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Jury Report: IDFA DocLab Competition 2016

Winners of the IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling and Scenic IDFA DocLab Immersive Non-Fiction Award announced at IDFA’s 29th award ceremony.

Members of the jury: Brett Gaylor (Canada), Anna Higgs (United Kingdom) and Jan Rothuizen (The Netherlands).
Overall we were hugely impressed with the range of projects in competition – from interactive web documentaries, physical installations, audio tours and interventions both physical and digital to still emerging VR forms. Unifying this range, it’s clear that the programmers are championing emerging creators, thereby showcasing the exciting new talents that are taking bold risks and exploring new forms in a rapidly changing landscape. The projects also reminded us that sometimes the simplest, even traditional, approaches can be the most effective. Disruption is not obligatory. We want to congratulate all the creators in competition on making highly engaging, thought-provoking works that tackles a huge range of issues with their own unique perspectives, great style, narrative and technical ambition. We look forward to seeing more work from you all. It goes without saying that this was a really tough year to judge, but we feel the two projects we have highlighted weaved together sound, vision and narrative to bring us emotionally affecting storytelling that – fittingly for DocLab – would only be possible using their chosen forms.

Scenic IDFA DocLab Immersive Non-Fiction Award
For the immersive prize, we were moved by a work which employed varied techniques to progress the narrative and challenge the relativism inherent in personal viewpoints. We felt ill, uncomfortable, and saw talent. In our current global climate, sometimes its important we don’t look away. We encourage the maker to continue to take chances, and contribute to this new medium’s evolving language.
The winner of the IDFA DocLab Immersive Non-Fiction Award is DeathTolls Experience by Ali Eslami.

IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling
The work we selected for the digital storytelling award lured us into a world where escaping seems impossible. As you move forward through a simplified landscape you listen to people whose experiences are reflected in the world around you. In this documentary the virtual gives a human perspective on how people fall victim to to indoctrination as adolescents, and how they find their way back.
The winner of the IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling is Deprogrammed by Mia Donovan.