The Connected Documentary

Session Type: Creative
Session Category:
Working Group
Session Leader:
Ingrid Kopp
(TFI New Media fund)

Ben Moskowitz (Mozilla).

Day: Saturday
Room: W300
Time: 2:30pm – 5:30pm

Session Notes


Session summary: Collaborative brainstorm and planning for four web-native documentary film projects.

The web opens up massive potential for completely new kinds of storytelling: documentaries that constantly update with breaking information, stories built and shaped by users, and interactive films that let viewers chart their own path.

Emerging technologies like HTML5 and WebGL liberate film from the constraints of runtime—and there are storytelling opportunities that have yet to be explored or even imagined.

Imagine how the web could supercharge documentary filmmaking, for instance. B-Roll that was once discarded can now find a useful half-life on the web. Virtual spaces can be created and explored on the web, leading to new understandings. Data can enrich a story and help untold stories emerge.

Viewers can contribute time, money, and attention to help expand documentary projects. Subjects can be represented in more intimate ways than ever before.

This working group will survey some of the possibilities in web-native documentary. Four projects will serve as case studies, and the participants will help the projects with practical advice to help get them off the ground.

Session outline
Intro by Ben Moskowitz (7 mins)
Intro by Ingrid Kopp (7 mins)
Recorded intro by Kat Cizek, NFB Highrise project and 1 Millionth Tower (10 minutes)

Project pitch: 30 Mosques (10 minutes, followed by 25 minutes of discussion)
Project pitch: The Tillman Story (10 minutes, followed by 25 minutes of discussion)
Project pitch: Through a Lens Darkly (10 minutes, followed by 25 minutes of discussion)
Project pitch: Looking for Los Sures  (10 minutes, followed by 25 minutes of discussion)


Progress on four projects, increased understanding, the formation of a brain trust to explore new possibilities.