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.

more events

HIGHRISE: Universe Within

This multimedia project explores the lives of city dwellers and shows how online communities can shape the physical world.

More than half of the global population is now living in cities. Especially in larger cities, most of these people reside in apartments. The population density may be particularly high, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that people get to know each other – or have any contact at all, for that matter. The vertical city often lacks a sense of community. While Katerina Cizek was making a documentary about people living in a Toronto apartment building, it struck her that most city dwellers go online to stay in contact with other people; their social arena is the Internet. Working in collaboration with academics, technicians and locals, she developed the project into a multimedia experience entitled HIGHRISE. The culmination of this work is Universe Within, in which citizens of Toronto, Mumbai and Singapore talk about how social media, email and Skype are impacting their physical existence. These technologies often have a constructive influence, showing that social media exert real social effects. We see people living in an apartment block join together to lobby for a children’s playground, and to take action against developers when their home is threatened with demolition. But many of the interviewees are realistic about the shortcomings of exclusively virtual contact – it’s no substitute for human contact or a face-to-face conversation.

Selected for IDFA 2015 and eligible for the IDFA DocLab Award for Immersive Non-Fiction.

Presented as part of the DocLab: Seamless Reality program by IDFA and De Brakke Grond as an interactive installation from 19-29 November.

Universe Within: Digital Lives in the Global Highrise (Walkthrough) from National Film Board of Canada on Vimeo.

Project details

Year of development :2015
Created by:Kat Cizek
With:National Film Board of Canada

Available formats