Past events

Industry Panel: The Future of Interactive Storytelling 26 Nov 2013 at 15:00

Where will it be in 5 years?

Live: The Age of the Interface 26 Nov 2013 at 20:00

A live cinema celebration of storytelling the age of the interface. With internet pioneers Vincent Morisset and Moniker, cardboard interfaces, connected smartphones, interactive music videos and an edible camera. Part of Interactive Reality organized with De Brakke Grond.

Live: Playing with Reality 25 Nov 2013 at 20:00

Interactive showcase of three game-changing, playable documentaries, including 17000 Islands, Type:Rider and the NFB’s Fort McMoney, one of the most ambitious documentary games ever made. Part of Interactive Reality organized with De Brakke Grond.

more events

Interactive Reality Conference Report

Saturday November 24 experts from various fields joined the Interactive Reality Conference of IDFA DocLab in De Brakke Grond. This one-day conference explored the future of documentary storytelling with speakers such as Jonathan Harris, Paolo Cirio, Kira Pollack and Vincent Morisset.

firestarters by Vodafone & IDFA DocLab

New partner of IDFA DocLab explores how the mobile revolution changes creative industries.

We’re excited to announce a new partnership with firestarters by Vodafone. firestarters is an initiative by Vodafone, exploring how the mobile revolution changes creative industries.

This partnership has resulted in two new collaborations at IDFA 2013: the adoption of the IDFA DocLab Competition for Digital Storytelling, as well as commissioning the Emotional Arcade project together with IDFA DocLab and De Brakke Grond.

firestarters IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling

IDFA’s new media program DocLab presents the cutting edge of digital and interactive documentary storytelling. Every year, fifteen projects are presented in competition. A three-member Jury – consisting of interaction design expert Jason Brush (Possible), Kira Pollack (Head of Photography at Time Magazine) and John MacFarlane (crossmedia producer at SBS Australia) – will evaluate the projects, nominate three of them and select the winner of the firestarters IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Documentary Storytelling/ The prize consists of a sculpture and €2,500. All projects in competition are presented online and are exhibited at the festival as installations or during special live cinema events.

firestarters presents: Emotional Arcade

Besides the DocLab competition program, firestarters also presents the Emotional Arcade during IDFA, an amazing new interactive installation by filmmaker Brent Hoff and robot artist Alexander Reben. The Emotional Arcade uses a range of technologies, including modified EEG headsets and biometric sensors, as well as carnivalesque props to set up a series of “emotional competitions,” games such as “Rage Balloons,” in which contestants compete to fill balloons with their feelings, and a “Love Competition.” The games are playful variations on our never-ending quest to understand each other and ourselves, and a commentary on the fact that these days, even our most intimate emotions are mediated through data centers and touch screens.

The project will be presented during IDFA 2013 as an interactive installation at the Interactive Reality Exhibtion from November 21-24, as well as during DocLab Live: firestarters presents Emotional Arcade on November 22 at 20:00 in Rode Zaal at De Brakke grond.

Win free tickets or an HTC One smartphone

Want to attend the event live cinema event for free or win a HTC One smartphone? firestarters is giving away 10 seats, and anyone competing in the Emotional Arcade has the chance to win a HTC One smartphone. Sign up at

The IDFA DocLab Competition 2013

We proudly present the 15 projects eligible for the firestarters IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling.

IDFA has published the list of titles selected for all festival programs, including the IDFA DocLab Competition and the Interactive Reality Program (organised in collaboration with De Brakke Grond).

The IDFA DocLab Competition includes:

  • 17000 Islands Thomas A. Østbye/Edwin (Norway/Indonesia, 2013)
  • Burn Out Samuel Bollendorff/Olivia Colo (France, 2013)
  • Dream Homes Property Consultants Alexandra Handal (England, 2013)
  • Faces of Facebook Natalia Rojas (Argentina, 2013)
  • Fort McMoney Dufresne David (Canada, 2013)
  • Hidden Wounds Interactive Tomas Kaan (The Netherlands, 2013)
  • Hollow Elaine McMillion (USA, 2013)
  • I Love Your Work Jonathan Harris (USA, 2013)
  • Just a Reflektor Vincent Morisset (USA/Canada/England, 2013)
  • The Last Hunt Jeremy Mendes/NFB Digital Studio (Canada, 2013)
  • Out of Sight out of Mind Pitch Interactive (USA, 2013)
  • A Short History of the Highrise Katerina Cizek (Canada, 2013)
  • The Sochi Project Arnold van Bruggen/Rob Hornstra (The Netherlands, 2013)
  • Type:Rider Théo Le Du Fuentes (France, 2013)
  • Unspeak (Netherlands, 2013)

All fifteen projects in competition are eligible for the firestarters IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling, consisting of a sculpture and a cash prize of € 2.500.

Interactive Reality Lab

A new meeting place and talent program for digital storytellers

During IDFA 2013, the interdisciplinary arts centre De Brakke Grond, IDFA DocLab and iDrops present the Interactive Reality Lab, a new meeting place for international experts and a talent program for 20 digital documentary storytellers from the Netherlands and Belgium.

  • How does one tell an interactive documentary story?
  • How do successful digital pioneers make use of the freedom offered by the internet, without getting lost in its boundlessness?
  • How do they create projects that go beyond technological innovation and manage to touch our emotions?
  • How does one finance an interactive documentary, find the right partners, and reach an audience?

The Interactive Reality Lab aims to contribute to both the international development of the interactive documentary genre and discover, stimulate and nurture new talents from the low countries by allowing world-renowned artists and experts – among whom will be Jonathan Harris, Loc Dao (NFB), Vincent Morisset and many many more – to share their knowledge with each other and up-and-coming digital documentary storytellers. Participants have access to all events from the Interactive Reality program, as well as to a number private sessions. Highlights include:

Interactive Talent Summit
International experts and talents are invited to exchange ideas, network and discuss the future of interactive documentary. The event includes breakfast and a case study and workshop of an ambitious new interactive documentary in development by a.o. Upian and ARTE France.

Monday 25 November | 9 am – 2 pm | Invitation Only

Masterclash Hackaton
Three lab participants will be invited to each develop a new interactive project in 24 hours, under the professional guidance of three renowned digital pioneers and the Upian production team. Results will be presented the very next day at the Interactive Reality Conference on 24 November.

Tutors include

Participants Interactive Reality Lab 2013

Lotte Meijer
“I am an interaction designer passionate about sharing stories and bringing out the stories hidden in datasets with interactive installations, websites, location-based mobile applications, and embedded media that are enlightening, entertaining, and easy to use.”

Annelies Termeer
I am a digital strategist. I develop interactive projects in the cultural field. These projects can take many forms, but always aim to be content-driven and user-centered”

Albertine Piels
“I am a multimedia filmmaker, journalist and senior editor at TEDxAmsterdam. I’m passionate about the internet and I believe in digital and interactive storytelling as the future of filmmaking.”

Maartje Duin
“I am a journalist and a radio documentary maker. Fascinated by social taboos like idleness, loneliness, the disadvantages of being rich. My stories are personal and often feature myself as a wondering narrator.”

Nienke Huitenga
“I am a transmedia producer and a journalist with a soft spot for everything film. I also lecture in media and story design.”

Sara Kolster
“I am an independent designer specialised in digital storytelling. I initiate interactive productions for museums and (non-fiction) interactives for radio & tv broadcasters and independent filmmakers.”

Hay Kranen
“Imagine a straight line. On the left there is web development, on the right you’ve got internet art. I’m somewhere in the middle.”

Jan Rothuizen
“I am a visual artist who maps reality by hand-drawn drawings. My work can bee seen monthly in the newspaper ŒDe Volkskrant¹ and in ŒSoft Atlas¹ books.”

Menno Otten
“I am an experimental filmmaker working on documentaries, multi-screen installations and video-art projects. My latest short “Via Dolorosa” premieres at this years IDFA.”

Gustaaf Haan
“Making a flying start into the world of documentaries.”

Koert van Menschvoort
“The discovery of has been the most profound experience in my life so far. I employ all sorts of media to materialize my philosophy.”

Floris Kaayk
“I’m focusing on futuristic visions, fantasies and concepts. My work visualizes technological progress, sometimes by showing its benefits, or by presenting its negative consequences.”

Wim Forceville
“I am the co-founder of the creative-technological collective Fisheye from Ghent, Belgium. As well as the founder of Coptermotion, which flies drones for the film world. From cinema to 3D photogrammetry & friendly robotics.”

Katherina Smets
“As a radio journalist and feature maker I work for the national broadcast in Belgium (VRT) and the Netherlands (VPRO). I teach audio storytelling at the Royal Conservatory in Antwerp.”

Sandy Claes
“Filmmaker, Designer, Experimenter, Thinker, Writer and cat lover.”

Lieven Corthouts
“I was born in Belgium, raised in a suburb of Brussels. I made My Future in Ethiopia and moved to Addis were I made Little Heaven. These two films have been screened at IDFA. Now, I am making a film in a refugee camp somewhere at the border of Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia.”

Gregg Young
“I am an film maker with interests in gaming, interactivity and plain good storytelling.”

Erwin Verbruggen
“I work in research preserving disclosing audiovisual archives for the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. I program films for the open air film festival in Amsterdam.”

Herve Verloes
“Educated as a journalist, I started using the camera as soon as I began working. Since 4 years, I am working on several transmedia projects, and web-based multilingual storytelling in Europe.”

Tom Cornille
“I’m a senior researcher working in Research & Development of VRT, a Flemish Public Broadcast company. The main focus of my research is the development of prototypes for interactive, personalised and immersive experiences using new or emerging

Ingrid Leonard
“With a style that combines theater and documentary I explore the relationship between the individual and his or her environment. My points of interest are identity and space as a trigger for social behavior.”

The Interactive Reality Lab is an initiative by Flemmish Arts Centre De Brakke Grond, IDFA DocLab, MEDIA Desk Vlaanderen and iDrops, in collaboration with the Netherlands Film Fund. It is made possible by the Creative Industries Fund NL and the AFK (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts).

Coming soon: the IDFA DocLab Competition selection 2013

Stay tuned for the full line-up of the IDFA DocLab Competition for Digital Documentary Storytelling.

This year we received more interactive projects than ever. And as the digital revolution is taking documentary art and non-fiction storytelling into new territories, the range of projects expanded immensely. Hybrid forms, new interfaces and amazing stories – it’s all there.

It’s a slaughterhouse at the office. Held at knifepoint by our upcoming print and production deadlines, we are currently killing more darling projects than ever.

Meanwhile, we really look forward to sharing this year’s selection of 15 competition projects with you soon. And for the very best ones that we couldn’t include, we have reserved a special place in our online project database. So expect to see many new projects added to the IDFA DocLab website over the upcoming weeks and months.

For now, to everyone who has submitted a project to IDFA DocLab this year: thank you very very much. Creating a documentary story has never been easy, but doing so in an undefined medium that doesn’t provide any real boundaries requires something truly special.

Caspar Sonnen

Photo from: