Toronto, ON [September 26, 2013] — Social Media Week will provide the backdrop later today for the premiere of the trailer to Avatar Secrets, a groundbreaking POV documentary for the iPad written, directed and produced by Ramona Pringle. A digital project in form and content, Avatar Secrets explores the complexities of human connection in the wired world, examining the evolving nature of community, relationships, empathy and interdependence in the real world, and in the digital frontier. Avatar Secrets is produced by Ramona Pringle Productions in association with TVO and financed with the assistance of the Canadian Media Fund (CMF) and the Bell Fund. It launches Spring 2014.
Avatar Secrets chronicles writer/director Ramona Pringle’s personal journey across borders and bandwidths in search of love, meaning and community in the 21st century.
The story begins in New York City. Everything had fallen into place for writer/director Ramona Pringle: she was living the New York dream, with great friends, a fantastic job, and the perfect guy. Then, like an unlucky roll of the dice, it all changed. When her life just couldn’t get any worse, where others might have turned to alcohol or therapy… Ramona created an avatar. As she tumbled down the rabbit hole of the digital realm and ventured into massive online game worlds, Ramona discovered an idea that changed her life, and the way she sees the world: We’re not addicted to technology, we’re addicted to each other – to love, empathy, camaraderie, compassion.
Avatar Secrets combines cinematic live-action video footage, animated sequences, case studies, and interviews with some of the world’s leading minds in the digital conversation. The immersive media format of Avatar Secrets uses an innovative multi-layered 2.5D interface allowing users to follow an engaging linear story, or guide their own explorations as they travel through an interactive cinematic experience which bridges the virtual world, the real world, and the space in between.
Creative direction by Canadian super-realist/multimedia artist Michaele Jordana (Cyborg: The Human Condition, The Mystery of San Nicandro), animation by Olney Atwell (NBC, Discovery Channel, Adult Swim) and illustration by Michael Derrah. Written and directed by Ramona Pringle.
Featuring Vint Cerf (Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist and the inventor of the Internet), Tiffany Shlain (founder of the Webby Awards), Jessica Hammer (Mellon Interdisciplinary Graduate Research Fellow at Columbia University), Stephen Gillett (COO, Symantec), John Hagel (Co-chairman, Deloitte LLP Center for the Edge) and others.
Ramona Pringle is a interactive director and producer. She specializes in digital multi-platform production and has developed and produced work for CBC, TVO, CTV and PBS where she worked as interactive producer on Frontline’s Digital Nation. Named one of the “10 To Watch” of 2013 by entertainment trade publication, Playback, Ramona is the writer, director and executive producer of Avatar Secrets, a POV documentary developed for the iPad and featured in Mashable and The New York Times. She is a faculty member in narrative and digital media at Ryerson University’s RTA School of Media and the editor-in-chief of rdigitaLIFE, a blog exploring the relationship between people and technology. She is also a founding member of Ryerson University’s RTA Transmedia Centre. Ramona has a Master’s Degree from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, and a BFA Honours Degree in Film & Video from York University. She has been a speaker at SXSW, TEDx and Ignite and is a guest digital media expert for CTV News.
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