The NFB And TVO Launch Interactive Web Documentary “The Next Day”

Winner in the Interactive New Media category of the NFB-TVO Calling Card Program

Toronto, May 10, 2012 — The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and TVO launch The Next Day, a groundbreaking interactive animated documentary constructed from intimate interviews with survivors of near-fatal suicide attempts. In this poetic and profound philosophical exploration, four seemingly ordinary people offer their haunting personal insights into life, the decision to end it, and what comes after. The Next Day is part of Mental Health Matters, TVO’s extensive programming in support of Canadian Mental Health Week (May 7—13, 2012). Visit nfb.ca/thenextday and tvo.org/thenextday to engage with The Next Day.

According to the World Health Organization, suicide rates have increased by 60 percent worldwide in the last 45 years. An estimated 900,000 people commit suicide every year–the equivalent of one death every 40 seconds. The Next Day asks: What if they had waited just one more day?

This interactive experience allows audiences to create their own path through a selection of audio interviews with the survivors and poignant animation based on the minimalist illustrations of acclaimed indie comics pioneer John Porcellino.

“We’re incredibly excited to have had the opportunity to team with media organizations that embrace new ways of storytelling and reaching audiences,” said producer Alex Jansen of Pop Sandbox. “My hope is that our approach to the subject, tackling it as both an interactive experience and a graphic novel specifically, helps bridge a divide and reach a different audience,” added director Jason Gilmore.

The Next Day was presented at the 2011 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam’s annual DocLab showcase of breakthroughs in interactive documentary storytelling. It was also recently nominated for a Banff World Media Award in the Webseries — Non-Fiction Programs category.

The Next Day was developed simultaneously as a graphic novella that has been featured on The New York Times Book Review reading list and is now available in bookstores across North America. The Next Day interactive experience is produced by Pop Sandbox (KENK: A Graphic Portrait) with the NFB, in association with TVO, as part of the NFB-TVO Calling Card Program, which provides an opportunity for emerging filmmakers and new-media teams from Ontario to work with the NFB and TVO to create documentaries for new-media platforms or television broadcast. Co-produced by Alex Jansen (Pop Sandbox) and Lea Marin (NFB). Directed by Jason Gilmore based on interviews conducted by former social worker Paul Peterson.