30+ interactive and immersive documentaries coming to IDFA DocLab 2020 (November 20–29, 2020)

30+ interactive and immersive documentaries coming to IDFA DocLab (November 20–29, 2020)

The fourteenth edition of IDFA DocLab (November 20-29, 2020) will present over 30 of the best interactive and immersive documentaries. This year’s program, titled do {not} touch, is a joint effort with IDFA on Stage and a creative response to the increasingly blurred boundaries between film, new media, and the performing arts.

Projects in do {not} touch vary from online experiences for your phone and documentaries in virtual reality (VR) to interactive outdoor experiences, digital performances that stimulate all your senses, full-dome screenings in the Planetarium of a zoo and even the death of Sylvia, a digitally created Instagram influencer during IDFA, the International Film Festival Amsterdam 2020.

The do {not} touch program takes place on various digital platforms, including virtual reality and a new experimental social platform and — taking all health regulations into account — can also be physically experienced in Tolhuistuin, ARTIS-Planetarium, Vlaams Cultuurhuis de Brakke Grond, a gym in Amsterdam, and living rooms around the world.

Since 2007, IDFA DocLab has taken up the challenge to present digital art in physical space — bringing works from the cloud back to solid ground. As the coronavirus pandemic has severely limited these kinds of communal experiences, artists have found creative new ways to react to the state of the world in 2020 while remaining true to the meaning and ambitions in their work.


Exhibition, VR experiences, and on Stage

Within the framework of do {not} touch — the {accolades} denote a hug in online parlance — DocLab will present an exhibition, immersive VR experiences, and various stimulating online live events. On Friday November 20, the program opens its digital doors to do {not} touch PLAY, an experimental social exhibition where visitors can explore selected projects and meet other festival-goers. The exhibition is free of charge and accessible from anywhere in the world.

Nine of the year’s top VR films and experiences can be experienced in the Tolhuistuin. A ticket gives access for one hour. At the venue, visitors can view a pre-composed selection or make a personal choice from the do {not} touch program. For those who have a headset, this selection can also be experienced at home. The projects invite the visitor to open up to impressive personal stories such as The Book of Distance and Ferenj: A Graphic Memoir in VR and to far-flung destinations — both physically locations in the world (an artist-squatted mansion in Johannesburg; the favelas of Rio de Janeiro), and those that are virtual in nature like Corpus Misty, a VR documentary with stories of genderqueers and women who are outside the norm.

In addition, do {not} touch offers both physical and online live events, including group experiences in virtual reality such as Eclipse by Ali Eslami and Mathilde Renault, In order of Disappearance, an individual outdoor audio tour, online DocLab live events, performances in the dome of the ARTIS-Planetarium, a radical attempt at the Warme Winkel’s climate-neutral theater, cooking workshops, and Oxygen Debt, a documentary spinning class in a gym.

Creative lockdown

Various projects in this year’s selection take on the lockdown currently gripping the world. For Later Date, Lauren McCarthy and her friends imagine meeting each other after COVID-19, meetings that keep getting postponed. David OReilly presents Corona Voicemails, a series of short animated works based on anonymous messages left on his voicemail during the first wave of the coronavirus, laying bare the collective worldwide trauma that is still shaping our daily lives.


Several projects point a hopeful eye at the cosmos, looking for justice out in the universe. Orbit Diapason, a video work by Tabita Rezaire, deals with our desire for extraterrestrial life and reflects on humanity’s urge towards imperialism. In [The Black Man in the Cosmos] media artist Kitoko Diva mirrors Sun Ra’s militant and hopeful visions of a place for black humans in the cosmos with the absence of such a place in our present. And Echoes of Silence by Tamara Shogaolu implicitly questions the prevailing western view of outer space, while highlighting the universal wonder about that which is far outside our atmosphere.

Experiment between physical and virtual

Taken together, the projects in do {not} touch celebrate how digital art is exploring the liminal space between tangibility and tactility. Lance Weiler uses the online tools Zoom and Miro, mainstays in our new work-from-home world, to present a radically intimate experience with Where There’s Smoke. The mysterious two-person-experience Visitors lets festivalgoers experience the power of audio and imagination in their own living rooms, with their eyes closed. With Sylvia, artist Ziv Schneider creates a virtual Instagram influencer. Unlike her peers who are used by major brands, Sylvia does not have eternal youth. On the contrary: the virtual influencer is aging rapidly and will die during the IDFA 2020 documentary festival.

Two competitions

The best new digital documentaries will once again be presented in DocLab’s two competitive programs: the IDFA DocLab Competition for Digital Storytelling, for which ten projects have been selected, and nine works in the IDFA DocLab Competition for Immersive Non-Fiction. However, under the current conditions, it is not possible to present all works equally to an international jury. Therefore, this year, there will be no juries awarding the traditional IDFA DocLab Awards. During the festival DocLab will present an alternative approach to honor and award the selected projects.

R&D Program and Film Fund DocLab Interactive Grant 2020

Within the R&D program, DocLab and MIT Open DocLab are conducting research this year into augmented reality and new immersive and interactive exhibition formats in public spaces, both offline, online and in virtual reality. This research is carried out in collaboration with research partners and independent makers working in new media, film, visual arts, literature, and the performing arts. This research is made possible in part by the Film Fund DocLab Interactive Grant 2020 (this year’s winners are Echoes of Silence, 24h Sunset/Sunrise v2 and Farewell tour) and Gieske Strijbis Fund, one of the new partners of the DocLab Research & Development program.


Visit do {not} touch

The full IDFA DocLab program, including information on tickets and time slots, can be found at www.idfa.nl/donottouch

IDFA DocLab is supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy of the Netherlands, CLICKNL, Gieskes-Strijbis Fonds, Netherlands Film Fund, Flanders Audiovisual Fund, VIVE, VIVEPORT and the Special Friends+.

DocLab research collaboration partners are MIT Open Documentary Lab, Beeld en Geluid, ARTIS-Planetarium, CreativeXR, Diversion cinema, Het Nieuwe Instituut, POPKRAFT, The Immersive Storytelling Studio (National Theatre), NFB (National Film Board of Canada) and the Tolhuistuin.


Source: IDFA

PHP Code Snippets Powered By : XYZScripts.com