CPH:LAB announces this year’s participants for the 2019/2020 edition

9 new, international immersive documentary projects have been selected for CPH:DOX’s talent development and training programme, CPH:LAB. A total of 104 projects were submitted. 

Since 2009, the lab has been seeking to advance new visions of what a documentary can be. With an expanded focus, the lab is now exploring the potential of interactive and immersive digital technologies, integrating alternative business strategies and cross-sector partnerships in a new approach to develop stories in the digital age.

Throughout the years, CPH:LAB has established itself as an acknowledged and ambitious, yet playful laboratory-style talent scheme showing great results, including the projects from last year, which are now traveling the world. Among others ‘Nerd_Funk’ by Ali Eslami and Mamala Shafahi pitched at IDFA’s Crossmedia Forum and was later commissioned by Netherlands Film Fund and IDFA DocLab; ‘Prison X’ by Violeta Ayala, Olivia Barron and Camila Claros pitched at IDFA Forum and selected for the first-ever Sundance Talent Forum in January alongside ‘Breathe’ by Diego Galafassi, Lisa Holmqvist and Jesper Kurlandsky. Later this month, Vibeke Bryld and Maria Kristensen’s ‘Hush’ and ‘Captured’ by Hanna Haaslahti and Alap Parikh will be presented at Venice Gap-Financing Market. 

These and other prototypes developed within the lab have a.o. been supported by public funding bodies such as DFI, SFI, AVEK as well as private investors and producers such as RYOT – a creative arm of Verizon Media, Khora VR, Magic Leap and Venice VR Grand Prize-winning studio AtlasV.

From September 13-20, 2019, this year’s 21 participants will meet for the first residential workshop in Copenhagen. Head of Studies, Mark Atkin, will lead the professional team of mentors, among whom are Arts and Digital Programmer of Tate Modern, Jonathan May (UK); Art Director at Montreal’s immersive experience film and gaming studio Dpt., Maude Thibodeau (CA); award-winning immersive Theatre Director and Experience Designer, Annette Mees, (UK); and Vassiliki Khonsari (US) Director, Producer and Co-Founder of Sundance, Tribeca and Facebook’s Game of the Year winning studio iNK Stories. 

The 9 projects and their teams, selected for CPH:LAB 2019/2020 are:

Missing 10 Hours VR (HU, NL)
By Krisztina Meggyes, Fanni Fazakas & Zara Olsson

What do you do if your control is taken by a drug and given to another human being? How do you behave when you have total power over a defenseless person? The multi-ending VR experience, M10H is taking the users for a quest on humanity based on a compelling, true story. Our mission is to investigate an artificial set up with two users, where one is losing control, while the other is gaining it.

The Language of Silence VR (USA)
By Amena Haya & Jiyao Zhang

In Pakistan, honour is more important than life itself. The Language of Silence allows users to interact with holograms of real Pakistani women, across different socio-economic classes and levels of education, who share their stories of gender disparity, inhumane social laws and violence in the country.

Ecologies Of Memory (DK)
By Helene Nymann & Lasse Smith

How we process and remember information is largely affected by the constant digital and online stimulation and lack of conscious choice, as to what information to remember. Waking up inside the Cloud, this multidisciplinary project will surge new narratives and alternative ways of perceiving, both human and non-human memories, for more sustainable futures.

Reciprocity in the Cybernetic Garden (SE)
By Christer Lundahl & Martina Seitl

An indoor garden populated by plants, animals and gardening AI insects blur assumptions and division between the living and non-living, technology and nature, eco-system and archive. Visitors enter the installation as gardeners. AR goggles with spatialized audio enhance and reveal aspects of the gardens reality otherwise not visible, as well as rendering human and AI insects – gardeners equal.

Munkination (UK)
By HAM, Isabelle Kettle & Maf’j Alvarez

An immersive hiphopera and VR experience, which places the audience member at the centre of a futuristic adventure story about climate change. The project mixes musical styles and genres, combining live performance with a distinctive graphic world. Munkination won the inaugural Royal Opera House/GUAP Immersive Opera Award in 2019.

Civil Dusk (DE)
By David Uzochukwu & David Reitenbach

In an apartment somewhere in Europe, an ill Nigerian father longs for his homeland. His family cares for him – but he eventually slips away, turning into sand. Nigerian elements of nature and their physical experience function as input parameters/parameters for interaction. Presented using LED displays and directed loudspeakers.

Off The Wall (FR)
By Aude-Emilie Judaïque & Lucie Plançon

A multi-users and stand-alone VR installation where users are immerged into a world of walls and frontiers. The VR experience will be in 3D animation, using archives for reconstruction and giving the project this symbolic vision of the walls. The experience is conceived to be part of an innovative type of exhibition format.

Dark Origins (UK)
By Jelena Viskovic & Calum Bowden

Life is stranger than it seems. Dark Origins is a VR discovery of strange lifeforms that live under our feet, in an ecosystem deep inside the Earth twice the size of the world’s oceans. Dark Origins goes on a journey to unravel scientific mysteries about extremophiles, creatures that thrive without any sunlight, in extreme heat and pressure.

Flee VR (DK)
By Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Jess Nicholls & Charlotte de la Gournerie

A stand-alone piece that seeks to convey the feeling of trauma. It is an emotional journey, that uses animated characters, colour, light, space, music and sound, to invoke complex, layered feelings in the viewer and implicate them in a way that may move them closer to understanding that there are 65 million people, with 65 million stories, who are forced to flee every year.

Photo: ‘Climate Symphony’ from CPH:LAB 2018/2019.