As we approach the Future Documentary Showcase on March 19, I'm looking forward to the unveiling of the ground-breaking work that the teams have been developing over the last six months.
It's been fascinating to be involved in the Sandbox process in my role as an advisor. In dialogue with the producers at the monthly workshops, we've watched as the collaborations have grappled with challenges around design and storytelling, and seen the projects evolve from initial ideas to cutting-edge prototypes.
Digital culture has brought a raft of new possibilities to documentary - cheap, accessible production tools; the open and connected exhibition and distribution platform that is the web; tablets and phones offering mobile and tactile interfaces; social media providing new access to communities of interest. Any one of these would be significant for documentary. But together they produce a context that's transformative, and it's that territory in which the Future Documentary collaborations have been working.
If you're interested in pioneering developments in documentary, then Watershed in Bristol is the place to be this March, with the Future Documentary Showcase on the afternoon of March 19 followed by two days of keynotes, panels and case studies at the i-Docs-2014 Symposium.
i-Docs is an international gathering of interactive documentary makers and scholars who come together to consider the work emerging at this moment of innovation. This year is no exception, with award-winning and cutting-edge producers and leading academics in the field again converging on Bristol.
Putting our heads together with REACT, we decided we had to co-ordinate the Symposium with the REACT Future Doc Showcase to share the amazing, innovative work being done in this field.
If you are already coming to the showcase, why not consider staying on for i-Docs? Across the course of the two day programme you can catch case studies including Elaine McMillion's Hollow (IDFA DocLab and SXSW selections) and the Guardian's Firestorm. You can hear speakers including William Uricchio from MIT's Open Documentary Lab, interactive documentary pioneer Bjarke Myrthu and new media artist Hank Willis Thomas.
You can follow streams looking at emerging production models, user experience and evaluation, and learn about how interactive documentary is playing out in new territories – both formal and geographic.
If you are coming to Bristol for i-Docs, I'd advise that you get here on Wednesday in time for the Future Documentary Showcase. You can join the proceedings at 4pm when we'll be screening films showcasing the six commissions followed by panel discussions.
Afterwards join us from 5.30pm for the REACT / i-Docs reception, where you'll be able to meet the project teams, see their work first hand and while celebrating the field of interactive documentary with a drink.
It's going to be an exciting few days – so don't miss out.
Mandy Rose is Associate Professor, Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Digital Cultures Research Centre, University of the West of England in Bristol, UK. She is Advisor for REACT Future Documentary Sandbox and contributing editor to i-Docs. i-Docs is supported by the Digital Cultures Research Centre, UWE Bristol.
i-Docs 2014 runs March 20 – 21 at Watershed in Bristol. Details about i-Docs and how to book tickets can be found here
Tickets for the Future Documentary Showcase are free, but must be reserved in advance. Visit the ticket booking site for further information