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Highlights from IDFA DocLab 2016

2016 marked the tenth anniversary of IDFA DocLab. Let’s take a quick look at some of our highlights from this special edition.

The 10th edition of IDFA DocLab was a very special occasion for us so we were very pleased to share it with so many old and new friends from the interactive community. It was the biggest festival edition to date, including an 11-day exhibition showcasing 30 of the world’s best interactive documentaries, virtual reality experiences and physical installations, a series of Live Cinema Events, the annual Interactive Conference, the DocLab Academy training program, the Immersive Network Day and the Crossmedia Forum.  Of course there was also time for celebration as we hit our 10th birthday!

Amsterdam, 17-11-2015, IDFA International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam. Doclab Exhibition Elastic Reality. Photo Nichon Glerum
Check out the photos from the exhibition floor on our Facebook!

To celebrate a decade of interactivity at IDFA DocLab, invited an international selection of new media curators, decision makers, award-winning artists and producers who chose their favorite interactive documentary projects – the ones they believe should never be forgotten. From their selection the Interactive Canon was launched. If you would like to receive a copy of the Interactive Canon publication, please contact michael@idfa.nl.

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Every year, the DocLab Interactive Conference gathers creators from all areas of the new media industry to discuss the next steps in this evolving field. This year was no different, with talks about narrative-driven virtual reality experiences, digital arts in Africa, the science of smells, what magicians can teach us about VR-storytelling, and so much more. If you couldn’t make it to the conference, a recording of each talk will be posted in the coming weeks. Until then you can follow the day through our Storify.

“Despite the relentless churn of the new, with all the excitement and fear it provokes, the heart of the matter remains the stories we tell about the world, and the memories and values that we use to bind ourselves together as a culture”

Professor William Urrichio of MIT reflects on ten years of IDFA DocLab.

The premiere of the The Shared Individual by Makropol and Bombina Bombast was a creative experiment in live, multi-user VR theatre. Check out the highlights of this unique experience below:

As part of DocLab’s ongoing mission to encourage the preservation of digital non-fiction stories, this year’s expert meeting gathered leading creators and experts to discuss three case studies. One of these was Bear 71 VR, the reimagining of the original interactive classic by the NFB. The project, originally built with Adobe Flash, was given new life through HTML 5 and WebVR, and premiered at IDFA DocLab 2016.

The 10-day DocLab: Elastic Reality exhibition at de Brakke Grond showcased 30 of the world’s best interactive documentaries, virtual reality experiences and physical installations. Find out more about each of the selected projects below:
100 Photographs: The Most Influential Images of All Time by Kira Pollack & Paul Moakley, USA
Bear 71 VR by the National Film Board of Canada, Canada
Chameleon by Robin McNicholas, Barney Steel & Ersin Han Ersin, Mexico/England
Clickclickclick.click by Roel Wouters & Luna Maurer, The Netherlands
DeathTolls Experience by Ali Eslami, Iran
Deprogrammed by Mia Donovan, Canada
The Dig by Topaz Adizes, Mike Knowlton, Julia Gorbach, Carla Tramullas & Mark Harris, USA
Dreams by Philippe Lambert, Canada
Everyday Everywhere by Bjarke Myrthu, Austin Merrill & Peter DiCampo, Denmark/Sweden/USA
Flint Is a Place by Zackary Canepari, USA
Follower by Lauren McCarthy, USA
The Great Animal Orchestra by Thomas Deyriès, France
Home : Aamir by Rufus Norris, England
I Am Not Home Video by Bert Hana, The Netherlands
The Island of the Colorblind by Sanne De Wilde, Belgium
Meat Puppet Arcade by Matt Romein & Joseph Mango, USA
The Modular Body by Floris Kaayk, The Netherlands
News Globus by Charles Gedeon, Sena Partal, Mikio Kiura & Bjørn Karmann, Denmark
Notes on Blindness VR by Arnaud Colinart, Amaury La Burthe, Peter Middleton & James Spinney, France/England
Radical Love by Heather Dewey-Hagborg, USA
The Resistance of Honey by Peter Boyd Maclean, England
Saydnaya by Forensic Architecture & Amnesty International, England
Smell Dating by Tega Brain & Sam Lavigne, USA
So You Still Sort of Have the Same Number by Nele Eeckhout, Siona Houthuys & Mirke Kist, The Netherlands/Belgium
These Memories Won’t Last by Stu Campbell, Australia
Tzina: Symphony of Longing by Shirin Anlen, Israel
White Spots – A Journey to the Edge of the Internet by Bregtje van der Haak & Richard Vijgen, The Netherlands
Wifi Whisperer by Kyle McDonald, USA
Zeki Müren Hotline by Beyza Boyacioglu & Jeff Soyk, USA/Turkey

This year’s recipient of the IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling was Deprogrammed by Mia Donovan, a meditative virtual walk through the minds of a former member of the Unification Church, a skinhead and a jihadist.

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The winner of the Scenic IDFA DocLab Immersive Non-Fiction Award was DeathTolls Experience by Ali Eslami, a virtual journey placing the data of the tragic news events in an emotional perspective.

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You can find the full jury report for 2016 here.

Thank you everyone for a wonderful edition of IDFA DocLab, and We look forward to seeing you in 2017!