Blockchain Fairy Tales Premieres at Slamdance

BY Felix van Kann, February 3, 2022

Columbia’s Digital Storytelling Lab, headed by Associate Professor of Professional Practice Lance Weiler, premieres its project Blockchain Fairy Tales at this year’s Slamdance Film Festival. Set up in collaboration with many co-creators and supported by the festival, Blockchain Fairy Tales (BFT) is a storytelling experience that ignites imaginations, the idea of speculative futures, and renders the sharing of resources and information as a tactile experience. This particular iteration of BFT examines the fairy tale “happy ending” through the lens of our current climate crisis.


According to the Slamdance website, “Those formerly known as the audience will become architects of the future in this collective storytelling event. We will explore a playful world, contend with magical threats, and face the question: What if Happily Ever After is Not Guaranteed? Together, we will create new myths that come to life on our screens.”


Two performances were scheduled to take place over Zoom and Miro (a collaborative whiteboard platform). One took place on January 29 and the second will air on February 3, 2022. Watch the trailer for the project here.

Lance Weiler is a storyteller, entrepreneur and thought leader. An alumnus of the Sundance Screenwriters Lab, he is recognized as a pioneer because of the way he mixes storytelling and technology. Weiler spent over 10,000 hours on film sets working his way through the ranks. He trained as a Camera Assistant and then worked extensively as a writer, director and producer, developing TV and film properties for FOX, TNT, Starz and Endomel. Weiler has advised and consulted programs and initiatives for IBM, Twitter, Microsoft, Samsung, Chernin Entertainment, Ubisoft, Penguin Books, the U.S. State Department, CAA, Ogilvy, McCann-Erickson and others. He has also served as an advisor and mentor to educational programs and labs for organizations such as the Sundance Institute, Tribeca Film Institute, PBS, Power to the Pixel, Screen Australia, Berlin Film Festival, the National Film Board of Canada and the National Endowment for the Humanities. At Columbia, Weiler is the director and founding member of the Digital Storytelling Lab which is focused on exploring new forms and functions of storytelling.


Slamdance is a community, a year-round experience, and a statement in which everyone is invited to take part. The first Slamdance Film Festival was held in 1995 by a wild bunch of filmmakers who were tired of relying on a large, oblique system to showcase their work. Since then, Slamdance has proven year after year that independent grassroots communities can take risks on bold talent and launch careers that change the industry. The festival’s artist-led community continues to discover and nurture diverse, international creators through various programs throughout the year, focusing on new writers, digital and interactive art, grants and mentorship, DIY film education, film screenings and of course, the Slamdance Film Festival.