National Film Board of Canada: Bear 71 Live

Immerse yourself in this bear's story.

Published on Feb 02, 2012

Editor's Pick

Launched at Sundance last weekend, Bear 71 is an interactive documentary that's getting rave reviews in the film world.

The 20-minute interactive film has already received over 30,000 visits a day and follows the life of a female grizzly bear in Canada's Banff National Park-- from the moment she is tagged and collared by park rangers to the moment of her untimely death. The story is "narrated" by the bear in the first person. Along the way, interactive elements allow viewers to explore her story in depth.

Audiences venture through the bear's natural habitat, which is expressed as an abstract landscape constructed by thousands of stylized data points. Toronto-based interactive agency Jam3, which worked on the project, created a 3D particle engine to bring the grid to life. As users tour the grid, they can observe the wildlife and terrain via the multiple surveillance cameras placed around the preserve.

Viewers can even "turn into animals" by turning on their webcams and broadcasting still shots of themselves to other viewers by posting them to a "surveillance wall." They can chart their own paths on the grid and track those of other users.

Bear71 also has a Twitter feed and Tumblraccount, where followers can interact even more with the bear's story.

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Feb 02, 2012
National Film Board of Canada
Dana Dansereau
Bonnie Thompson
Rob McLaughlin
Jeremy Mendes
Leanna Allison
Interactive Agency:
Interactive Creative Director:
Pablo Vio
Technical Director:
Mark McQuillan
Interactive Producer:
Media Ridha
Interactive Art Director:
Cole Sullivan
Interactive Developer:
Mikko Haapoja
Interactive Developer:
Sunil John
Interactive Developer:
Matt Fisher
Interactive Developer:
Matt Fisher
Interactive Developer:
Tom Dysinski
Aubyn Freybe-Smith
JB Mackinnon
Installation and Live Event:
NFB, Lance Weiler, Mikko Haapoja
Voice Actor:
Mia Kirshner

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