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projects curated

Liza Faktor


Liza Faktor is a visual documentary producer and curator. She is the co-founder of Screen, a company producing and distributing visual documentary across platforms.

She was the founding director of the Objective Reality Foundation in Russia (2001-2012) and the co-founder and director of (2005-2007).

Liza has produced short films, multi-channel installations and curated over 20 exhibitions, including Surveillance.01-USA (2014), Stories of Life: the best of multimedia journalism (2013), Projections of Reality (2010), Rivers of Northern Asia (2003), Kavkaz. Photographs from Chechnya 1868-2002.

She is the recipient of the Howard Chapnick award (2002) and was a member of the World Press Photo multimedia jury (2014).


The New Visual Documentary

The new visual documentary is different from what already exists in the well-defined editorial, film, broadcasting, and art contexts, both formally and aesthetically. The form can be anything really–a participatory project, multimedia journalism, a video installation, data art, or an unlikely structured short film. Coming from a traditional documentary photography background, I’m most interested in the ability to translate the complexity of documentary stories into beautiful and emotionally charged clarity.

Of course, nothing about documentary is clear. Not much has changed in the process of collecting complex stories–the storyteller (be it a photographer, filmmaker, or data artist) invests considerable amounts of time and emotion. There’s no way around it.

But today producing a complex narrative is a collaborative effort that gives the author’s voice to everyone involved in the process and results in a new language, or rather languages.

The new documentary creates opportunities to talk to specific audiences with the variety of formats–some of the groundbreaking work out there is part of larger transmedia narratives. It takes skill, focus, and guts to pick the form that serves your story best out of endless possibilities in technology and digital distribution. After all, it is the story that we remember.

_Sleeping Soldiers

This immersive three-channel video installation preceded an Academy award-nominated feature Restrepo and a book Infidel and was an early example of applying transmedia principles to documentary storytelling.

Sleeping Soldiers, by the late Tim Hetherington, revealed the emotional and extreme experiences he shared with the US soldiers in Afghanistan. The video installation, along with the film and the book on the same subject, had an unprecedented impact on understanding the intimacy that soldiers experience in conflict.

_The Enclave

The Enclave is a disorienting and kaleidoscopic multi-channel video installation intended to formally parallel eastern Congo’s multifaceted conflict. The piece is an experiential environment that attempts to reconfigure the dictates of photojournalism and expanded video art.

Richard Mosse approached the narrative for the recurring cycle of violence in eastern Congo with imagery of excruciating beauty. The labyrinth of six screens accompanied by Ben Frost’s visceral soundscape gives us an unlikely entry point into one of the most haunting places on earth. In Mosse’s own words, "Beauty is the sharpest tool in the box."

_Women Are Heroes

In this participatory public art project JR asked women who were victims of war, crime, and rape to pose for portraits and show there’s life inside them.

Now a megastar in the global art world best known for his Inside Out project, JR had previously produced this groundbreaking participatory project that raised issues of conflict and crime against women in the neighborhoods where they live.

_Prison Map

Prison Map is not a map - it's a snapshot of the earth's surface, taken at various points throughout the United States.

Josh Begley has mastered broadcasting complex political statements and the emotions associated with them through simple, almost minimalistic visual pieces in his approach to data visualization.

_NSA Files: Decoded

Interactive documentary on Edward Snowden’s NSA revelations.

This interactive walkthrough of Edward Snowden’s revelations lays out a very complicated subject to the viewer in a clean and almost popular way, putting you directly in the context with a simple question: What do revelations mean to you?

_Dyatlov Pass

Dyatlov Pass is a horror documentary about the mysterious deaths of Soviet students in the Ural mountains.

A rare authentic interactive story coming from the post-Soviet space and produced with limited resources.

_The Louniverse

The Louniverse is a study of how Philip Toledano's child, Loulou, interacts with the ipad. Loulou's face slowly appears large, like planets, on the walls around you, until you're surrounded by a galaxy of heads.

A great summary of how the new generation of kids relates to technology as done by photographer Phil Toledano, featuring his daughter Loulou.

_The Sochi Project

In a work described by its creators as "slow journalism," the fanfare of the 2014 Olympics in Sochi is peeled back to investigate the realities of Russia and the effects of the Games on the region.

This profound documentation of the conflict-torn and culturally diverse Caucasus region was undertaken by a photographer/writer team over the seven years that preceded the Sochi Olympics. With the traveling show, a massive book, and a number of yearly publications in the mix, the web documentary is the most accessible entry point to this story.


The Guardian’s “Firestorm” explores the frontiers of interactive journalism.

This web documentary works with all senses to transport you into the eerie space of being caught in the forest fire, giving you a truly surround experience.

_The Last Hunt

Step into the wilds of Quebec's northern woods and join a family on what may be the final instance of a family tradition: the last hunt.

A beautiful, simple story of photographs and drawings that doesn’t need excessive interactivity to be told.

_Bear 71

Surveillance video and data feeds from Canada’s Banff National Park make environmental documentary "Bear 71" a commentary on life in the digital age.

Bear71 is the stunning take on the human interference with the environment and the insight into the world of wild creatures, putting surveillance tools to good cause.


Submarine Channel's "Unspeak" zeroes in on the power of language to obscure reality as much as it explains it, with a series of shorts that deconstructs today's ubiquitous bits of jargon.

A great and much needed transmedia study on semantics, exploring the concept of "words as weapons."


projects curated by

Ingrid Kopp


projects curated by

Elaine McMillion Sheldon


projects curated by

Arnau Gifreu

33 Pl Playlists

33 playlists, a changing roster of prominent documentary makers, festival organizers, technologists and critics sharing their top picks.

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