Past events

DocLab Live: Immersive Showcase 22 Nov 2016 at 20:00

Immersive storytelling is going through an unprecedented evolution. But where does the hype end and do new art forms take shape?

Industry Session: Putting Your Audience in the Story 22 Nov 2016 at 12:00

Virtual reality pioneer Zillah Watson tells you all about storytelling in emerging consumer technology.

Industry Talk: The (Un)defined Business of Interactive 22 Nov 2016 at 15:00

With over 10 years of digital non-fiction art production behind us, this talk explores future developments of interactive storytelling and how to fund it.

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California is a Place

An expanding series of brief impressions of sometimes intriguing, sometimes alarming and always compelling stories the Golden State.

California Is a Place offers a look at California as part of an expanding series of brief impressions of people and places in the state. The subtitle of the project is Tales from the Golden State, and indeed, everything is bathed in golden light in the films and photo series by makers Drea Cooper and Zackary Canepari. The stories themselves are less sunny, however.

Borderland shows how the endless war against drug smugglers along the U.S.-Mexican border has a disheartening effect on the locals. The “original scraper bike team” in Scrapertown seeks to flee the back streets of Oakland by means of decorated BMX bikes. And in Cannonball, a group of skaters has some illegal fun in the empty swimming pools of houses left unsold thanks to the recession. Elsewhere, Cooper and Canepari pick out the eccentric, artistic souls attracted to the state. Such as Matt McMullen, maker of expensive “real dolls”: sex dolls so realistic they are almost undistinguishable from the real thing. Or the unemployed car salesman Big Vinny, whose nickname comes from a starring role in a pizza ad.

The short, poetic, smoothly edited films allow the people of California to speak for themselves, while an intuitive flow of images illustrates their words. Brightly colored photo series show the same topics, often in a slightly different light. For IDFA DocLab, the project will be screened live as part of A Showcase by Zach Wise (NYTimes.com).

Project details

Year of development :2010
Created by:Zackary Canepari and Drea Cooper

Available formats