The Points North Institute has unveiled the lineup for Storyforms, its inaugural showcase of interactive and immersive nonfiction media that takes viewers beyond traditional screens. The program includes six virtual reality documentaries from artists and journalists, including the latest VR experiences from the New York Times, BBC and The Guardian, as well as four interactive installations and a nonlinear theatrical film that each explore the program’s theme of “Remixing Reality.” This new component in the Institute’s expanding Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) will be open to festival passholders at 21 Winter Street in Rockland, Maine, between September 15 – 18.
Nearly all of the projects featured in the Storyforms program will have makers in attendance for Q&A discussions, artist talks and panels that explore the evolution of documentary in the digital age and shifting relationships between audiences, artists and the realities they document.
The Points North Institute also announced the four projects selected for the Shortform Editing Residency, a new week-long artist support program that provides a focused, creative space for independent nonfiction filmmakers and multimedia journalists to work on their short documentaries with guidance from experienced mentors and creative advisors. Beginning on September 12, the Shortform Editing Residency will continue through the Camden International Film Festival.
This year’s mentors include editor Mary Lampson (HARLAN COUNTY, USA), director Michael Palmieri (OFF LABEL), Pulitzer Prize-winning video journalist Ben C. Solomon (New York Times), Peter Gerard (Vimeo) and Dominic Musacchio (VICE). The new residency builds on the organization’s support of documentary filmmakers through programs like the Points North Fellowship and Camden/TFI Retreat presented by CNN. A full list of selected projects is included below.
“Both Storyforms and the Shortform Editing Residency represent major steps forward for the Points North Institute,” said Sean Flynn, the organization’s Program Director. “We hope they will continue to grow and allow us to explore the many ways that creative nonfiction storytelling is evolving and expanding on new digital platforms.”
Highlighted projects in the Storyforms exhibition include a new work by media artist Alexander Reben called “time-lapse LED wall (the wall can see)” that will explore the rise of intelligent objects and embedded sensors. The piece was co-commissioned by the Points North Institute and PopTech.
Several of the works in Storyforms invite audiences to participate directly in their experience. “The Maribor Uprisings” is a “live participatory documentary” directed by Colby College professor Maple Razsa and Milton Guillén, asking audiences to inhabit the roles of protesters in Slovenia and make decisions about the path they travel through the story. “(Dis)Locate” by Billy Wirasnik is an interactive, single channel installation that allows users to experience a series of “slow films” created by local residents through a community workshop that will be held at Steel House on September 12. Finally, “Roundware: Rockland” created by sound artist Halsey Burgund, is a location-based “augmented reality” installation that allows users to contribute their voices to a constantly-evolving soundscape spread out across downtown Rockland.
Storyforms is made possible by the generous support of Showtime Documentary Films, National Endowment for the Arts, Big Room Studios, and Samsung, as well as partnerships with PopTech, Steel House and the Center for Maine Contemporary Art.
A full program is available at https://pointsnorthinstitute.org/ciff/storyforms/