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Montréal / Miami New Narratives Lab

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New Narratives Labs

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We are looking for female-identifying creators with strong ideas and unique perspectives, who are based in Miami or Montreal. Experience in virtual, augmented or mixed reality is not mandatory, but applicants need to have strong experience in their own creative field.

Access this information about The New Narratives Lab in a PDF file…
English / French / Spanish


It’s a critical time for cultural exchanges—exchanges that support conversations, creativity, knowledge, and growth. They are more necessary now than they’ve ever been as we come to terms with life in semi-isolation and imagine re-entry into the “new normal.” At a time when civil unrest due to social injustice is catalyzing reform, when impediments to travel are both medical and political, we are each charged with a responsibility: to be human. With the advent of digital technology and now, new XR tech, the ability to tell our stories and engage friends and strangers alike has become more important and powerful than ever as a tool for connecting to our humanity. To this end, FilmGate Miami, MUTEK, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), and O Cinema are organizing the Montréal/Miami New Narratives Lab, a cross-cultural exchange between creative storytellers, organizations, and innovative technology industries, in pursuit of exploring the future of storytelling in augmented and mixed reality. It is also an opportunity to combine our e orts across borders and continue the work of gender parity in the global tech industry.

Combining layers of digital content with our real, physical environments, mixed reality provides a variety of options for narrative and interactive experimentation, resulting in incredible cultural experiences. These experiences have the power to generate empathy and engagement and challenge established values and identities. We imagined the Mon- tréal/Miami New Narratives Lab as an opportunity for creators to explore this new medium and deploy its potential for innovative and interdisciplinary cultural production.

Selected for their meaningful proposals, six creators, three from Miami and three from Montreal will engage in a creative process om February to December 2021. Throughout the Lab, they will work together on their project ideas and receive mentorship and hands-on support om expert storytellers and technologists. Offering this opportunity to female-identifying creators, we aim to counter current industry statistics by creating an inclusive space, in which they can develop strong ideas for immersive and interactive storytelling and thrive in the creative roles that such projects demand. The 3-day Lab in Miami will result in several original mixed-reality narrative concepts, supported by proof of concept material. In the months following the workshop, between March and December 2021, the creators will receive mentorship to help them prepare a presentation on their concept. In the final stage, creators will present their concepts and creative process at the FilmGate Miami Interactive Media Festival in December 2021 and receive visibility on Kaleidoscope, a digital XR community platform offering access to grants, events, and networking. Selected creators will receive $ 2,000 (CAD) for their participation.

The Montréal/Miami New Narratives Lab is an opportunity for creators to…

• Explore new forms of interactive storytelling and experiment with innovative technology
• Develop their project idea with the support of storytelling and tech experts
• Experience a true cultural exchange between Miami and Montreal creators, forming a bridge of understanding and collaboration
• Present their developed narrative concept to established industry professionals, including producers and funders.


We are looking for female-identifying creators with strong ideas and unique perspectives, who are based in Miami or Montreal. Targeted profiles include artists, designers, coders, and storytellers from different backgrounds such as virtual, augmented, and mixed reality, data science, lm, architecture, dance, literature, music, new arts, or even street art. Experience in virtual, augmented or mixed reality is not mandatory, but applicants need to have strong experience in their own creative field.


Creators are invited to submit a proposal for an augmented and mixed-reality project on any platform— from mobile technologies to specialized headsets such as the Magic Leap or the HoloLens, or specialized headsets—that should be at an early stage of development. Projects partially or totally prototyped, funded, or shot will not be accepted.
We encourage the submission of ambitious ideas, combining an original narrative with a strong desire to play with the codes of interactive storytelling in a mixed-reality experience. We are looking for non-fiction projects with an original worldview.
We expect creators to be open-minded, eager to be challenged in their own thinking, generous with their own participation and contribution, and ready to trade ideas and skills with the other participants.
Submitted proposals should directly relate to one or several of the following design challenges.


Urban Life:
The experience takes place in an outdoor setting and uses the physical space and urban life interactions as the main narrative engine. For example, this can be achieved through computer vision and explore population movement, traffic, public transportation, buildings, animals, etc.

The sound is the main narrative engine of the AR experience. This can be achieved through interaction sounds, spatialized audio, rotational audio, location-based audio, creating a sound world, audio-only experiences, voice commands, etc.

Human Interaction:
The experience is amplified and takes its meaning in human connections. This can be achieved through any form of human-to-human interaction: a physical connection, geolocalization, common data, language, online interaction, etc.


Submission deadline: October 13th, 2020 @ 12pm (EST)
• Selected creators will be announced during the week of November 2, 2020

Introductory workshops and virtual conferences in Montreal, during MUTEK, and in Miami: September 8-13, 2020
• Optional presence
• Attend conferences with augmented reality creators and experts
• Meet the Lab partners
• Familiarize yourself with the technological tools
• Encounter and exchange
• Learn more about the design challenges and design the conceptual framework of your project

The New Narratives Lab Workshop in Miami: February 8-12, 2021
• Take part in a guided 3-day design workshop in which you will explore creatively and advance your project through visual, tech, or sound testing.
• Explore ways to present your project
• Participate in an intercultural exchange and collaborate with other creators

Mentorship: March to December 2021
• Receive mentorship om professionals to prepare your public presentations in Montreal and Miami

Further project development and public presentation in Montreal: August 24-29, 2021
• Present your work in progress and creative process at MUTEK Forum

Public presentation in Miami: December 3, 2021
• Present your concept, proof of concept, and creative process at the FilmGate Interactive Media Festival


The proposal will consist of a descriptive document delivered in a PDF format with up to five (5) pages of letter format, arranged vertically. Its content will be in French or English for Montreal creators and English or Spanish for Miami creators, and will take the following form:

Page 1:
Title page with name of the project and candidate’s contact information (address, e-mail, and phone number);

Page 2:
Summary of the project (no more than 650 words) capturing the essence of the proposal by answering these questions:

Page 3:
Mood board clearly illustrating the concept; keywords and short descriptions can be included;

Pages 4 and 5:
Creator bio; presentation of prior projects deemed pertinent in relation to the challenge and which showcase their expertise.


All submissions must be sent to: montrealmiami@nfb.ca


• The call for ideas is open to female-identifying creators.
• This creative lab is for professional creators working in any discipline and residing in the Greater Montreal area or in Miami, including both Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
• You must be available for these dates:
– FEBRUARY 8-12, 2021: New Narratives Lab in Miami
– AUGUST 24-29, 2021: Public presentation in Montreal during MUTEK Forum
– DECEMBER 3, 2021: Public presentation in Miami during the FilmGate Interactive Media Festival
• You must submit an online proposal by October 6, 2020, at noon (Montreal and Miami time). Employees and members of the NFB, MUTEK, O Cinema and FilmGate Miami, the employers of the members of the jury, their representatives, their immediate family members, the persons with whom they live as well as all members of the immediate family of the jury are not eligible to participate in this call for ideas.
• Each candidate can only submit one proposal.
• You are eligible to travel in the U.S. and in Canada, and hold a valid passport.
• You are at ease communicating in English, the New Narratives Lab will be in English.

What We Cover:
• All travel expenses (plane tickets, accommodation, and food) to host you during the workshop in Miami, and presentations in Montreal and Miami;
• A $2,000 CAD participation fee;
• Technical production equipment for the workshop;
• Access to panels, exhibitions, and networking events at MUTEK Forum 2021;
• Access to panels, exhibitions, and networking events at the FilmGate Interactive Media Festival 2021.

Not Included:
• Representation fees;
• The Lab will only accept one individual and will not cover the inclusion of other team members. You can have team members, but you will have to cover their costs.

Rights Ownership:
The selected artists will retain ownership of all rights to the submitted proposal. In exchange for the participation fee, all applicants grant the project partners an exclusive option on the proposal to produce the project based on the proposal, with the aim of developing, producing, or co-producing the project, under terms to be negotiated in good faith with the artist or collective. Such option will be valid for a 12-month period, which shall automatically expire should partners have not begun the development or production of the project.

Questions and Communication:
Any questions or requests for clari cation must be addressed directly and by e-mail only to: Laurence Dolbec at l.dolbec@onf.ca (Montreal creators) and Diliana Alexander at diliana@ filmgate.miami (Miami creators). Questions om Montreal creators can be asked in French or English and questions from Miami creators can be asked in English or Spanish.


Diliana Alexander – FilmGate Miami
Diliana Alexander is the co-founder and Executive Director of FilmGate Miami and FilmGate Interactive, and she heads the Downtown Media Center, the rst-ever creative space for media makers in South Florida. She began her career as a producer and assistant director at CBC, HGTV, The Learning Channel and Showtime. Diliana studied international relations, nance, and economics at McGill University and later at the University of Toronto. She completed her MFA in lm production at the Miami International University of Art and Design. With a strong focus on the intersection of art, science, and technology, Diliana is currently directing and producing Stiltsville VR, a virtual reality experience using the Oculus Quest about the seven iconic houses in Biscayne Bay.

Marie-Pier Gauthier – NFB
Marie-Pier Gauthier is a producer at the NFB’s Montreal Interactive Studio and has been contributing to this rich narrative laboratory for the past nine years. Whether it’s digital creation on mobile phones or on the web, interactive installations or virtual or augmented reality projects, she supervises the execution of projects by innovative creators working at the crossroads of different disciplines. She produces projects using a range of storytelling tools, including social networks, code, design, artificial intelligence, and conversational robots. With degrees in journalism and interactive production, Marie-Pier has collaborated on more than 100 interactive works (including Motto, The Enemy, Do Not Track, Way to Go) which have received more than 100 awards in Canada and abroad.

Claudine Hubert – MUTEK
Claudine Hubert is a member of MUTEK’s strategic development and programming team for the Forum and exhibition components. She is a curator of digital and visual art and active in Montreal’s cultural community: she sits on the digital arts committee of the Montreal Arts Council, is chair of the board of directors of Les Ateliers Belleville, and a member of Clark artist-run center. She is also active on the Canadian scene in project development. Claudine was the general and artistic co-director of the OBORO artist center in Montreal for 11 years and co-founded the Tiers-espace artist-run center in Saint- John, N.B. She holds a BA in Art History and an MA in Translation Studies. She lives and works in Montreal/ Tio’tia:ke/Mooniyang.

Savannah Niles – Magic Leap
Savannah Niles is a multi-disciplinary designer and technologist working in XR. She’s a principal product designer at Magic Leap, leading cross-functional teams to develop new paradigms for interaction, communication, and copresence for a spatial computing operating system. She graduated in 2015 with a Master’s om the Media Lab at MIT and has designed interactive experiences for Walt Disney Imagineering and Twitter. She’s the editor for Heads Up!, a zine dedicated to critical reaections on possibility and impossibility in XR, and has served as a juror at SIGGRAPH for 3 years. She’s based in Miami.

Vivian Marthell – O Cinema
Vivian Marthell is the co-founder and co-director of O Cinema and is the creator of the Awake & Aware conscious cinema program and Climate Change Cinema. She heads research, programming, and the public exhibition of immersive storytelling experiences for O Cinema. She is a media artist, activist and arts collaborator working with M.E.T.A Miami (Miami Emerging Technology and Arts), FatLip, and Dark Matter Group on projects ranging om interactive storytelling projects for public spaces to dance films made for the screen. She identifies as part of the LGBTQ community.


FilmGate Miami
FilmGate Miami is a not-for-profit lm organization that empowers actors, writers, and independent media makers in Florida by organizing workshops, screenings, and educational events that benefit its community at large and redefine the way stories are being conceived and shared, collectively. Launched in 2013, the annual FilmGate Interactive Media Festival brings together creators, professionals, and audiences to witness the technology of today shape the stories of tomorrow through interactive screenings, creative panels, master classes, immersive art installations, music and networking events.

Founded in Canada 20 years ago, MUTEK is a global network with yearly festival editions in Montreal, Mexico City, Barcelona, Tokyo, Buenos Aires and San Francisco. Situated at the intersection of art and technology, MUTEK showcases audiovisual performance, live electronic music and a wide range of digital works, including interactive installation, projection and screen-based work, and immersive and XR projects. The professional MUTEK Forum provides a joint platform for artists, companies, researchers and other industry players to explore the latest practices and tools, make new business connections, and nourish critical thinking with regards to technology and society.

National Film Board of Canada
The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is one of the world’s leading digital content hubs, creating groundbreaking interactive documentaries and animation, mobile content, installations and participatory experiences. NFB interactive productions and digital platforms have won over 100 awards, including 21 Webbys. Since opening in 2009, the Montreal Interactive Studio has proved fertile ground for new vocabularies and given new ways of storytelling room to emerge. We produce stirring, eloquent works that sit at the crossroads of the senses, technology and intelligence. The stories we tell might unfold one-on-one on a mobile device or mingle with the crowd in a public space, whether virtual or physical. To date, we’ve explored the narrative possibilities of the Internet, mobile apps, installation, performance, social media, virtual, augmented and mixed reality, and more. We believe technology is a tool that should serve and reinforce strong storytelling. We seek works that appeal to the heart as much as they do the mind.

O Cinema
O Cinema is an independent art house cinema in Miami Dade County and the Beaches featuring first run lms, provocative programs and events. O Cinema operates with three core philosophies: 1. Provide intriguing, entertaining, and superior quality films that audiences will otherwise not see.
2. Ensure that lms are as diverse as our community and prices are accessible to the broadest possible audience.
3. Transform Miami-Dade by creating innovative, engaging programs of interest to all demographics that Entertain, Educate and Inspire.