Docville – host of WebDox

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On May 3rd, the 9th edition of the International Documentary Film Festival Docville, the largest documentary film festival in Belgium, starts. During 9 days you can enjoy a fine selection of brand new documentary films, but also a lot of events. Since many years, Docville organises a national and international competition. Check out their brand new catalogue. Docville will take place from 3-11 may in 4 locations all over Leuven: Art Centre STUK, Wagehuys, Museum M and Kinepolis.

The international conference and the first two labs of WebDox take place during Docville.

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WebDox Labs – create engaging interactive webdocs

“Everything will be online”

WebDox consists of an international conference and three labs. The latter are the hands-on part, in which documentary makers, app and game developers, game designers and other creative and interactive professionals generate, code and develop interactive webdocumentaries.

Doc Jam serves to generate ideas. It takes place in Leuven on May 7, the day after the conference. Dox & Tech Lab gives participants the opportunity to explore coding possibilities for their concepts. It takes place in Leuven on May 8 and 9. The third lab, in Ghent from June 19 to 21, helps you develop your interactive webdocumentary with a strong strategy. 

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iDROPS is the coordinator of the Labs of WebDox and has just published more detailed information on the Labs. Find it here.

Daniel Burwen shows how to touch the doc

After 4 years of hard work, Cognito Comics launched the phenomenal graphic novel Operation Ajax, in collaboration with Stephen Kinzer. Although it was meant to be a graphic novel in print, the announcement of the iPad in 2010 changed these plans. Cognito Comics understood the possibilities of the iPad for interactive storytelling and further developed the content towards this device.

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Operation Ajax is based on the book All The Shah’s Men and tells the story of the Iranian coup d’état led by the CIA in 1953. To intensify the experience, the graphic novel uses recently declassified documents, historical photos, and video film reels from the era. At WebDox conference, Daniel Burwen – American storyteller and creative brain behind Operation Ajax – will do a keynote on this project and on so-called touch docs.

http://www.cognitocomics.com/operationajax/

Create your own Storyplanet

The main purpose is to make it really easy to create stories that can be clicked, navigated, commented on, shared – all the other things you can do with digital media.

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Bjarke Myrthu, Danish co-founder of Storyplanet, will be lecturing at WebDox. He states that digital media could and should be much more than factual news and static texts. Bjarke therefore wants to unleash the power of the media and push the limits of storytelling by using visuals, audio and interactivity. Moreover, he wants the public to create stories that matter, stories that educate and that reach both the heart and brain of others.

To help create multimedia content in an easy way, he founded Storyplanet. This is a toolbox for interactive documentaries, infographics, slideshows, e-learning, etc. It is a platform that enables you to design your own content. https://www.storyplanet.com

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Bjarke has won several awards with his interactive documentaries and also founded Magnum In Motion. Founded in New York, in 2004, Magnum In Motion is the multimedia digital studio of Magnum Photos. In Motion assembles visual narratives for online and offline platforms, including screenings in museums, festivals, and workshops.

Producer of ‘Alma’ at WebDox

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In an isolated house, there was a girl older than me. Blond, begging to be spared…my whole body was telling me not to, but in the end I killed her. I knew I would get killed myself if I did not obey.” —Alma

Alma – A tale of violence is an interactive webdocumentary that tells the shocking story of a former member of one of the most violent gangs in Guatemala, The Mara 18. Alma was only fifteen when she took her first life and stayed with the gang for eight years. When she left, two of the gang members tried to kill her. Although she recovered from the bullets, she was left in a wheelchair.

Since Guatemala has one of the highest murder rates in the world due to gang violence, photographer Miquel Dewever-Plana and journalist Isabelle Fougère wanted to use her as a powerful way-in to explain the violent situation of Guatemala. The interactive web and tablet application, made in collaboration with ARTE, combines her testimony with photographs from Miquel Dewever-Plana and drawings from Hugues Mìcal. The user can switch between Alma talking and the photographs and drawings that give us an idea of the aggressive world she lived in. The app also offers 4 modules that provide more information on Guatemala.

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Margaux Missika, producer at Upian, will present ‘Alma’ at the WebDox Conference. At WebDox last year, her colleague Alexandre Branchet presented a case study on ‘Prison Valley’ and ‘Gaza/Sderot’.

http://alma.arte.tv/en/

Jonathan Harris makes datavisualisation sexy

On May 6, Jonathan Harris (°1979), winner of three Webby Awards, will be lecturing at WebDox about datavisualisation. This concept may evoke dusty lists and complicated diagrams, but data can be visualised quite creatively actually.

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Jonathan studied photography (with Emmet Gowin) and computer science (with Brian Kernighan) at Princeton University. Nowadays he makes versatile projects that reimagine how humans relate to technology and to each other. Therefore he creates a fascinating hodge-podge of computer science, anthropology, visual art and storytelling.

One of his many interesting projects is We feel fine which continuously measures the emotional temperature of the human world through large-scale blog analysis. But he also made other projects about online dating, modern mythology, happiness, anonymity, news, and language. His latest project is Cowbird, a community of storytellers working to build a public library of human experience.

His work has gained international recognition by many magazines and has been exhibited in museums all over the world. It also has been featured on CNN, NPR, BBC, and Bhutanese television. Jonathan Harris already lectured at Princeton and Stanford Universities, Google, at least two hippy forest gatherings and at the TED Conference. You can watch the video of his inspiring lecture at the TED Conference.