HIGHRISE: One Millionth Tower

  • Katerina Cizek
  • Canada
  • 2011
  • 15 min
  • Digital
  • IDFA DocLab Competition for Digital Storytelling, DocLab Program
This is the third chapter in the interactive documentary HIGHRISE, in which Katerina Cizek investigates what it means to live in a city in the 21st century. The 1000th Tower featured the residents of a slightly run-down skyscraper on the outskirts of Toronto. Out My Window, winner of the first IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling in 2010, applied the same concept to 13 city dwellers from around the world, including São Paolo, Amsterdam and Bangalore. One Millionth Tower interweaves the local and global approaches of the first two projects. "Hyperglocal" is the word the developers use for their approach. We meet the Torontonians from The 1000th Tower again, brainstorming with their architect on how they can breathe new life into their tower block. Their ideas come to life thanks to computer programmers and animators, and both the process and the result are shown online in a virtual 3D-environment. Even though the project is limited to this one apartment building in just one city, the story resonates on a global scale: a large proportion of the high-rises that are home to over a billion people worldwide could use a new coat of paint. Cizek wants to be a driving force behind social change, instead of simply capturing it as most traditional documentary filmmakers do. On the road to a "more human-friendly urban planet."


  • 15 min
  • color / black and white
  • cross-platform
  • Spoken languages: English
Katerina Cizek
Gerry Flahive for National Film Board of Canada
Executive producer
Silva Basmajian for National Film Board of Canada
Jaime Hogge, Lillian Chan
Helios Design Labs

IDFA history

IDFA DocLab Competition for Digital Storytelling
DocLab Program

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