DIGITAL STORIES LAB – media & democracy
is a 3-day Central European meeting of audio-visual storytellers seeking innovative forms of narrative employing the use of digital media and interactive technologies to discuss contemporary challenges facing Europe.

In our digitized world we witness great changes in the ways stories are told and content is created. The centralization of media of the 20th century was put to an end by digital and mobile technologies, which democratised media production and consumption. With the use of computers and phones constantly connected to the Internet, viewers gained a subjectivity and an autonomy not only to decide what, how and when they watch but also an ability to communicate, interact, and (co-)create content. These lead to new forms of audio-visual storytelling such as interactive documentaries, Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), 360° films, cross-media and transmedia projects, participative projects, and the Internet of Things (IoT).  

The search for new narratives results in experiments on form, attitude of openness, dialogue and participation. As the new audio-visual language develops, traditional roles of the author and the viewer shift towards curator and participant-contributor or co-author, respectively. In consequence, genre boundaries expand and blur. Full immersion into stories is now easier than ever: new tools such as interactive storytelling, virtual reality and 360 films engage the viewer as never before.

At the same time, the Internet has brought new dimensions to democracy: Twitter revolutions, cyber-attacks, Facebook safety checks, web surveillance, hate speech, to name just a few phenomena. Each day brings new challenges for Europe to handle; among them are forced migration, crises of democracy, unity or boundaries, algorithm-influenced election results influenced byalgorithms. How to talk about these new issues using modern media, the same tools viewers use every day to communicate and share content? How to tap into the potential of contemporary technology to tell engaging stories on serious topics?

DIGITAL STORIES LAB will focus on digital works that shift boundaries of narrative and visual arts through the use of interaction, immersion and community-based creation of content. The event will focus on projects documenting the challenges of the modern world. Spanning 3 days, the event will include inspiring lectures, workshops, live shows and networking opportunities.

Why should you join?

DIGITAL STORIES LAB aims to enable European makers interested in innovative storytelling to improve their knowledge, skills and creativity in creating stories about challenges that the world is facing today. Envisioned as a trans-partisan, international and challenging event , Digital Stories Lab’s  purpose is exchange of ideas, knowledge, experience,presentation of  innovative digital tools and above all – establishing a European network of creatives interested in the use of innovative communication and storytelling tools and the new media. Our main objective is also to promote new forms of storytelling and contribute to building a civil society through the use of digital culture and modern media.

The event will be held during WATCH DOCS International Film Festival – one of the two biggest film events dedicated to human rights in the world.

What will we do?

All activities will be led by international experts on audio-visual story-building and production as well as human rights and digital-culture specialists.

Activities during DIGITAL STORIES LAB are divided into 4 modules:
Lectures – case studies on latest and most interesting projects created in Central Europe, dedicated to current social and democracy-related issues employing innovative technologies to engage the viewer; inspiring lectures and talks on transmedia and interactive productions, international co-productions, story and story-world creation and human rights.
Workshops – hands-on group sessions led by audio-visual specialists from diverse fields including prototyping, interactive storytelling, digital media for democracy, delivering concept to project etc.
Interactive screenings – two evenings of live cinema presentations of projects documenting current challenges in Europe. Audience: Digital Stories Lab participants and general public (as part of Watch Docs International Film Festival program).
Networking activities – enabling workshop participants to connect to experts and other participants as well as interact with other guests of WATCH DOCS International Film Festival.

Where and when?

The event takes place on 7th – 9th December 2017 (during Watch Docs IFF) in Warsaw

How to apply?

Application deadline was October 22nd.

We are looking for motivated participants eager to network across borders. We will review your professional track record, but also highly consider your future plans of applying the knowledge as well as your motivation to participate.


Hospitality expenses to be covered by the participant
55 EUR (including accommodation)
25 EUR (without accommodation)

Additionally, participants cover the costs of their travel to/from Warsaw


Warsztat warszawski, Plac Konstytucji 4
Otwarta Pracownia Jazdów, ul. Jazdów 3/6
U-jazdowski Kino, ul. Jazdów 2
Kino Muranów, ul. Andersa 5
Mishmash Hostel, ul. Nowogrodzka 42
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Total Immersion Foundation and Udyssey Creative Technologies