“Roll Red,” “Argus” among TFI New Media grantees

The augmented live-action role playing game Roll Red Roll (pictured) is one of three interactive non-fiction projects to receive funding from the Tribeca Film Institute and the Ford Foundation's JustFilms Initiative.
December 8, 2015

The Tribeca Film Institute and Ford Foundation’s JustFilms have selected three interactive multi-platform projects to be awarded a total of US$150,000 from the TFI New Media Fund.

Chosen out of submissions from across the U.S. that aim to promote social change through transmedia, this year’s grantees will receive $50,000 each in funding, effective immediately. Grantees will also receive peer-to-peer support and mentorship to further build engagement with audiences.

The fund supports non-fiction, social issue media projects that incorporate film content with such media platforms as virtual reality, video games and interactive websites, among others. This year’s interactive projects cover a diverse range of topics, including psychological damage caused by sensory deprivation and body armor created to protect those targeted by police brutality.

Grantees were selected by an advisory board comprised of Just Vision’s Julia Bacha, Thank You For Playing director Malika Zouhali-Worrall, Trembling Before G-d director-producer Sandi Dubowski, Google’s Lisa Steiman, and Chicken & Egg Pictures’ Jenni Wolfson.

“We see the power of moving-image storytelling as an important component to disrupt dominant cultural narratives that drive inequality around the world,” said Cara Mertes, director of JustFilms at the Ford Foundation, in a statement. “Each of the projects selected for the TFI Media Grant are challenging our assumptions, pushing us to think differently, and charting new and provocative terrain for digital storytelling.”

The 2015 TFI New Media Fund recipients, with synopses provided by TFI, are as follows:

Key participants: The Guardian; Francesca Panetta & Lindsay Poulton
Right now, more than 80,000 people are locked in a 6 by 9 foot concrete box. They have no human contact, every element of their environment is controlled. The sensory deprivation causes severe psychological damage. It changes them, they become invisible. We will invite participants into their world.

The Argus Project
Key participants: Gan Golan
The Argus Project is a suit of tactical counter-surveillance body armor – embedded with 20 cameras – designed to protect those targeted by police brutality. It asks the question: If police wear body armor to project themselves, what does the public need to wear to protect themselves from the police?

Roll Red Roll (pictured)
Key participants: Nancy Schwartzman and Jessica Devaney
An augmented live-action role playing game based on the documentary Roll Red Roll that explores the aftermath of a sexual assault in small town America.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.