Photo Courtesy of Cleveland Film Society

Perspectives exhibit at the Cleveland International Film Festival shows how technology changes the way stories are told.


April 19, 2016

Storytelling changes with times

This year, the Cleveland International Film Festival, or CIFF, introduced a new exhibit on the idea of perspectives. The interactive exhibit was a way for patrons to experience the way technology is changing the way that stories are told, specifically through how narratives have changed.

The exhibit presented a few options for patrons to experience some of the new ways narratives can be told. One option was interactive media, which tells stories through a mixture of video, audio, written word, and still images.

“Good Luck Soup Interactive,” by Matthew Hashiguchi, was a combination of a stand-alone interactive media piece and a companion piece to a traditional documentary of the same name.

“Good Luck Soup” tells the stories of Japanese-Americans who were living in the United States during World War II and the discrimination they felt. The interactive experience used not only video clips, but audio files and written word accompanied with historical photos.

Similar stations were set up with other hands-on pieces like a video game that tells the everyday life of a small boy dealing with cancer in the work, “That Dragon Cancer” by Numinous Games. A compilation of platforms like video and written word explored the way technology and the internet have expanded the reach of the seven deadly sins in “Seven Digital Deadly Sins”, created by Pablo Vio.

Another experience that festival goers could participate in was virtual reality. The attendees could choose between 10 pieces to experience through the use of virtual reality googles and phones.

This technology allowed viewers to explore the world of patients having to experience the interaction with anti-abortion extremists, in “Across the Line” by Nonny de la Pena, Brad Lichtenstein and Jeff Fitzsimmons, or a film that walks the viewer along with a 12-year-old girl refugee in Jordan, entitled “Clouds Over Sidra” by Chris Milk and Gabo Abora.

The way that technology has progressed has already had an effect on the way stories are told. For example, the way a television viewer can interact with a live show via social media such as Twitter or Facebook is already accepted by the American public.

The perspectives exhibit is just one step that shows how the medium of film, and the way viewers consume media, are changing to include more than the traditional beginning, middle and end.


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