Is the web the beginning of a new future for documentary filmmaking? This was an oft-repeated and explored question among members of the documentary community during Hot Hacks, a two-day workshop organized by Mozilla for this year’s Hot Docs festival.

Chosen from a pool of 30 applications, the filmmakers of six outstanding documentary projects teamed up with web developers to create a prototype, or “minimum viable product”, of a web documentary experience. DOX was invited to the Mozilla offices in Toronto for a closer look at this exciting process of developing a common vocabulary between documentary filmmakers and the web community:

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Brett Gaylor

“Our idea is to help consumers of the web become creators of the web,” Brett Gaylor, director of Mozilla Popcorn, says. Hot Hacks is part of Mozilla’s Living Docs project, an evolution of Popcorn, which started with the idea of linking events that happen in a video’s timeline to other elements of the web. Discovering that a large swathe of Popcorn’s user base comprised documentary filmmakers, Mozilla invited them to collaborate with web developers and to produce, within a short time period, ‘a proof of concept for what an interactive piece could be’.

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