For the past several years, a number of innovative filmmakers have been using online media to create documentary projects that invite viewer interaction. We featured a handful of such interactive, online documentary film projects over this past year. One of our favorite projects was The World in Ten Blocks by Marc Sepra Francoeur and Robinder Uppal - a film that invites visitors from around the world to experience a vibrant Toronto neighborhood and get to know a few of the remarkable individuals who make up this community.
Released in 2015, The World in Ten Blocks is the title of both an interactive, online documentary and a film dedicated to a single ten-block stretch of Bloor Street in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The project was created by filmmakers Marc Serpa Francoeur and Robinder Uppal of Lost Time Media and is presented in partnership with The Globe and Mail. Why did the pair choose to focus on this single area (known as Bloorcourt) in Toronto? As this website notes, Bloorcourt is one of the most multicultural neighborhoods in the capital of Ontario. In the interactive documentary that is available on the homepage of the site, visitors are invited to take a virtual tour of Bloorcourt (complete with 360-degree cameras and captions about the history of significant buildings) and "meet" ten business owners in Bloorcourt through a series of powerful story maps. Each of these story maps incorporates photographs and filmed interviews. Through these interviews, viewers meet a variety of people who immigrated to Toronto and became entrepreneurs, lending to the diverse and pluralistic character that defines the city.