Queen's Film and Media

Film and Media Studies
Film and Media Studies

Why Interactive poster

Why Interactive? A Panel Discussion with Katerina Cizek, Alex Jansen and Dorit Naaman, moderated by Clarke Mackey

Many media works today are interactive. What are the benefits of an interactive experience for audiences and producers when compared with more conventional forms of storytelling?

Monday, March 13, 7:30pm

Isabel Bader Centre, Film Screening Room (222)

FREE PIZZA for students in the lobby at 6:30pm

Hosted by the Department of Film and Media


Katerina Cizek is one of Canada’s most renowned documentary filmmakers. She is the recipient of numerous prestigious national and international prizes including the 2010 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling, the 2010 International Digital Emmy Award for Best Digital Program (Non-Fiction), the 2014 Peabody Award, the 2014 Emmy Award for New Approaches in Arts, Lifestyle & Culture (USA News and Documentary), the 2015 Canadian Screen Award for Best Original Interactive Production Produced for Digital Media, and the 2016 Canadian Screen Award (Webby Award) for Online Film & Video/Best Use of Interactive Video. Cizek’s early directing credits include the Hampton-Prize winner Seeing is Believing: Handicams, Human Rights and the News (co-directed with Peter Wintonick) and The Dead are Alive: Eyewitness in Rwanda (1995), the first global television documentary made about the 1994 Rwandan genocide. More recently, she has garnered international attention as the director of the National Film Board of Canada’s internationally acclaimed HIGHRISE series on life in residential skyscrapers. HIGHRISE and other international collaborative projects by Cizek will prove of special interest to Queen’s students interested in how storytelling can intersect with, and drive, key conversations in urbanism, development, globalization, grass roots cultural practices, and social justice.


Dorit Naaman is a documentarist and film theorist from Jerusalem, and a professor of Film and Media and Cultural Studies at Queen’s University. In 2016 she released an innovative interactive documentary, Jerusalem, We Are Here, offering a model for digital witnessing. The project creates a novel platform that “will become a ‘go to’ reference for educators working on the intersections of new media, oral history, geography and more” (Liz Miller, documentary filmmaker). Jerusalem, We Are Here had its Canadian debut at the Montreal Documentary Film Festival in November 2016, will have its U.S. premiere in Berkley in February, its Jerusalem premiere in May, and the Palestinian one in July 2017.  Dorit’s publications focus on Israeli and to a lesser extent Palestinian cinemas and media (primarily from post-colonialist and feminist perspectives).


Alex Jansen is Owner and Operator of Pop Sandbox, an award-winning multimedia production and publishing company focused on innovative storytelling across platforms. Jansen was Producer and Game Designer on Pipe Trouble, a high-profile video game exploring ongoing real-world issues related to the exploitation of natural gas, and KENK: A Graphic Portrait, a best-selling hybrid of graphic novel, documentary, and long-form journalism surrounding "the world's most prolific bicycle thief" (The New York Times). Alex Jansen has been invited to speak on Pop Sandbox’ unique cross-platform storytelling approach at the Cannes Film Festival, International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, Ottawa International Animation Festival, CFC Media Lab, the University of Toronto, Brock University, Ryerson University, McMaster University, Humber College, Durham College, Sheridan College, Centennial College, the Ontario College of Art & Design’s Executive Master of Design in Advertising Program and many more.  Prior to founding Pop Sandbox, Jansen spent four years building the home entertainment division at Mongrel Media, Canada's premiere independent and foreign film distribution company.  He is also Founder of the Kingston Canadian Film Festival, which is currently entering its 16th year. 


Clarke Mackey has been teaching in the Department of Film and Media at Queen’s University for 26 years. Before that he taught at York University and Sheridan College of Art and Design. Clarke is an accomplished media producer. He has worked as a director, cinematographer, editor, producer or writer on over 50 film, television and new media projects. Many have won awards and critical acclaim. In the 1980s Mackey began experimenting with interactive, computer-based video. His Memory Palace website (1997) made innovative use of media streaming long before Youtube. In recent years Clarke has been producing micro-budget documentaries about community activism in Eastern Ontario, including Til The Cows Come Home (2014) and Revolution Begins at Home (2016). In addition to his media work, Clarke Mackey has been pushing at the boundaries between art producers and consumers for over four decades. Starting in the early 1970s when he received several “Artist in the Schools” grants from Ontario Arts Council to work with aboriginal children and prison inmates, Clarke has been researching and practicing what he calls “vernacular culture”: unofficial practices that fall outside of the conventional definitions for fine art and popular culture. In 2010 he compiled his research and experiences in a book called Random Acts of Culture: Reclaiming Art and Community in the 21st Century. The book makes links between very old forms of culture -- before the industrial-commercial era -- and recent experiments in relational and site-specific work.