Q&A with director Katerina Cizek in advance of her Masters Series Class (February 17, 2015) and Lab (February 21, 2015).
For tickets, click here.
1. What draws you to digital storytelling?
Digital technologies affect us all and all aspects of our lives: the way we govern, learn, entertain, engage; the way we love and hate. So creating documentary stories digitally is a natural and necessary for me, it’s where we play out so much of our lives.
2. What films or projects have inspired your work?
HIGHRISE has been inspired by so many projects, both media and non-media. More broadly, inspirations include WITNESS (the Human Rights organization in NYC), Peter Wintonick’s legacy, the NFB’s Challenge for Change programme, The City of Toronto’s Tower Renewal Project, as well as the notion of interventionist research in academics. These have all inspired me to think about how media can be more interventionist. In terms of aesthetics, I’ve found inspiration from a diverse range of sources: for example, Hitchcock’s Rear Window, David Hockney, Animated Pop-Up Children’s books for tablets, as well as point cloud art, to name a few.
3. Are there any documentaries that you feel are essential viewing for aspiring filmmakers?
For me, the first great cinema documentary was Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera. The latest one is Citizenfour. I believe simply watching as many documentaries as I can – whether they are good or bad – helps me to get closer to understanding the complicated and often elusive nature of what makes a documentary urgent, important and great.
Read more about the DOC Institute’s Masters Series.