Downloads: Press Release
Interactive Smartphone Documentary Unleashes Emmy®-Nominated Filmmakers’ Existential Fears When They Become New Parents
POV Digital, the award-winning and innovative interactive arm of the PBS documentary series POV (Point of View), and transmedia production and distribution studio Submarine Channel will present a sneak preview of Emmy®-nominated filmmakers Eline Jongsma and Kel O’Neill’s EXIT: A Mobile Guide to the Post Apocalypse at Convergence at SXSW on Monday, March 14 at 2 p.m. CT at the Austin Convention Center.
EXIT offers an escape from the doomsday thinking that is ruining our collective imaginations. An experience for smartphones composed of a suite of interconnected nonfiction stories, EXIT dares users to entertain a shocking possibility: that mankind may survive (and even thrive) beyond the challenges that await us in the future.
Set in an apocalypse-obsessed United States, EXIT chronicles the journey of married Dutch-American filmmakers Jongsma + O’Neill as they struggle to come to terms with their existential fears that are unleashed when they become new parents. “Are you terrified to bring children into our dirty, crowded world?” the doc asks. “Is your mind burdened by dystopian scenarios both realistic (overpopulation, drone warfare) and fantastical (the Revelation)?” This struggle propels the couple on a cross-country trip where they encounter a wild collection of misfits and geniuses who have found their own form of peace with an uncertain, and potentially disastrous, tomorrow.
As part of EXIT‘s sneak preview at SXSW, POV, Submarine Channel and the filmmakers will present the first chapter, A Kid-Friendly Apocalypse. It tells the story of Trackers Earth’s Zombie Survival Camp, a Portland, Ore.-based camp where kids, ages 6 to 16, learn wilderness survival skills in a day-long simulation of the “zombie apocalypse.” The complete EXIT series will be released in the fall of 2016.
To attend the sneak preview at SXSW, visit: http://schedule.sxsw.com/2016/events/event_PP57739. For a demo of EXIT, contact POV at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“To tell our story, we opted for the most post-apocalyptic of all formats: the smartphone,” said Jongsma and O’Neill. “Many filmmakers view mobile phones not as ideal screens for watching movies, but as pocket-sized harbingers of cinematic apocalypse. But we decided to embrace this scary new medium, and have designed a storytelling experience that plays to the trance-inducing, touch-based strengths of mobile design.”
“Mobile video is continuing its wild growth, but what does it mean to make video for mobile devices and not just on them?” said POV Digital Executive Producer Adnaan Wasey. “EXIT is tackling how we use the inherent features of these devices—touching, moving, turning, swiping, pinching, pulling—to create a new kind of experience, one that is very intuitive and one that we think other developers will want to emulate.”
“O’Neill and Jongsma embody this ethos perfectly, making it a perfect collaboration,” said Submarine Channel Founder Femke Wolting. “They are auteurs in a new medium; they tell a personal story about existential questions about life after having a child, in an innovative way, embracing the qualities of the mobile platform as a storytelling device.”
EXIT is created, written, directed and co-produced by Jongsma + O’Neill, whose Empire was nominated for a 2015 News & Documentary Emmy—and produced by Submarine Channel in co-production with POV Digital. The project is designed by Bitcaves and developed by the Van Leeuwen Brothers.
About Jongsma + O’Neill
Eline Jongsma and Kel O’Neill, are award-winning Dutch-American filmmakers, working at the intersection of documentary, art and technology. They are the 2015 winners of the Tim Hetherington Visionary Award. Their latest project, the Emmy-nominated and Webby-honored documentary Empire, was one of the first interactive projects acquired by POV. Their work has been exhibited by such world-renowned institutions as Lincoln Center, REDCAT and the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, and has appeared at the New York Film Festival, Tribeca Storyscapes, the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, The Los Angeles Film Festival and South by Southwest.
About Submarine Channel
Submarinechannel.com is an Emmy Award-winning production studio and distribution platform for original transmedia documentaries, fiction and genre-defying entertainment. From studios in Amsterdam and Los Angeles, Previous productions include the Emmy-nominated transmedia project Collapsus, the Emmy Award-winning transmedia documentary Last Hijack Interactive, and the multiple award-winning interactive web documentary Refugee Republic. Submarine Channel is part of the production outfit Submarine, founded in 2000 by Bruno Felix and Femke Wolting.
About POV Digital
Since 1994, POV Digital has driven new storytelling initiatives and interactive production for POV. The department created PBS’s first program website and its first web-based documentary (POV’s Borders) and has won major awards, including a Webby Award (and six nominations) and an Online News Association Award. POV Digital continues to explore the future of independent nonfiction media through its digital productions and the POV Hackathon lab, where media makers and technologists collaborate to re-invent storytelling forms.
POV is public television’s premier showcase for nonfiction films. Since 1988, POV has been the home for the world’s boldest contemporary filmmakers, celebrating intriguing personal stories that spark conversation and inspire action. Always an innovator, POV discovers fresh new voices and creates interactive experiences that shine a light on social issues and elevate the art of storytelling. With our documentary broadcasts, original online programming and dynamic community engagement campaigns, we are committed to supporting films that capture the imagination and present diverse perspectives.
POV films have won 34 Emmy® Awards, 18 George Foster Peabody Awards, 12 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, three Academy Awards®, the first-ever George Polk Documentary Film Award and the Prix Italia. The POV series has been honored with a Special News & Documentary Emmy Award for Excellence in Television Documentary Filmmaking, three IDA Awards for Best Curated Series and the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) Award for Corporate Commitment to Diversity. Learn more at www.pbs.org/pov.
Major funding for POV is provided by PBS, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Corporation for Public Broadcasting and National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding comes from Nancy Blachman and David desJardins, Bertha Foundation, The Fledgling Fund, Marguerite Casey Foundation, Ettinger Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee, and public television viewers. POV is presented by a consortium of public television stations, including KQED San Francisco, WGBH Boston and THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG.