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Prepare To Have Your Mind Blown: PowerToThePixel Announces Project Line Up

Prepare To Have Your Mind Blown: PowerToThePixel Announces Project Line Up

A couple years back I was asked to give the Keynote Address at PowerToThePixel’s Annual Cross-Media Forum. It is not an exaggeration to say that the people I met and the knowledge they shared blew my mind. I saw the potential for immersive culture. I witnessed the growth of a community of visionaries. I had my hope restored for the culture, art, and society.

If there was one film related event each year that I most want to attend, it is PowerToThePixel. Get ready because it is around the corner, and as today’s press release (below) indicates, this year’s edition is going to be 1000% pure awesome.


London, 13 September 2011

The fifth edition of The Cross-Media Forum 11-14 October, from leading global cross-media company Power to the Pixel, features a world-class line-up of speakers and industry experts.

His first time speaking in the UK, Jeff Gomez CEO Starlight Runner (Pirates of the Caribbean, Halo, Avatar) will present the keynote for the conference on 11 October. Additional talks come from Digital Emmy award-winning filmmaker Katerina Cizek; Christopher Sandberg, Founder of Emmy-awarded TV and new media production company The company P; Creative Director Digital at Aardman, Dan Efergan; Michel Reilhac, Executive Director of ARTE France Cinéma as well as Tero Kaukomaa, producer of the much-anticipated Finnish project Iron Sky, amongst others. The Cross-Media Forum is held in association with the BFI London Film Festival.

The conference covers the latest trends in audience behaviour and new business models in the cross-media and transmedia space. It is followed by The Pixel Market, a one-of-a-kind marketplace dedicated to financing international cross-media properties.

Chosen from nearly 100 applicants, 25 producer-led teams take part in one-to-one business meetings with potential partners and financiers from across the media industries. Project stories extend across media platforms including film, broadcast, gaming, online, interactive, publishing, live event, mobile/tablet. Selected projects include Cloud Chamber produced by regular Lars von Trier collaborator, Vibeke Windelov; Fort McMoney, a new project from David Dufresne, writer of multi-award-winning web documentary Prison Valley; Swandown, a collaboration from award-winning artist/filmmaker Andrew Kötting and author Iain Sinclair; Unspeak being produced by award-winning cross-media company Submarine, directed by film director, producer and long-time collaborator of Richard Linklater, Tommy Pallotta.

Nine of the teams go forward to The Pixel Pitch Competition on 12 October, backed by French/German broadcaster ARTE to compete for the £6,000 top prize. Projects are presented to a jury of international commissioning executives, decision-makers and financiers in front of an audience of Power to the Pixel delegates. The Pixel Pitch presents a unique opportunity to hear how cross-media projects are financed, and by whom.

The winner of the ARTE Pixel Pitch Prize will be announced at an evening awards ceremony on 13 October.

The Cross-Media Forum receives over 800 international delegates each year and is seen as an essential part of the calendar for anyone interested in exploring creative business and digital change.

“The Cross-Media Forum has built a global reputation to be the place where creators, financiers and entrepreneurs can discuss innovative ideas and business practices in a unique collaborative environment,” said founder Liz Rosenthal.

“World-class experts will share their latest findings on new ways to tell stories, engage audiences and grow successful cross-media story properties.

“The Pixel Market is the only dedicated cross-media market and showcase in the world where you can meet commissioners and financiers from the film, broadcast, games, mobile, interactive, publishing and online worlds who are committed to investing in cross-media properties. We’re very excited about the high quality of projects and talent
showcased in this year’s selection and look forward to facilitating new synergies and partnerships across industry silos.”

The Pixel Market is supported by the Media Programme of the European Union. Additional support from BFI, Skillset Film Skills Fund, ARTE, Telefilm Canada, TorinoFilmLab

Costas Daskalakis, Head of MEDIA programme unit at EACEA said: “Cross-media projects have attracted a lot of attention over the last few years. MEDIA is happy to support events such as The Pixel Market so that they also attract funding. The MEDIA programme has developed an overall strategy to support cross-media projects including training, financial support for development, markets and distribution.”

Dan Simmons, Head of Film (Acting) Skillset said: “The impact of digital and new technology continues to be a funding priority for Skillset under the UK’s film skills strategy ‘A Bigger Future 2’.

We have funded Power to the Pixel since its inception five years ago. Events such as The Pixel Lab and The Pixel Market are powerful opportunities for cross-media professionals – spanning different sectors of the creative industries – to network with leading digital pioneers; developing new business and transmedia opportunities in an international environment.”

Carolle Brabant, Executive Director Telefilm Canada said: “We’re excited to support cutting-edge events like Power to the Pixel. Today, Canadian producers, broadcasters and distributors need to be more innovative to ensure that their content is properly showcased, viewed and distributed around the world. At the same time, opportunities abound with many new cross-media platforms enabling consumers to engage with the work of Canadian creators in new ways.”

Michel Reilhac, Executive Director of ARTE France Cinéma said: “Although the field of transmedia is fairly new and still inventing itself as we speak, the Power to the Pixel event allows all people involved in the art of storytelling to evaluate where we are, who does what. It is the focus event that allows us all to check what our current issues are, what’s new that’s been accomplished and how our new challenges in the field of participative storytelling evolve. It is the one invaluable occasion in the year where people involved and interested come together and share projects, knowledge and experience.”

1. Process: Cause & Affect (CAN) Non-fiction: Online | film | installation | mobile
Producer: C J Hervey | Executive Producer: James Milward
An interactive documentary and transmedia project that profiles groundbreaking artists who create beautiful works of art using computer code.

2. Cloud Chamber (DEN) Fiction: Online | mobile | TV
Producer: Vibeke Windelov | Director: Christian Fonnesbech | Writer: Darin Mailand-Mercado
A science drama inspired by space. Players collaborate to uncover the story of a young scientist who has risked her sanity and betrayed her father in order to save humanity from itself.

3. Jezabel (FR) Fiction: TV | online | mobile | radio | print | live event
Producer: Eric Pellegrin | Director: Julien Bittner | Writer: Julien Capron
A series about a 19-year old student who posts a song on YouTube – the song soon becomes a big hit. After a producer offers her to launch her career, Jezabel will be torn between two worlds: show business in Paris and the decadent student parties in her city, Lille. How will she handle her fame?
A story about growing up, falling in love, finding your way.

4. Lost and Sound [working title] (UK) Non-fiction: TV | online | app
Producer: Kat Mansoor | Writer/Director: Lindsey Dryden
An exhilarating and moving creative experience about the great human love affair with music, through the prism of deafness. It weaves a character-driven narrative – following three people’s re- discovery of music after deafness – with an extraordinary adventure through the science of sound, revealing how music reaches us through the ears and brain when neither work ordinarily.
5. Love & Engineering [working title] (FIN) Non-fiction: Film | TV | online | mobile
Producer: Kaarle Aho | Writer/Director: Tonislav Hristov
Digital geeks looking for analogue love. One claims to have hacked love, can he help lonely engineers find real happiness?

6. My Little Songs (FR) Non-fiction: TV | online | apps | books | games
Producer: Deborah Elalouf | Director: Edith Louis
Tim, aged 7, has discovered a mysterious magic piano. No sooner does he play, than a variety of characters pop up from the piano to create animated and interactive musical cartoons. Nursery rhymes initiated by Tim will be the starting point of adventures for Tim as well as the viewer/player.
An opportunity for young children to discover foreign languages through a fun trip!
7. Tomorrow We Disappear (USA) Non-fiction: Film | Condition ONE | interactive | online | installation
Producer/Interactive Director: Jimmy Goldblum
Since 1978 Delhi’s magicians, puppeteers and acrobats have called the tinsel slum, the Kathputli Colony, home. Last year the government issued relocation permits to the colony residents; the slum is to be bulldozed, cleared for development. Experience the last remnants of a culture borne out of folk traditions and moulded by poverty.
8. We R Democracy (BEL) Non-fiction: Online | apps | games
Producers : Matthieu Lietaert, Jamie Balliu, Nicolas Sauret
Co-Directors/Co-Creators: Matthieu Lietaert & Fritz Moser
Have you ever wanted to shape tomorrow’s globalisation? Here is your chance: Become an online lobbyist in Europe! Get to know the hidden part of democracy, meet key protagonists and build your own lobby network. Play a game-like experience that’s also influencing the real world around you!

9. The First Zombie (CAN|UK) Fiction: online | book | film
Producer: Jeff Norton
A lonely zombie, fresh from the grave, struggles to get back the family life he once took for granted. Sometimes even the living dead deserve a second chance.

10. “100” (UK) Non-fiction: Feature film | online | apps | TV | live events
Producer: Jessica Levick | Director: Sam Blair
A hypnotic study of the art of sprinting, this startling documentary – made in partnership with adidas – reveals the hopes and struggles of London’s grassroots athletes on the eve of the 2012 Olympics.

11. The Ark Experiment (AUT) Non-fiction: Feature film | online
Producer: Michael Seeber | Director: Sepp R. Brudermann
The end is near, but don’t worry we will guide you through it!

12. The Awra Amba Story – Utopia in Ethiopia (FIN/UK) Non-fiction: Online | mobile | broadcast | live events
Producer/Director: Paulina Tervo | Co-Director: Serdar Ferit
A multi-platform, multimedia project about a utopian village in Ethiopia including an interactive 360° web documentary, a feature-length film and an interactive exhibition.

13. The Cat Time Stories (CRO) Fiction: TV series | interactive | app | online
Producer: Helena Bulaja | Writer: Nada Horvat
The Cat Time Stories relates the everyday adventures and experiences of cats and their friends, through blending the worlds of 33 stories about the adventures and experiences of slightly humanized, but thoroughly feline characters. They hunt for treasure, displease their human “masters”, go shopping, worry about their appearance, avoid dogs, get stuck in the top branches of a tree and do everything which takes up the busy agenda of a cat’s day. One of them even discovers he can fly…

14. Conspicuous (USA) Fiction: FB apps incorporating stills | text | news
Producer: Mike Knowlton | Writer/Director: Hal Siegel
A suburban mum discovers her husband is having an affair. In the aftermath, she becomes a private detective. It’s Weeds meets artist Sophie Calle.

15. Facelessbook (ITA) Non-fiction: Feature film | book | TV | installation | online | print | podcast
Producer: Alessandro Borelli | Director: Sergio Basso
A cross-media platform conceived as a role-playing game: a serious game to understand what it means being on the run, to identify with a refugee, in the world of today.

16. Fort McMoney (CAN) Non-fiction: Online | gaming | TV | print | mobile
Producer: Philippe Lamarre | Director: David Dufresne
A web documentary with gaming. A unique social experience.
Welcome to Fort McMoney, the biggest power project in the world.

17. LoveTrips (AUT/POL) Non-fiction: Feature film | TV | online | mobile/tablet | print
Producer: Filip Antoni Malinowski | Director: Carlo Pisani
LoveTrips tells the stories of people that have to travel to keep their love alive.

18. Mirages (BEL) Non-fiction: TV | online | mobile | iPad | live events
Producer/Director: Patric Jean | Transmedia Producer: Barbara Levendangeur
Science and scepticism require that we look for natural and empirical explanations for all phenomena. Mirages is designed as a transmedia documentary experience which investigates how we often convince ourselves to believe and overlook the facts (of any kind).

19. Pas de Deux (SWE) Fiction: Film | book | live event | online/social networks | radio
Producer/Co-Writer: Anna Nevander | Co-Writer: Signe Kjellman
A devoted opera singer lives a consuming passion with an inconstant photographer and looks for divine love in her friendship with a young priest, who ends up trying to rape her.

20. The Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted (FR) Non-fiction: Live event | online platforms | feature film
Producer: Emilie Blezat | Director: David Dusa
TRWNBT investigates how far the internet can go to found a new civil society, how the power of social media influences social change. An educational project, a think/do tank, a dialogue platform and a visual representation of the way the internet empowers citizens and articulates a rapidly changing world.

21. Ruby Skye P.I.: The Haunted Library (CAN) Fiction: online/social networks | TV/VoD | mobile/tablet | books | live events
Producer/Writer/Showrunner: Jill Golick | Producer: Susan Nation | Director: Kelly Harms
A cross-media, live-action, comedy-mystery series designed especially to engage young audiences growing up in the digital generation. Stubborn, smart, determined and a little too quick to jump to conclusions, 15-year old Ruby makes a lot of unfortunate choices in her pursuit of truth, justice and, well… personal curiosity.

22. Seasons Project (FR) Non-fiction: TV | online | games | smartphone app
Artistic Producer/Co-Creator: Chloé Jarry Co-Creator: Antoine Bamas
Seasons Project launches a large citizen investigation into the evolution of the seasons in Europe.

23. Shankaboot – Unlocking The Power of Social Media (LEB) Fiction: Online | social networks | mobile apps
Producer: Katia Saleh | Director: Amin Dora | Lead Writer: Bassem Breish
Fresh from dodging disaster on the streets of Beirut, Suleiman causes havoc across the Middle East when he convinces four friends in different Arab countries to launch a bogus political campaign on Facebook. but, when their virtual revolution spills over into the real world, the armchair freedom-fighters are forced to face the consequences.

24. Swandown (UK) Non-fiction: Feature film | installation | live events | TV | online
Producer: Lisa Marie Russo | Director: Andrew Kötting Writer: Iain Sinclair
Swandown is a documentary, travelogue and odyssey of Olympian ambition. A poetic film diary about encounter and culture. It is also an endurance test and pedal-marathon.

25. Unspeak (NETH) Fiction & non-fiction: online HTML5 cloud & integrated social media | interactive
Producer: Femke Wolting | Directors: Tommy Pallotta & Geert van de Wetering
Unspeak is a style of political language that smuggles persuasion into description by renaming politically sensitive subjects. A radical and at times poetic collage of found footage, media sound bites and voice over, the series unveils the mechanisms behind Unspeak and encourages the viewer to listen closely, as well as editing and distributing their own Unspeak clips.

Confirmed international jurors (with more to be announced):

JULIE ADAIR Director of Online (Europe, Middle East, Africa), Walt Disney Company (UK)
NUNO BERNARDO Producer & CEO, beActive (PORT)
GUILLAUME BLANCHOT Head of New Media & Video Games, CNC (FR)
ROSA BOSCH Producer & MD, B & W Films (SPA/UK)
MORGAN BOUCHET Director Transmedia & Social Media, Orange (FR)
PETER CARLTON Head of European Division Warp Films (UK)
NICK COHEN Managing Partner & UK Head, MediaCom Beyond Advertising (UK)
LOC DAO Head of Digital Content & Strategy, NFB (CAN)
REBECCA DENTON Senior Producer, Original Series & Development Turner Broadcasting (EMEA) (UK)
LIZZIE FRANCKE Senior Production and Development Executive, BFI Film Fund (UK)
JEFF GOMEZ CEO Starlight Runner (USA)
BEN GRASS Managing Director Pure Grass Films (UK)
DIGBY LEWIS Director of Content & Digital Development, ShineVu (UK)
RAY MAGUIRE Former President (UK, Nordic & Ireland) Sony Computer Entertainment (UK)
IAN McCLELLAND Senior Vice President of New Media RTL Group (LUX)
MICHAEL MORRIS Co-Director Artangel (UK)
MICHEL REILHAC Executive Director ARTE France Cinéma (FR)
VIDA TOOMBS Head of Content Europe, VBS.TV | Vice (UK)

About Power to the Pixel:

Power to the Pixel supports the film and media industries in their transition to a digital age. The company specialises in new ways for content creators and businesses to create, finance and distribute stories and engage with audiences across multiple platforms.

Headed by Founder & CEO Liz Rosenthal and COO & Producer Tishna Molla, the company’s London team has a wealth of experience and expertise across film and cross-media development, production and finance, and is linked to a unique network of the leading thinkers, practitioners and innovators who are developing new business and creative opportunities around the world.

Specialising in new ways for content creators and businesses to create and finance stories and engage with audiences across multiple platforms, Power to the Pixel’s core activities are:
• Providing consultancy to international media organisations, content creators and companies
• Designing innovative in-house company training programmes and bespoke initiatives
• Producing international forums, events and labs centred around cross-media, IP and business
• Facilitating the exchange of ideas and the building of international partnerships between media professionals and between industries

The company’s understanding of the challenges and opportunities of digital change means Power to the Pixel is an essential bridge between the visionary, the pioneering and the practical.

Power to the Pixel’s clients and partners include: ARTE; BAFTA; BBC, BBH; Berlin Film Festival; BFI; Cannes Film Festival (Marché du Film); EAVE; EU MEDIA Programme; Edinburgh Film Festival; IFP; Nordisk Film & TV Fond; UK Film Council


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