Bell Fund Celebrates International Achievement in Digital Media

Bell Fund Celebrates International Achievement in Digital Media

Cannes, France. At tonight’s red-carpet gala, The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced its winners for the Digital Emmy® Awards, sponsored annually by the Bell Fund since 2012. Selected by an international jury from an outstanding line-up of 12 nominees from seven countries, tonight’s winners represent the best in digital entertainment across the globe.

“With Canada’s strong tradition supporting digital media innovation, the Emmy® Awards remain a key pillar in our sponsorship strategy, celebrating spectacular media for today’s interactive audience.” said Bell Fund Board communications chair Catherine Warren, speaking from the awards ceremony held annually at MIPTV in Cannes. “Cannes is a setting known around the world for showcasing the glamour of film and TV — it’s great for us to be a part of extending its reputation now to digital media,” said Warren, who is also president of FanTrust Entertainment Strategies.

The Bell Fund provides grants to Canadian independent producers who develop and produce engaging, interactive cross-platform digital content for Canadian broadcasters to complement and enhance associated television programs. Since 1997, the Bell Fund has invested more than $150M in over 1,600 Canadian digital media projects, television programs, development grants, co-productions and support for research and professional development. The Bell Fund also undertakes training, research, business development and promotion for the digital media industry.

The Bell Fund receives annual contributions of approximately $16M from Bell TV as part of its broadcast distribution undertaking (BDU) contributions to the industry. In addition, the Development Program is supported by the interest generated by a $10M endowment, and contributions from Aliant. The Bell Fund is incorporated as a not-for-profit organization, governed by an independent Board of Directors representing various sectors of the television and digital media industry.

Digital Program: Children & Young People

Reverse the Odds
Maverick Television / Chunk / Channel 4 / Cancer Research UK
United Kingdom

Claire McArdle, Executive Producer
Alex Hryniewicz, Producer
Donnie Kerrigan, Game Lead
Colin MacDonald, Commissioning Editor

In October 2014, Channel 4 teamed up with Cancer Research UK for Stand Up 2 Cancer – a live fundraising show packed with stars and inspirational stories. We wanted younger viewers to be able to donate time instead of money, so we created a companion mobile game – “Reverse the Odds.” It features a race of fun characters – The Odds . Players help them to transform their world from a drab wasteland into a colourful wonderland. In the game, players see real images of cancer cells from patients, just like researchers analyse in the lab, and answer simple questions about what cells they see, how many there are and how bright they are glowing. This information is key for researchers who use it to reveal clues about cancer – how it behaves and ultimately achieve better treatments for patients. We partnered with youth YouTube channel DailyMix to bring the fight against cancer to an audience of younger players, working with YouTube stars – Joe Sugg and Jim Chapman – to enthuse their followers with challenges around the game. Young people became citizen scientists – helping researchers get through massive datasets.

Digital Program: Fiction

Dina Foxx – Tödlicher Kontakt (Dina Foxx – Deadly Contact) 
ZDF / UFA / Exozet

Max Zeitler, Director and Concept Coordinator
Kristian Costa-Zahn, Producer online
Leif Alexis, Producer TV and Webseries
Milena Bonse, Commissioning Editor

Dina Foxx – Deadly Contact is a dramatic crime story that tackles relevant contemporary topics (functional food, epigenetic) and turns transmedia entertainment into a fluid experience: On-demand, broadcast, and multi-device (Website and App). A two-part TV movie, a seven-episode webseries, a casualgame, interactive 360-degree videos and around 30 hours of engagement all enable viewers to access a different reality within the second movie. At the end of the first TV movie, main character Dina Foxx is seen running away from a mysterious persecutor and viewers receive a clear call to action: go online, to 1st : find out who’s chasing Dina (Webseries, woven into the plot of the second TV film), 2nd: help Kilian fight the epidemic (casualgame that is part of the story universe), and 3rd: join Jason in discovering the whole truth, by interactive 360-degree videos which contain vital clues. Each clue leads to a riddle that users must solve by finding fictitious websites, by scanning the movie and by employing their own deductive logic. If the viewer manages to solve all three online parts within one week, they will receive exclusive access to the movie before it is broadcast on TV.

Digital Program: Non-Fiction

Last Hijack Interactive 
Submarine Channel / Razor Film / ZDF / IKON

Femke Wolting, Director
Tommy Pallotta, Director
Jamal Osman, Research & Interviews
Mirka Duijn, Interactive Director

Last Hijack Interactive is an online transmedia experience that allows you to explore the hijacking of a ship in Somalia. Exploring both sides of the story, Last Hijack Interactive allows you to uncover the complex realities behind piracy in Somalia though the eyes of a pirate and a captain, an advocate and a journalist, a parent and a wife. Combining live-action video and animation, the interactive experience gives the user the opportunity to navigate the real stories of these people, building to the hijack itself and the resulting aftermath. What are the causes and consequences of piracy? And what is the impact of piracy in Somalia and in Western countries? Together with a use of data visualization, Last Hijack Interactive provides a glimpse into the murky world of hijackings in Somalia.