Breakthroughs in Storytelling

Celebrating Digital Narrative

The Columbia Digital Storytelling Lab’s “Digital Dozen: Breakthroughs in Storytelling” awards honor the most creative approaches to narrative from the past year.

Set up to encourage innovation, creativity, and an awareness of the myriad ways digital technology is changing the way we tell stories, the awards program is open to works from any field or discipline, including advertising, art, fiction, film, games, journalism, television, and theater. In citing these accomplishments, the Lab hopes to further digital media’s potential to break free of rigid, industrial-age classifications and evolve in ways that analog media could not.

The Digital Dozen comprise the shortlist for the Lab’s top award, which is announced in early April along with a special jury prize: a collaborative workshop at the Lab designed to help spur the development of a new project. The works honored for 2015 included an ad campaign; a video game; an art installation; an experimental opera; an online community whose leaders have been targeted by murderous fundamentalists; and two journalism reports, one employing nonlinear narrative and the other virtual reality. Together they showed the extraordinary range of narrative technologies in use today, from simple blogging platforms to virtual reality to face-substitution software. The winners were celebrated in a special program at Lincoln Center that featured a roundtable discussion on the future of journalism with New York magazine editor Adam Moss and New York Times Magazine deputy editor Bill Wasik as well as a conversation on art in the digital age with New Museum curator Lauren Cornell and Rhizome director Zach Kaplan.

The 2016 Digital Dozen will be celebrated in a program at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center on Wednesday, April 5, presented in partnership with the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Details on the program will be announced shortly.