Skip to main content

Interactive. Environmental.

A few months ago, a colleague called my attention to Bear 71, an amazing interactive documentary project about the relationship of bears and humans in Banff National Park from the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), by Jeremy Mendes and Leanne Allison:

Bear 71, it turns out, is the thin edge of the wedge in terms of amazing interactive environmental documentaries. After Bear 71, I heard about A Short History of the Highrise, directed by Katerina Cizek, a film I haven't seen yet but which is also very interactive and very environmental, and also from the NFB:

Then by chance, I discovered that one of my fantastic York University colleagues, Brenda Longfellow, with Glenn Richards and Helios Labs (who were also involved in the short history of the highrise), made an interactive documentary that takes you into an oil rig, called Offshore. I have only looked at a few things on the rig, but I am excited to spend the full 70 minutes in it.

There's also Waterlife about the Great Lakes, directed by Kevin McMahon, which I have only peeked around in, but there is a huge amount of stuff in it and what a beautiful way to organize it.

Waterlife and Bear 71 were done with a company called JAM3, and the Highrise and Offshore were done with the already-mentioned Helios Labs.

I am greatly impressed by the way these films use technology to do very original things, to show you a place or a phenomenon in a new way. Those of us who work on environmental issues can be proud to have among us people who are at the cutting edge of environmentalism, technology, and art. Hope you enjoy these films.