Interactive documentaries and the connected viewer experience: Conversations with Katerina Cizek, Brett Gaylor, Jeff Soyk, and Florian Thalhofer

Giuliana Cucinelli, Émilie René-Véronneau, Belinda Oldford


In recent years, technological advances have allowed the Internet to radically affect media creation and viewers’ media consumption habits. In order to assess the current and future state of the interactive documentary genre and the connected viewer experience, we interviewed four influential creators in the field: Katerina Cizek, Brett Gaylor, Jeff Soyk and Florian Thalhofer. The questions that they answer further our understanding of the possibilities and limits offered by the interactive documentary format; of the impact of the medium on the connected viewer experience and its effect on the relationship between viewers, media content and access. The interviews also provide insight to their backgrounds as creators. We conclude with an assessment of the industrial landscape of the field and how it may favor a certain category of consumers.


Connected viewer experience, interactive documentary, web-based interaction, audience engagement, digital storytelling, Web documentary, Internet distribution, Media funding models, web-based participatory experiences

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