A drawing of a young boy with an oversized head, a character from BLA BLA, an interactive website produced by Vincent Morisset in 2011.

Press Releases & Media Kits

Insomnia in the city that never sleeps

Press release


New York City, March 26, 2013 – The National Film Board of Canada (NFB), described by Fast Company in 2012 as “one of the world’s hippest digital content hubs,” is again ready to raise the bar with its latest interactive offering, A Journal of Insomnia, which will be unveiled at a unique nocturnal premiere on April 18, 2013, on the Web and as a special installation at the Tribeca Film Festival’s first-ever Storyscapes program. Created in collaboration with BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin, Storyscapes is a competitive showcase for innovative new media projects. A Journal of Insomnia is one of only five projects selected from all over the world to debut in NYC, and will be considered for the Bombay Sapphire Transmedia Award—the first time this groundbreaking movement has ever been awarded at the Tribeca Film Festival.

“New media” is a term that gets used a lot, but in the case of NFB Interactive, the words resonate like never before. A Journal of Insomnia offers a unique, immersive experience in the subject of sleep deprivation—a universal and wide-ranging affliction that is all too often ignored. Insomniacs are both spectators and actors in this unprecedented interactive fresco that combines hundreds of personal reflections on sleepless nights, gathered online from insomniacs around the world since fall 2012. A Journal of Insomnia allows visitors to experience the condition for themselves and aims to replace the shame felt by insomniacs with a sense of control.

The original idea for the project comes from Hugues Sweeney, Executive Producer of NFB French Program’s Digital Studio in Montreal. Hugues explains that, “This is not a traditional Web documentary. It is a genuine attempt to push the boundaries of the genre by merging art and design with technology and social media, to create a new vocabulary and grammar for visual storytelling. That is why we are delighted to premiere the project at the Tribeca Film Festival. They share our vision and mission. They also want to reinvent the cinema.”

Ingrid Kopp, Storyscapes programmer and Director of Digital Initiatives at Tribeca Film Institute, adds, “NFB Interactive have been trailblazers in the space of interactive storytelling, and I am thrilled to have A Journal of Insomnia in the inaugural Storyscapes section at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. The project perfectly encapsulates our mission to show and support immersive, interactive work that brings story, craft and technology together and facilitates a more active audience experience.”

Creative and Production Credits for A Journal of Insomnia:

Guillaume Braun (Akufen) – Creative Direction + Script
Bruno Choinière (Akufen) – Art Direction + Script
Thibaut Duverneix (Departement) – Direction + Post-Production + Script
Philippe Lambert – Music + Sound Design + Script
Judith Portier – Installation Art Director
Hugues Sweeney, Producer (NFB) – Original Idea

A Journal of Insomnia will be on view at the Bombay Sapphire House of Imagination, at 121 Varick Street (ground-floor event entrance located on Dominick Street between Hudson and Varick). The Storyscapes exhibit will be open April 19–21.

About the NFB

Canada’s public producer and distributor, the National Film Board of Canada is devoted to new forms of storytelling, helping to reinvent the grammar of 21st-century media and art. The NFB’s acclaimed content can be seen at NFB.ca and on apps for smartphones, tablets and connected TV. The NFB’s Digital Studios produce interactive documentaries and animation, mobile content, installations, and participatory experiences from an English-language unit based in Vancouver and a French-language unit in Montreal. The NFB has created over 13,000 productions and won over 5,000 awards, including 6 Webbys and 12 Oscars.

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For U.S. Media:

Debra Anderson
Tel: 347-463-9023 ex.1415
Cell: 917-363.6027
E-mail: debra@cultureshockny.com

For Canadian and International media requests:

Pat Dillon
NFB Publicist
Tel: 514-283-9411
Cell: 514-206-1750
E-mail: p.a.dillon@nfb.ca

Lily Robert
Director, Corporate Communications, NFB
Tel: 514-283-3838
Cell: 514-296-8261
E-mail: l.robert@nfb.ca