Winners Film Fund DocLab Interactive Grant 2022

This year’s Film Fund DocLab Interactive Grant goes to The Butterfly Effect by Mathilde Renault and Dancing with Dead Animals by Maarten Isaäk de Heer. Both artists receive a financial contribution of up to €10,000 to develop an interactive and immersive work using emerging technologies in new and innovative ways. With this grant, The Netherlands Film Fund and IDFA DocLab support the development of groundbreaking and experimental immersive storytelling in the Netherlands.

The new works will present their world premiere at the 35th edition of International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, taking place from November 9 to 20, 2022. 

“From a wide variety of thought-provoking immersive and interactive projects, we have selected two works that ask fundamental questions about being human in an abundantly non-human world. Both these projects aim to extend the senses, and embark on an explorative journey into the (un)familiar, embracing the experiment.”Absaline Hehakaya, Project Manager Selective Funding at The Netherlands Film Fund. 

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The Butterfly Effect – Mathilde Renault

Mixed media artist Mathilde Renault has a keen ability to interweave many branches of scientific research in her artistic practice. In The Butterfly Effect, she synthesizes planetary science, aerospace engineering, fragrance technology, and digital programming to map a former shooting star’s journey to earth. Scientific data is translated into a sensory experience in which the 4.5 billion years old meteorite will reveal its hidden genetics through light, sound, smell, and video. By enabling audiences to experience and engage with the meteorite, a fragment of our galaxy becomes palpable. What if we could explore any kind of territory, including interstellar ones, regardless of our human spectrum of perception, time, and geography?

The Butterfly Effect is also supported by the Creative Industries Fund NL and the AFK.

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Dancing with Dead Animals – Maarten Isaäk de Heer

For many years, Maarten Isaäk de Heer has been developing a personal style of animation. He creates unique animated paintings and new forms of wildlife documentary, lenticular prints, 360° content, and VR. He often presents his work in custom-built exhibition installations such as handmade fulldome projection environments. Dancing with Dead Animals marks the starting point of a new research project in which de Heer propels animation into a novel realm. With a deep respect for the universality of life and death, De Heer creates 3D scans of dead animals he finds in his immediate environment, digitally revives them, and places them in a virtual paradise. Dancing with Dead Animals is a ‘dance macabre’ in the form of an eccentric and immersive tableau vivant frolicking on the cusp of art, animation, and emerging media.

The Film Fund DocLab Interactive Grant

Since 2017, The Netherlands Film Fund and IDFA DocLab support the realization of immersive and interactive projects with international potential by annually awarding the Film Fund DocLab Interactive Grant. The grant was previously awarded to artists including Tamara Shogaolu, Studio Moniker, Anna Fries and Malu Peeters, Anagram, Dries Depoorter, and Shishani Vranckx. Previously-supported projects have since gone on to be showcased at MoMA, SXSW, Sundance, Holland Festival, CPH:Dox, Sheffield DocFest, and many more. 

The field of immersive and interactive storytelling in the Netherlands has been continuously expanding and exploring new artistic and technological frontiers in recent years. The Netherlands Film Fund and IDFA DocLab are delighted to support both established and upcoming artists to push the boundaries of immersive media, by offering them an international platform and inviting audiences to move freely between disciplines and to discover new exhibition formats.

More information about the artists

Maarten Isaäk de Heer is based in Berlin. His work has been exhibited at numerous film and fulldome festivals around the world including Cannes, Macon Film Festival, Dome Fest West LA, KABOOM Animation Festival, and the Netherlands Film Festival. De Heer founded the production company Menetekel Film in 2020 and collaborates with Richard Valk (Valk Productions).

Mathilde Renault is based in Amsterdam. Her earlier work Eclipse, in co-production with Ali Eslami, premiered at IDFA DocLab in 2020 as part of the Immersive Non-Fiction Competition and was nominated for the Dutch Design Award 2021. Renault’s work has been exhibited at Eye Filmmuseum and Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Tetem in Enschede, and het Hem in Zaandam.