Mozilla + ITVS: The Living Docs Project

The web is a transformative force. It’s changed the way people connect, work, play, and learn.

But when it comes to moving images, the web’s ability to connect people and events, tailor experience to individual viewers, visualize data in real-time, interact within immersive environments, and link together other media is only starting to become apparent.

The potential for this emerging “connected cinema” is enormous. And Mozilla is teaming up with ITVS to seize it.

Mozilla and ITVS believe the web opens unique opportunities for storytelling. Stories told using the connected technologies, reach, and audience that can only be found online. For the past 18+ months, through projects such Popcorn.js, Universal Subtitles, WebGL, and building support for HTML5 into Firefox, Mozilla has been developing and shipping the tools that will help make this happen.

ITVS has also been hard at work, gathering filmmakers who bring the content, aesthetics, and commitment to social documentary needed to take advantage of the emerging possibilities. Established by the US Congress in 1988 to champion independent producers of television in the United States, ITVS-funded producers have reached tens of millions of viewers and have received accolades including 12 Academy Award® Nominations, 14 News and Documentary Emmy® Awards, 19 Peabody Awards, 19 Sundance Film Festival Awards, 9 DuPont Columbia Awards, 1 Golden Globe® Award, and 1 Prime Time Emmy® Award. More recently, ITVS has expanded their vision to the web, and have been instrumental in such projects as the Alternate Reality Game World Without Oil. Like Mozilla, they see new opportunities in browser-based cinema that are only now emerging.

That’s why we’ve created the Living Docs Program. The program will bring together filmmakers and web developers in a two-day Hack Jam to share ideas, build prototypes, and launch new projects. (We beta-tested this formula last March with Buttercamp). The best projects which will receive up to $75,000 in production funding from ITVS. Mozilla and ITVS will also work with the three chosen projects to drive outreach and engagement to festivals and audiences around the world.

Next week, we’ll bring together 6 filmmaking teams and match them with 6 leading html5 media developers to roll up our sleeves and see what can be made. The projects selected to attend will be:

18 Days In Egypt
Jigar Mehta
#18DaysInEgypt is a crowd-sourced interactive documentary of the events in Egypt from #Jan25 to #Feb11.18 It will tell the story of the Egyptian revolution with the same tools that helped share it with the world in realtime.

30 Mosques
Film: Musa Syeed
Blog: Aman Ali & Bassam Tariq
A film following two Muslim Americans on their road trip across America, visiting 30 mosques, in 30 states, in 30 days. The journey explores what it means to be Muslim in America today and serves as a powerful counter-narrative to the media’s image of a monolithic Islam.

Adrian Baker
Injunuity is a mix of animation, music and real thoughts from real people exploring our world from the Native American perspective. Covering such topics as language preservation, the environment, and Columbus Day, Injunuity is a visually stunning, thought-provoking mosaic of reflections on America, our shared past, our turbulent present, and our undiscovered future.

The Interrupters
Steve James
THE INTERRUPTERS follows a lively group of men and women – most of them former gang leaders and ex-cons -trying to “interrupt” shootings, and protect their communities from the violence they themselves once employed. The film will feature individual Interrupters, and observe the inner workings of the program, including their weekly roundtable meetings and street interventions. Along the way, THE INTERRUPTERS will tell stories of personal redemption while taking viewers on a compelling observational journey into the stubborn, persistent violence that plagues American cities.

The Island President
Bonni Cohen & Jon Shenk
This is a documentary portrait of The Maldives and its complex and charismatic young president, Mahamed Nasheed. Global warming has brought this island nation to the very brink of catastrophe: if the galloping trajectory of climate change continues unchecked, rising sea waters will soon submerge many of its islands and atolls.

¿Mas Bebes?
Rénée Tajima-Pena
¿Más Bebés? reveals the forgotten history of Mexican American women who were coercively sterilized at L.A. County-USC Medical Center during the late 1960s and 70s. Many spoke no English, and were prodded into tubal ligations during thelate stages of labor, often based on little more than the question “More babies?”

We can’t wait to see what these filmmakers will produced when teamed with the talented popcorn community members who will be attending, including:

Abram Stern
Rick Waldron
Scott Downe
Cole Gillespie
Bobby Richter
Brian Chirls
Atul Varma
Dan Mosedale

We’ll publish the results of the hack day, and will be working with ITVS an the filmmaking teams well into 2012. Till the hack day!

4 responses

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