The Columbia University School of the Arts Digital Storytelling Lab’s “Digital Dozen” and its Breakthroughs in Storytelling awards honor the year’s most innovative narratives.
The twin programs recognize signal achievements across the wide spectrum of media that rely on digital technologies, including cinema, video, journalism, advertising, marketing, games, art, fiction, theater, virtual reality, augmented reality and experimental narratives. In citing these accomplishments, the Digital Storytelling Lab hopes to encourage creativity and innovation while furthering digital media’s potential to break free of rigid, industrial-age classifications and evolve in ways that analog media could not.
Winners are chosen by members and associates of the Lab and celebrated in a program at Lincoln Center’s Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center in early April. In 2018 the Lab’s top prize, the Breakthrough Award, went to The Oracles, a multi-platform educational experience designed for London schoolchildren by Punchdrunk Enrichment, the community and educational arm of the immersive theater company. The 2017 Breakthrough Award went to The Swedish Number, a highly innovative marketing campaign for the Swedish Tourist Association that involved pairing callers from around the world with random Swedes. The virtual reality experience “Zero Days VR” was awarded the 2018 Special Jury Prize—a collaborative workshop at the Lab designed to help spur the development of a new project. All 12 projects are archived every year in the Lab’s online gallery.