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Tribeca Interactive: Manifestos and More

Baratunde Thurston At Tribeca Film Festival's Interactive Day, the fest's interactive strand crackled with energy, as filmmakers and developers traded insights. 

Public media had a big footprint, with Localore projects dominating the Saturday showcase. Hipster developers from Zeega presented a digital manifesto, with the kind of zest one imagines that Dziga Vertov (for whom Zeega is named) and his buddies tweaked the USSR's revolutionary artist community with their We Manifesto.

Tiffany ShlainFilmmaker Tiffany Shlain and remixer Elisa Kreisinger made it official--fedoras are the de rigeur women's accessory for the film circuit. 

Shlain's keynote (called “The Cloud Filmmaking Manifesto;” no Vertov homage though) featured her cloud project, LetItRipple.org--a series of films that use material drawn from around the world (produced on a template provided by Shlain), which Shlain crafts into elegant short films on how we are all connected by our common humanity. She tweaks the end for nonprofits anywhere around the world that want to use the film for their own causes. The films have been translated into 70 languages, and the project is growing.

The project is one more example that it is a lot easier for people to participate in participatory media when participation is clearly defined and involves either minimal effort or outcomes that align with someone's own goals. IDFA's Caspar Sonnen, always the master of pithy phrases, also cautioned against expecting full participation in participatory media. He argued that the audience was not going to become the new author, but they would become curators.

Speaker after speaker repeated the mantra of story first. Deanna Zandt noted that social media and data analysis worked in service of story; social media are, she noted, relationship management tools. Developers and filmmakers both noted they needed to share a common artistic dream.