The NFB’s Tom Perlmutter, Christina Rogers and Joel Pomerleau accept the Emmy in Cannes, France.

HIGHRISE/Out My Window has been honoured with an International Digital Emmy Award for Non-Fiction. Here are some of our team’s reactions, that I’ve been collecting from all over the world:

“We are thrilled with this prestigious recognition for a work entirely conceived for digital platforms. It is part of our ongoing commitment to explore and determine the art form par excellence of the 21st century,” said Tom Perlmutter, Government Film Commissioner and Chairperson of the National Film Board of Canada.

“To be honoured with such a prestigious award for our efforts in pushing the boundaries of documentary storytelling, reminds us of the decades of innovation by our predecessors at the NFB, where creativity, social impact and the incorporation of new technology have always been at the forefront of what we do,” said NFB senior producer Gerry Flahive.

“It’s so great!” said Heather Frise (Editor, Story Assignment Editor, HIGHRISE Creative Associate) “Hopefully, because of the award, more people are drawn to the work, and we will have a broader reach and impact with the stories and the issues.”

“As for Chicago, the award comes at a time when the last highrise in the Cabrini-Green public housing project is being demolished,” said David Schalliol (Chicago story and photos).  “The event is a symbolic end to a major U.S. housing policy, but it’s also the end of a community. Highrise/Out My Window provides an opportunity for the world to engage how residents experienced the end of that era, and the Digital Emmy reminds us of the value of thinking about global events as anchored in daily life.”

This experience has really clarified for me what is possible to achieve when a team working collaboratively is led with a strong vision filled with trust, support and generosity,” said Paramita Nath (Bangalore story and photos, Illustrator, Participate Project Coordinator). “I feel lucky to have been part of this team and this process.”

I’ve always thought of Out My Window as an online installation piece which focuses on bringing together the stories of very different people from very different parts of the world,”  said Vincent Marcone (Chief Artist at Imaginarius, responsible for the interactive architecture and design). “We tried to create an artful way of portraying these tales in the design and specifically the 360-degree navigation of the site.”

“I’m very proud…” said Theodore Kaye (Taiwan story and photos), “I look forward to seeing and partaking in further redefinitions of the ‘web documentary’ and other new media. As internet connectivity trickles down to more countries, such media evolution is bound to take on fascinating forms and functions.”

“I think Out My Window opened a window on many minds,” said Cigdem Turkoglu (Istanbul research and story). “I also shared it with the participants of our part here in Istanbul, they were also very pleased with the news and shared it with their neighbours on the street.”

It’s projects like OMW that are the reason I got into multimedia in the first place!” said Brent Foster (Istanbul photos).

“Bring on the digital Oscars!” said Martin Potter (Phnom Penh story and photos).

“My family posted [the news of the Emmy] all over their facebook! They sent out a huge email to all our friends. My whole family is thrilled!” said Maria-Saroja Ponnambalam (Research, Editor, Sound Research and HIGHRISE Community Media Production Coordinator).

It’s the project’s music curator and supervisor, Helen Spitzer, who probably said it most simply of all: “We’re all doing cartwheels!”

Last, but not least, the NFB Executive Producer Silva Basmajian said: “I am honoured to be part of an organization (NFB) and  team that has reinvented documentary storytelling through the production of original digital content.  Out My Window is a global community with stories  that resonate with all those who enter this virtual Highrise.”

Set in 13 cities around the world, HIGHRISE/Out My Window combines interactive 360° photography, video, text and music in 49 vignettes, chronicling life inside the most common urban structure of the age: the high-rise apartment block.

Some nice media coverage of the award: cbc.ca, realscreen, VarietyCTV News, and Macleans.

Here’s the Emmy nomination trailer:

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