Submarine Channel

Perspectives on Interactive Documentary Storytelling


The interactive documentary space is a paradise for discovering the maturing of digital storytelling. Powered by the web, a host of disruptive new media technologies, and a desire to create meaningful and immersive experiences, the renaissance that’s emerged in documentary storytelling in the last several years created evergreen themes like Interactive, Participatory, Locative and Remix, to name just a few. Accordingly this results in the constant need to attach power words to define these works, like transmedia – one of the least understood and most misused of the terms we´re faced with today. For our purposes we´ll stick with ´interactive´.

Whatever the term, though, it is clear these are all evolving buzzwords, and success in this web storytelling domain is not formulaic. With projects that range the interactive spectrum, IDFA DocLab (better known as the new media program of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam) represents the year´s best-practice examples of emerging modes of digital storytelling and new visual languages. It also serves as an idyllic time to take stock of just how far storytelling on the web has come in the last five years, and speculate about its future.

Since we at Submarine Channel are always experimenting with new technologies to tell stories in visually exciting, multiple format-friendly ways, we were eager to give Storyplanet, the new (and still in beta) platform for interactive stories, a try. Most recently we visited IDFA DocLab in Amsterdam (our home base!), resulting in this publication. Here we present visual multimedia stories from the cross-media event, and showcase inspiring makers, emerging trends, and perspectives on interactive and multi-platform approaches to storytelling. The edition is full of video and text interviews, articles, and photos. We hope you enjoy it (and think of this as your end-of-year entertainment bundle).



The Last Tourist in China

Lagos Wide & Close


Mike Hill

John Nevarez