A development award worth €1,500 (US$1,690), will be presented at Sheffield Doc/Fest’s flagship pitching event, the Crossover Market.
The ARTE International Prize – presented by the European broadcaster – will be given to a pitched project that showcases an original approach to interactive storytelling in the Crossover Market.
Of the 26 projects included in the Crossover Market, five have been shortlisted for the award, including China Smacks, Islands, The National Facility for the Regulation of Regret, Natural Reality 2:1, and Unfilmables.
“We would like to focus on how the use of emerging technologies and online tools can deliver a compelling story and the way linear content is translated into an interactive story world,” said Lili Blumers, online commissioner at ARTE France, in a statement. “We are keen that the award should help development, for example, of a prototype.”
Mark Atkin, director of Crossover Labs and acting director of Sheffield Doc/Fest, added: “It can be hard to attract financing for interactive work without a prototype these days and this award will help the winner create the assets that can help them attract further funding. It’s exactly what this nascent industry needs right now.”
While the award itself is not a commission from the broadcaster, Atkin added that the prize does not exclude the project from being commissioned by ARTE in the future.
Representatives from Crossover Labs and ARTE will announce the award winner during the Interactive at Sheffield Drinks event on June 7. The UK festival runs from June 5 to 10.
About the shortlisted projects:
Directed and produced by San San F Young, China Smacks is a web series, real life game and film focusing on the stories from the 600 million of China’s engaged digital community, both online and offline.
Australian director Oscar Raby’s Islands focuses on recorded Virtual Reality (VR) experiences with those living in the isolated communities from across the globe.
The National Facility for the Regulation of Regret, directed by Rachel Genn, display stories and objects from fictional characters in a quasi-institution
The Dorothea Gibbs directed Natural Reality 2:1 is a VR film that plays with frame rates to control the passing of time and allows the user to experience the roles of nature, human relationships and technology in the interruption of these two elements of life.
Directed by Tim Travers Hawkins, Unfilmables tells the stories of unfilmable situations and characters – from political prisoners and journalists in hiding to dark-net hacktivists – through secret voice recordings, filming and animation.