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The Montréal/Miami New Narratives Lab

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New-Media Labs

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An Engaged Cultural Exchange Exploring the Future of Mixed-Reality Storytelling

It’s a critical time for cultural exchanges – exchanges that support conversations, creativity, knowledge, and growth. More necessary than ever, as we are coming to terms with life in semi-isolation and imagining re-entry into the “new normal.” A time when civil unrest due to social injustice is catalyzing reform, where impediments to travel are both medical and political. We are each charged with a responsibility, to be human.

Since the advent of digital technology and now new XR tech, the ability to tell our stories, engage friends, and strangers alike has never before been more important and powerful than as a tool for connecting to our humanity. To this end, we are launching 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 efforts across the borders and continue the work of gender parity in the global tech industry.

The Montréal / Miami New Narratives Lab is a partnership between FilmGate Interactive—a Miami-based film, education, and digital arts festival, MUTEK—a Montréal-based electronic music and digital arts festival, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB)—Canada’s public film and digital media producer and distributor, and O Cinema—an independent first-run art house exhibiting and producing films and events in Miami. Industry partners include the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC)—Québec’s funding body for cultural industries, and Kaleidoscope—a XR community fund for artist grants, events, and networking.

The Montréal/Miami New Narratives Lab will take the form of workshops, conferences, and a call for creatives. The call for proposals will be announced as we scout for experienced cis, trans-women and non-binary creators with strong ideas and unique perspectives, who are based in Miami or in Montréal. This opportunity is for six creatives to create and develop a proof of concept ready to pitch to potential funders and co-producing partners. This lab will also proffer challenges present in the technology and thought experiments to evoke innovative ways of addressing them. Throughout the lab, they will work together on their project ideas, and receive mentorship and hands-on support from expert storytellers, technologists, and industry partners, including Magic Leap—a leading tech startup based in Florida, producing a wearable spatial computer that brings the physical and digital worlds together.