Visit the project
“There wasn’t yet a web-native NFB project. Anything on the web was a companion site to a film, so it was a pretty new concept.”
Katerina Cizek, Director, in FastCoCreate
Promoted as “the world’s first documentary experience that’s totally online,” the National Film Board of Canada’s Filmmaker in Residence project broke ground with its production practices, storytelling, and distribution strategy. Over a period of five years, documentarian Katerina Cizek collaborated with the doctors, nurses, patients, and researchers of Toronto’s inner city St. Michael’s Hospital to create Filmmaker in Residence. Conceived as an experiment in digital filmmaking, Filmmaker in Residence premiered as seven web-native “interventions,” each touching on a different aspect of urban health. Cizek followed a psychiatric “intervention” team that responded to emergency calls about mental distress, documented doctors on a HIV/AIDS prevention trip to Malawi, and worked with young mothers who had experienced homelessness to create a photo exhibition about their experiences on the streets.
A direct precursor to Cizek’s HIGHRISE project (NFB, 2008— ), the Filmmaker in Residence initiative built on the legacy of the NFB’s groundbreaking Challenge for Change program (1967), which put cameras in the hands of communities with the goal of creating social change through participatory filmmaking.