Team Focusing on Empowering Women of Color Wins Grand Prize
NEW YORK – April 22, 2016 – Interlude, the media and technology company that is pioneering interactive video that can adapt and respond to a person’s interests and preferences, has awarded a team focused on empowering women of color the Grand Prize in this year’s Games for Change interactive film competition.
The winning film, the first episode of a series called “Downtown Browns,” is a fascinating and heartfelt story about a young Mexican girl whose excitement over being chosen to compete in an advanced algebra program is upended when she finds that her parents have been detained by immigration authorities. The creators showed a strength in compelling storytelling and character, and put substantial thought into how the interactivity behaves within the story. Their main character gives a powerful performance, and the piece pays special attention to how interactivity can change the emotional relationship a viewer has with the film.
“This generation of filmmakers have new ways to conveying their stories and messages because it is now possible to actively involve the viewer in the experience of the story,” said Yoni Bloch, CEO and Co-Founder of Interlude. “We are so proud to be working with this wonderful team.”
The winning team receives $10,000 for production of next episodes and will work directly with the Interlude team to use the capabilities of Interlude’s platform to the greatest.
“Downtown Browns” is produced by a core team of radical creators based in Los Angeles: Tonia Beglari, Jazmin Garcia, Emilia Yang, and Allison Comrie. Tonia and Allison are M.F.A. students in Interactive Media and Game Design at the University of Southern California. Tonia, co-founder of Browntourage, has a background in underground youth media. Allison has an interest in game based storytelling and has produced an interactive undergraduate thesis on diversity in games. Jazmin Garcia is an independent filmmaker who has produced viral short videos exploring modern Xicano identity, music videos, and experimental shorts. Emilia Yang is a PhD candidate from Nicaragua at the Interdisciplinary Media Arts and Practice at the University of Southern California. Emilia’s work focuses on playful critical media as a tactical political tool.
“Together, we combined our social justice sensitivities, fresh aesthetics, and creative tech ideas to produce thoughtful interactive film experiences that promote intimacy and understanding with women of color.” Said the team about its approach.
The Runners-up for the competition were: “Fabulous Hair” created by Ram Devineni and “Mysteries of NYC” created by Samantha Pyra and Rose Glaeser. For more information about these teams and to see all of the winning films see https://interlude.fm/creators/competition.
About the Competition
The competition named “The Challenge of Diversity,” was created by Interlude in association with “Games for Change” (www.gamesforchange.org) which facilitates the creation and distribution of social impact games that serve as powerful tools in humanitarian and educational efforts. Creative teams or individuals submitted pilots for interactive series that discuss the opportunities, difficulties, complexities and challenges around race relations, sexual rights, and economic disparity in the US. Interlude provided creative support and guidance for creators about techniques for interactive storytelling, and will provide its simple, powerful film-making platform that will enable these kinds of projects. Pilots, along with a treatment for the next two episodes of a series, were provided by each team.
Interlude is a media and technology company that is pioneering video that feels and responds to a person’s actions and interests in real time. This next generation of video, which uses Interlude’s patented technology platform, enables stories to adapt in a multitude of directions; the viewer steps into the story to make choices that affect dialogue, and even the plot, at any particular moment in time. This means that viewers are offered nearly infinite experiences in live-action video within a single piece of content. The result is highly engaging game-like videos that consumers play over and over. Interlude partners with entertainment companies, independent creators, and top brands to create episodic series that are distributed widely through a network of affiliates on the mobile web, mobile apps, and the web.
Interlude investors include Sequoia Capital, NEA, Marker, and Innovation Endeavors. Strategic investors include MGM, Intel Capital, Warner Music Group and Samsung.