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by Jay A. Fernandez
August 22, 2012 12:16 PM
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Tribeca Film Institute and Ford Foundation Award $400,000 in New Media Fund Grants

"Hollow"
The Tribeca Film Institute, in partnership with Ford Foundation’s Just Films Initiative, has given $400,000 in New Media Fund grants to six transmedia projects, TFI announced Wednesday. The interactive nonfiction projects, which center on issues of social justice, will gain access to lab development at TFI in addition to the financial support.

READ MORE: Tribeca Film Institute Is Indiewire's New Project of the Month Partner

The 2012 recipients are:

“Alma, A Tale of Violence”

Key Participants: Miquel Dewever-Plana, Isabelle Fougère, Hugues Micol, Sebastien Brothier

Description: In a moving confession of a former member of one of Guatemala’s most violent gangs, Alma tells her story in a unique interactive web/tablet concept in which the viewer moves between two screen levels, a face-to-face experience and a visual evocation of Alma’s recollections.

“Immigrant Nation”

Key Participants: Theo Rigby, Kate Mclean

Description: “Immigrant Nation” uses personal narratives to give users multiple entry points into the divisive issue of immigration in the U.S. Through the intersection of documentary film, user-generated storytelling and social mapping, this project provides a platform for users to create, share and explore personal immigration stories.

READ MORE: Tribeca Film Institute Names Non-Fiction Recipients of New Media Fund: Interrupters, Tillman Story

“Laika’s Adventure”

Key Participants: Lance Weiler, Janine Saunders

Description: “Laika’s Adventure” is an ongoing, experiential, educational story world that plugs into Connected Sparks, an online social change platform for children. Laika, a traveling robot, facilitates collaborative problem solving among students, teachers, storytellers and a global audience. At its core, “Laika’s Adventure” looks to harness the power of storytelling, technology and creativity to inspire micro-actions of change. 

“New Day New Standard”

Key Participants: Anjum Asharia, Abdulai Bah, Leo Burd, Sasha Constanza-Chock, Alexandra García, Becky Hurwitz, Marisa Jahn, Christine Yvette Lewis, Marc Shavitz

Description: “New Day New Standard” is a new media public art project bridging advocacy and narrative by telling the story of a new movement for workers’ rights. Created by REV-, “New Day New Standard” involves a creative Spanish/English audio campaign, accessible by web and telephone call-in, that informs domestic workers and their employees about the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights.

“Hollow”

Key Participants: Elaine McMillion, Jeff Soyk, Tricia Fulks, Eric Lovell, Michelle Miller, Megan Bowers

Description: “Hollow” is a hybrid community participatory project and interactive documentary that addresses the issues of rural America through the eyes of Southern West Virginians.

“Question Bridge”

Key Participants: Chris Johnson, Bayeté Ross-Smith, Kamal Sinclair, Hank Willis Thomas, Jesse Williams

Description: “Question Bridge: Black Males” is an innovative transmedia art project that facilitates a dialogue between a critical mass of Black men from diverse and contending backgrounds; and creates a platform for them to represent and redefine Black male identity in America. “Question Bridge” will use a mobile application and robust website to create sustainable extensions of the current video installation in order to reach a wider audience.

Each project has been awarded between $50,000 and $100,000 by a seven-person jury. The New Media Fund initiative will once again be complemented by the TFI Interactive event at the Tribeca Film Festival in April.

“The Tribeca Film Institute is delighted to support a second round of interactive projects in partnership with the Ford Foundation,” said TFI director of digital initiatives Ingrid Kopp. “This is such an exciting time to be exploring new kinds of storytelling and new methods of engaging audiences around issues of social justice. Together with events like TFI Interactive, this work is reframing what non-fiction storytelling can do to spark dialogue across disciplines, push narrative boundaries and reach new and diverse audiences. We congratulate the new recipients and look forward to working with them as they develop their projects.”

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1 Comment

  • Dan Mirvish | August 22, 2012 8:11 PMReply

    Congrats to everyone, and it seems as good a time as any to post my poem from Slamdance 2010 called "Transmedia Verse":

    “Indie film is dead”
    Is among the prevailing opinions
    The majors killed all their minors
    The minors fired all their minions

    But take heart all us filmmakers
    For the beast is not dead
    The audience is still there
    They just need something else instead

    So we need to adapt
    To these changing days
    Where no one sees movies
    And worse yet, no one pays

    But no need for outrage
    or being defiant
    Just be flexible, be limber
    be supple, be pliant

    Film, TV, and web
    Those distinctions are fuzzing
    Transmedia’s the word
    That’s the one that is buzzing

    What’s that you say?
    What the hell is transmedia?
    Did you just make that up
    Is it even in Wikipedia?

    Yes, I tell you it’s real
    Just ask Lance Weiler
    He’ll concur with a grin
    That guy’s a good smiler

    Transmedia’s what you call it
    When you haven’t succeeded
    In traditional formats
    And your career has receded

    But no one has to know that
    Say you’re “omni-platformable”
    But be confident when you say it
    Don’t come off as lukewarmable

    Just create a character or style
    or gimmick or story
    Be it funny or sad
    or a little bit gory

    Maybe it’s clever, or dumb
    Or maybe just crap
    But then put it on iPhone
    And call it an App

    A radio play
    Or maybe graphic novel!
    Tell everyone you’re successful
    And successes don’t grovel

    It could work well on Twitter
    Now that’d be a feat
    Despite no Writers Guild contract for
    140 character tweets

    Forget the label “filmmaker”
    You’ll have to sooner or later
    Even though actresses don’t sleep with
    A so-called “content creator”

    And give up those dreams
    Of Oscar and Emmy
    Your transmedia heroes are now
    Ashton and Demi

    So embrace the future
    And give it a hug
    Write a book, sing a song
    Sell a tote bag or mug

    Adjust your ambitions
    And get out of your slump
    Be happy your film screens
    At a diesel gas pump

    Now don’t blame me,
    I’m just the messenger
    “We must have ideas, vision, and courage”
    Once said Arthur Schlesinger

    I don’t mean to pressure
    I don’t want to coerce
    But we’ll all do just fine
    In this transmediaverse