Inspired by visionary entrepreneur Zita Cobb’s childhood in remote and resilient community of Fogo Island

From: National Film Board

Available on mobile starting February 8, Far Away From Far Away is an interactive experience by directors Bruce Alcock and Jeremy Mendes, written by Michael Crummey, that marks the next chapter in the story of the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and Fogo Island.

Inspired by the early life of visionary Zita Cobb, Far Away From Far Away is an immersive story about a young girl growing up on Fogo Island with her father during the 1960s and ’70s. More than a historical retelling, it interprets its time and place, painting a vivid portrait of rural island life.

Designed exclusively for mobile devices, Far Away From Far Away uses simple, intuitive navigation to take us into rich, long-form storytelling. As we travel through the radical upheaval in Fogo Island’s fishing industry, we witness a dramatic transformation of the local communities. With one foot in the past and the other in the future, audiences tap and swipe through interactive prose, memories and stories.

Far Away From Far Away is a community-based media project made with the participation and support of Fogo Islanders, including local high school students. It follows in the footsteps of the NFB’s Challenge for Change initiative and its pioneering “Fogo Process,” which became a model for participatory film creation the world over.

With Far Away From Far Away, the NFB is once again revisiting the island, alongside Newfoundlanders Zita Cobb, Michael Crummey, Bruce Alcock, producer Annette Clarke and others, to create a unique mobile experience that begins in the palm of your hand and takes you on a journey that’s far away from the ordinary.

A special launch screening of Far Away From Far Away followed by a conversation with Michael Crummey and Zita Cobb, moderated by Jane Adey, host of CBC’s The Broadcast, will be livestreamed from The Rooms in St. John’s on January 27, starting at 4 p.m. NST.

About the creative team

Far Away From Far Away is led by Newfoundland-born multimedia creator Bruce Alcock, Webby Award-winning multimedia artist Jeremy Mendes, and award-winning author and poet Michael Crummey, born in Buchans, Newfoundland, and raised in Wabush, Labrador. It was shot by filmmaker Justin Simms, born in Labrador City and now based in St. John’s, with assistance from Fogo Island high school students Bradley Broders, Liam Neil and Jessica Reid. Sound recordist Sacha Ratcliffe and sound designer Shawn Cole round out the key crew.

Far Away From Far Away is produced and executive produced for the NFB by St. John’s film veteran Annette Clarke for the Quebec and Atlantic Studio and by Rob McLaughlin, head of the NFB’s acclaimed Digital Studio in Vancouver.

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