A pioneer in participatory and interactive documentary production, Katerina Cizek explores how technology enables new forms of storytelling and public engagement.

Katerina Cizek

Katerina Cizek is an Emmy-winning documentary director working across many media platforms: digital media, broadcasting (radio and television), print and live presentations/installations. Her work has documented the Digital Revolution, and has itself become part of the movement. As a filmmaker-in-residence, she has helped redefine the National Film Board of Canada as one of the world’s leading digital content hubs for community-based and globally recognized documentary. Learn more about Katerina Cizek.


An innovative storyteller who works across many media platforms, Katerina Cizek is currently directing the National Film Board of Canada's HIGHRISE, a multi-media project on life in residential skyscrapers in suburbs around the world.

At MIT, she is collaborating with the Open Documentary Lab to develop the newest phase of the project, HIGHRISE: Digital Citizenship, which investigates how new communication and media technologies are reshaping the personal lives, political practices and citizenship claims of highrise residents. The project demonstrates how the documentary process can drive and participate in social innovation rather than just to document it, and to help reinvent what it means to be an urban species in the 21st century.

Katerina Cizek’s residency is presented by the Visiting Artists Program and the Open Documentary Lab.

Public Events

Participatory and Interactive Documentary Workshop
January 27-30
10:00AM-12:00PM and 2:00PM-05:00PM in E15-335
Register for the IAP Workshop (MIT Students, Faculty and Staff only)

Enrollment: Please submit this form
Limited to 21 participants
Attendance: Participants must attend all sessions

Explore how technology enables new forms of storytelling and public engagement.
This 4 day workshop, intended for anyone with an interest in collaborative storytelling and innovative research methods, will cover participatory methods, social and digital tools, and best practices in cross-disciplinary approaches of digital documentary.

The workshop covers the basics of building media projects with partners that aim to change worldviews, lives, policies, conditions, and tell good stories too. In this highly interactive workshop, you’ll learn about proven methods, projects and experiences, and we’ll brainstorm your own ideas and projects to develop concrete strategic plans.

You’ll focus on: Developing deep partnerships/collaborations
Reviewing the scope of what's possible in digital storytelling
Turning ideas into awesome projects
Identifying political and social goals
Understanding audiences and communities
Telling hyper-local documentary stories with universal appeal
Web-docs 101 - where to start
Creative financing and outreach

The mornings will feature lectures, screening and presentations: Visiting Artist Kat Cizek will share research findings and tool-kits around ethics and methodologies from over 8 years of practice, including the most recent project, a collaboration with the New York Times, “A Short History of the Highrise.” The afternoons feature structured break outs into small groups to discuss/develop your own ideas for collaborative projects.

IAP Workshop Sponsor(s): Comparative Media Studies/Writing, Office of the Arts
Contact: Meg Rotzel,


Class visits
October 2-4, 2013

January 27-30, 2014
10:00AM-12:00PM and 2:00PM-05:00PM
Register for the IAP Workshop

More Details Coming Soon!


William Uricchio is a Professor of Comparative Media Studies and Principal Investigator of the MIT Open Documentary Lab and the MIT Game Lab.

Sarah Wolozin is the Director of the MIT Open Documentary Lab.


"Life in the Global High-rise"
Read more about the digital data collection tool award-winning filmmaker Katerina Cizek is developing with MIT researchers.