Friday, October 28, 2011

Election for kids

Involving kids with politics: This is what "Lilla's Election Check" is all about. The crossmedia TV and web project was launched by the Swedish SVT in 2010, and it aimed at explaining the political process behind Sweden's general election. In the online project every aspect is assigned to a character: "Pelle" guides the visitor through ideologies, "Stephan" offers a stroll in parliament, "Andrea" explains the voting system, and "Madde" talks about democracy and dictatorship. Crossmedia for tomorrow's citizens: unconventional and inventive.

Within minitz

Minitz press conference with Doris Ahnen, minister of
education, Rheinland-Pfalz. (SWR/ARD)
News for kids aged from 8 to 12: "Minitz" is a crossmedia TV, radio, web and mobile programme presented by the German SWR and ARD. Three news topics are being produced every day - on politics, ecology, history, economy, on stars and animals. In the "Tim asks Tom" series the news anchorman Tom explains complex matters and connects them to today's news. Another part of the site is the "School for Reporters" where children can publish their own articles, photos or videos as well as create their own avatar which then will present their news. Charming.

Online battlefield

Historic battle simulation, minute by minute. (DR)
"The Battle at the Dybbøl 1864" is a landmark in Denmark's history. In a nationalist uproar Denmark declares war on the union of German countries. 5000 soldiers are killed, and Denmark is defeated. The state is reduced to half its size and will suffer from the consequences for generations.

This year the Danish radio DR decided to broadcast a minute-by-minute acoustic simulation of the central battle. The airplay was backed up by a website with background material, live blogging, interactive graphics and an interactive map allowing users to submit personal stories. A historic tragedy brought to life by means of the New Media: This is what history lessons 2.0 might look like.

Farewell USSR!

1991. The USSR collapses, the Cold War is history. "Farewell Comrades!" presented by Gebrüder Beetz Filmproduktion Berlin, Arte France and ZDF is a pan-European crossmedia project that will be launched on November 1. Its core is a 6*52-minute TV series backed up by a book project and an immersive web documentary aiming at giving a bigger picture by taking the audience on an emotional interactive journey through the former Soviet Union.

The stories about friendship, passion, conviction and rebellion are represented by postcards written during the last 15 years of the USSR. Clicking a postcard will launch one of the 25 touching video portraits of the writer. A huge web doc framed by background information of any kind: "Farewell Comrades!" is a history lesson on 1991, skilfully told in today's media.

Crisis reports

Politics from a close-up perspective: Pervenche Berès.
(Honkytonk Films/France Télévisions)
Global financial crisis, southern European states facing economic breakdown, hardly any solutions in sight: "Rapporteur de Crise" entered by Honkytonk Films/France Télévisions tries to trace the activities of members of the European parliament (MEP) which a whole continent expects solutions from.

"Rapporteurs of Crisis" is a TV and web documentary following MEP Pervenche Berès, reporter of the special committee on the financial, economic and social crisis. Her goal: to find a political compromise and a sustainable recovery plan. International politics from a close-up perspective, offering a huge amount of background information, and expertly done.

Hell's angels

Close-mouthed brotherhood: Hells Angels. (NRK)
"The Brotherhood" presented by the Norvegian NRK is an in-depth TV and web report on the Hells Angels and their criminal activities. The website provides dozens of articles, an interactive map, video shorts and three TV documentaries that have been broadcast in Norway, Finland, Sweden and Iceland so far. NRK's "Brennpunkt" (focus) editors aimed at unveiling the mafia structure of the motorcycle gang and its criminal activities, from robbery to bombing and murder.

The Hells Angels are a close-mouthed organisation, and it took years of meticulous research to do both the TV serial and the website. A risky task: "Web developer will remain anonymous due to security", the festival catalogue says. Investigative journalism at its best.

Dark memories

Munich during the times of Nazi terror. Jewish people were discriminated, beaten up, deported, and murdered. In "Memory loops" entered by the Bavarian radio and the ARD we hear moving reports of victims, transcribed and read by actresses and actors, and historical documents read by children.

"Memory loops" is a radio and web documentary project largely done by the author, composer and designer Michaela Melián. 300 German and 175 English tracks, all of them sound collages presented on an interactive city map or being played as you stroll through Munich's streets, a sombre interactive radio documentary with a huge amount of archive material artfully composed: "Memory loops" is a virtual memorial to the victims of the National Socialist regime.

City life round and round

"360 Degrees Langstrasse" presented by the Swiss SRF is a TV doc series (aired in August/September 2011) and a web documentary project about Zurich's famous Langstrasse by day and by night. It is a virtual stroll along the road, a road that has seen big changes in the past years. The brothels and night clubs have gone one by one, to be replaced by fancy bars and lounges, expensive apartments and businesses.
"360 Degrees Langstrasse" makes us hear the sounds and explore the places, providing 360 degree views of key locations, and makes us meet people working and living in a street said to be Switzerland's most vibrant area. A nice, authentic, colorful project about everyday life in the city.

Mohammed's journey

Mohammed al Masmoudi. (twb)
Mohammed al Masmoudi is a young man from Morocco. "I feel like a stranger", Mohammed says, "within my country, my language, my religion, my own body". Being discriminated is common to him - both for his name and origin, and for his handicap: Mohammed is about four feet tall, due to a misconducted medical treatment done in Casablanca when he was a child. "Mohammed's Journey" makes us follow Mohammed's way through life, makes us see things as he does, and it makes us feel all the terrible discriminations a man encounters when bearing the Prophet's name, when originating from a Muslim country, and when being a dwarf.

The Italian TV and web documentary presented by Zeligfilm is not yet another stop discrimation story. "Mohammed's Journey" is an upsetting and insistant plea for tolerance and respect.