Frank Rose Delivers Keynote at Global Gathering of Film School Educators

October 23, 2017

Headshot of Frank Rose Frank Rose, a member of the Digital Storytelling Lab at the School of the Arts, is scheduled to deliver the closing keynote at this year’s CILECT Congress in Zürich. CILECT, the International Association of Film and Television Schools, is expecting several hundred educators from around the world at its October 24-27 congress, which is being held at Zürich University of the Arts. Other keynote speakers include Markus Gross, vice president of global research and development at the Walt Disney Company and director of Disney Research Zürich, and Andrea Phillips, a game designer and author of A Creator's Guide to Transmedia Storytelling. Rose, who serves as faculty director of the executive education seminar in Strategic Storytelling, will speak on “The Art and Science of Story”—a look at how recent research in neuroscience and cognitive psychology tends to validate the digital-era trend toward storytelling that is participatory and immersive.


In a separate talk for CILECT, Rose will speak about the Digital Storytelling Lab’s Digital Dozen: Breakthroughs in Storytelling awards. The annual awards program, which was inaugurated in 2016 for the year 2015, honors the most innovative approaches to narrative from the past year. Unlike other awards presentations, which are focused on narrow categories such as film or advertising, the Columbia program recognizes innovation across the broad spectrum of media that rely on digital technologies, including cinema, video, journalism, advertising, marketing, games, art, fiction and theater. The winner of this year’s Breakthrough Award was “The Swedish Number,” a marketing campaign for the Swedish Tourist Association that paired callers from around the world with random Swedes who had downloaded an app and volunteered to answer questions about their country. (Participants ranged from truck drivers and farmers to Sweden’s prime minister.) Other projects among this year’s Digital Dozen—which make up the shortlist for the Breakthrough Award—included the Laura Poitras museum exhibition “Astro Noise,” the virtual reality film “Giant” and the HBO television series “Westworld.”


To accompany Rose’s talk, CILECT is mounting a show of selected Digital Dozen projects at the university’s new building in Zürich-West, a former industrial quarter that has become a nexus of art, design, architecture and food. Among the projects featured are two VR films, “Giant” and “The Displaced” (2015), the first virtual reality news story from The New York Times Magazine. Others include “This Is the Story of One Block in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn,” a 2015 New York magazine cover story that takes the form of a nonlinear narrative online, and “Network Effect: Human Life on the Internet” (2015), an online video that plays for only a few minutes before blocking your access for a day, “so you can get back to your life.” Another art piece, a smartphone app called “Karen” that simulates a life coach who becomes inappropriately personal, will be available for download. All other projects will be accessible through the Digital Dozen website.


Rose is the author most recently of The Art of Immersion, cited by CILECT as a “landmark book.” In addition to his work at Columbia, he writes on art for The New York Times and on books for The Wall Street Journal.