Welcome to Pine Point Wins Two Webbies

Vancouver-based media creators The Goggles — a.k.a. Mike Simons and Paul Shoebridge — were named double Webby Award winners for their first-ever interactive web documentary, “Welcome to Pine Point,” produced by the National Film Board of Canada.

An innovative interactive project about memory and belonging, taking audiences into the now-demolished mining community of Pine Point, Northwest Territories, “Welcome to Pine Point” received a Webby for Documentary: Individual Episode in the Online Film & Video category, as well as for Netart in the Websites category. “Welcome to Pine Point” was produced by Rob McLaughlin, Adam Neilson and Loc Dao at the NFB’s Pacific and Yukon Centre in Vancouver.

“That a small Canadian agency can be recognized by the global community for work that is relevant and groundbreaking is humbling and exhilarating. It is an affirmation of our commitment to the creators and artists, like Mike and Paul, who are fashioning the art and entertainment forms of the future by exploring new ways of telling our stories that can touch audiences around the world,” said Tom Perlmutter, Government Film Commissioner and Chairperson of the National Film Board of Canada.

“Welcome to Pine Point” brings together photographs, recollections from former residents, video and sound, and narration by Simons in a moving interactive journey. The Besnard Lakes wrote and performed the soundtrack. The Webby wins are also a great honour for the many “Pine Pointers” who have worked to keep the memory and spirit of their former community alive, especially ex-resident Richard Cloutier, whose community website Pine Point Revisited provided inspiration for “Welcome to Pine Point.”

The Webbys are the Internet’s highest honours, and the NFB was nominated alongside some of the biggest and most acclaimed names in the online world. Media giants the New York Times and Guardian were fellow nominees for Documentary: Individual Episode in the Online Film & Video category. In the Websites category for Netart, “Welcome to Pine Point” was in the company of celebrated sites The Johnny Cash Project and The Wilderness Downtown by highly praised music video director Chris Milk, the latter made in partnership with Google.

This year’s double win means that the NFB now has four Webby Awards in four years. Last year, the NFB’s Waterlife Interactive, produced by Rob McLaughlin and Loc Dao and designed by Jam3Media, received the Webby Award for Documentary: Individual Episode. In 2008, Katerina Cizek’s NFB community media project Filmmaker-in-Residence, designed and developed by Rob McLaughlin and Loc Dao, garnered a Webby for Documentary Series.

Winners will be honoured at a ceremony in New York City June 13, where they will have the opportunity to deliver one of the Webby Awards’ famous five-word speeches.

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