Digital Cultures: Week in Review
Applications open for new French-American Digital Lab startup workshop
Applications are now open for the first session of the French-American Digital Lab, a creative workshop for startups and content creators from the cultural sector. The program will help young innovators break into the French and American markets by providing them with market insights, individual mentorship, and connections to cultural institutions. It will take place twice per year, alternating between New York and Paris, and is produced by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and Business France in partnership with major incubators (Numa, Gaîté Lyrique, Créatis, and Paris&Co in Paris). The French-American Digital Lab is also supported by the City of Paris and by Orange, as part of the company’s larger strategic plan to support open innovation. Session 1: New York will be hosted by the Made in New York Media Center by IFP and will take place from in November 16 to November 25, 2015.
Cultural innovators inaugurate Avignon-Provence FrenchTech Culture Label
A week after earning the French government’s FrenchTech Culture label, the Avignon-Provence region’s digital contributions to French cultural life were on display when the famous Festival d’Avignon began on July 4. Clips from workshops and performances are available on the festival’s website, and one of the year’s most anticipated productions, Olivier Py’s “King Lear,” will be available online from Culturebox for six months following a series of live broadcasts on France 2. Famed director Py called the digital aspect of this year’s festival “extremely important.” The festival’s independent offshoot, “Festival d’Avignon OFF,” also launched its own site this year. And French companies Optinvent, Atos and Theater in Paris used the festival to debut their augmented-reality glasses that project subtitles onto the inside of the lens, so foreign-language viewers can enjoy un coup de théatre.
Libraries Without Borders deploys “Ideas Box” in the Bronx
Libraries Without Borders, a French NGO that provides books and Internet access to migrants and refugees, has partnered with the Cultural Services to set up one of its portable libraries, called an “Ideas Box,” in the South Bronx. Established following the Haitian earthquake of 2010, the organization aims to fill the cultural void that displacement can leave in people’s lives. In addition to the Bronx, Libraries Without Borders is currently active in Paris, Lebanon, Jordan and Burundi
French comic imprint Delcourt partners with American digital distributor comiXology
In a wide-ranging interview with Paste magazine, imprint boss Guy Delcourt discussed the ways that digital distribution has made it easier for his imprint to break into American markets. Distribution and visibility problems have long hampered attempts by French imprints to gain a foothold in the United States. But Delcourt believes digital distribution will be key to leveling the playing field and unlocking French comics’ potential in America. As he says: “Digital makes us all equal.”
Dronestagram announces contest winners
The French site Dronestagram, where users post photos captured by their flying drones, revealed the winners of its annual aerial photography competition organized by National Geographic. Users submitted more than 5,000 photos, with winners judged by Ken Geiger, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, and Jean-Pierre Vrignaud, Editor in Chief of National Geographic France and Dronestagram.