Cinema on Thursday February 19 – with the films launched by legendary, independent Canadian filmmaker and former Adelaide Thinker in Residence, Peter Wintonick.
“The model for Big Stories, Small Towns came from Canada, in fact from Katerina Cizek – who was Peter’s co-director on Seeing Is Believing – so it’s great Peter can be with us as we share these amazing tales with the rest of the world for the first time via the Internet,” says Ms Kovatseff.
Following the launch, the films will be available for viewing online by people around the world at either www.bigstoriessmalltowns.com.au or www.bigstories.com.au
March 3rd, 2009
Check out our new 10-minute film on youtube about the Hand-Held [un]conference. It was sewn together by the lovely and talented Heather Frise, from many, many hours of footage taken of the day. (See if you can spot Tonya Lee Williams, of Young and Restless fame. Or maybe you’ll see yourself in there somewhere? Or, just learn about the open-source concept and how Misha Glouberman brilliantly mashes-up people from all walks of life.)
The other great news from the Hand-held front: there’s a meeting confirmed with the Ontario Minister of Youth and Children Services. The I WAS HERE team has an appointment with the Honourable Deb Matthews in mid-June. The photobloggers will share some of our media work with her, and talk to her about the idea for a Hand-Held Social Innovation Lab.
Then, we’ll follow up with everyone at the next advisory board meeting, set for June 18th. Please join us if you’d like to help out. Its only one meeting a month. e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for deets.
May 21st, 2008
Just in time for Mother’s Day, we’re in today’s Toronto Star in an article about the young parents’ project.
The piece focuses on our video bridge film, Unexpected, that kicked off our [un]conference. It is a frank and candid video dialogue between young mothers who have experienced homelessness and the health care workers who help to deliver babies.
There are a few inaccuracies in the article: “Keneisha, another young mom/videographer featured in Unexpected, opens the film with her contempt for the grilling she faced at St. Mike’s when she showed up expecting twins.”
Keneisha did not have her twins at St. Mike’s, nor was she speaking specifically about her encounter during her delivery of her twins. She was speaking in general about attitudes young mothers face everywhere.
Another important clarification: while many of the health care workers in the film are from St. Mike’s, the issues that everyone raises are not about *one hospital*; it’s about attitudes everywhere.
Kudos to St Mike’s for being part of the brave, innovative experiment.
The Toronto Star online is running an excerpt from the film here. The film will be available soon (on the documentary anthology DVD HandHeld: Health and Homelessness), check www.nfb.ca/handheld for deets.
Unexpected was made by Dawn Wilkinson, Adrienne, Jess, Keneisha, Meghan, Nicole, Catherine Moravac, Alice Gorman, Heather Frise, Genevieve Trilling, Erin Clarke, Rebecca Fortin and Daniella Guerriero. The project was made possible with the great support of St. Michael’s Hospital’s Oby-Gyn department, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of SMH, and we owe special thanks to the fantastic Head Nurse Audrey Nevins. Childcare thanks to Sophia at Ontario Early Years. Gerry Flahive is the Producer, Silva Basmajian is the Executive Producer.
May 10th, 2008
An interesting Village Voice blog about the terror mobile technology can induce in the wrong hands. Cell phones are not just all about People Power revolutions, unfortunately. The technology is also linked to rape and war, in places like Iraq and The Democratic Republic of Congo.
Ward Harkavy sums it up brutally, and links to our work at the Seeing is Believing website, that we put together a few year ago, about the central role Coltan (a mineral ore used in cell phones) plays in the ongoing war in Congo.
Harkavy also links to Stephen Lewis’ recent, raw speech about the horror of rape as a weapon of war in the Congo, that has become so common, it has been given a local medical term “vaginal destruction.” Terrifying.
Friends of the Congo seems to be doing good work on the issue. They’re based in Washington DC.
May 9th, 2008
Small article in Globe & Mail today about our Webby. We’re the only Canadian win.
They didn’t mention co-creators and collaborators on the win: Gerry Flahive, NFB Producer, Rob McLaughlin, Loc Dao and Sean Embury of Subject Matter.
And to clarify: we are not “embedded in various locales around the world,” we are only at St. Michael’s Hospital.
May 7th, 2008
I’ll be giving a 3-day workshop on Interventionist and Participatory Media at the Summer Institute for Film and Television. May 27, 28 and 29. in Ottawa. More about it here. Registration is open. We’ll watch lots of stuff, discuss and brainstorm participant’s own projects. Maybe we’ll see you there.
April 23rd, 2008