Fathom Film Group, Jam3 launch Defector interactive experience


Toronto-based Fathom Film Group and digital agency Jam3 are launching online web doc The Defector: Escape from North Korea.

The interactive experience is a complement to feature-length documentary The Defector: Escape from North Korea, based on the true stories of six North Korean defectors.

“It’s a much more intimate telling of a story that lets you ‘choose your own adventure’ as the story unfolds. The immersive online experience really puts the user in the shoes of the defector,” said Fathom Film Group producer and director Ann Shin in a statement.

The site lets users experience the defectors’ escape attempts, and controls a defector’s fate, through a point-of-view virtual journey.

The story begins in hostile North Korea and continues through China and Southeast Asia. Through decision-making points and panoramic 360 degree hotspot locations, users can access additional video content, insider information and images.

“We found interactive storytelling to be the most innovative and effective way to bring the true essence of this film to people before they have the chance to see the film in its entirety. We wanted to truly evoke emotion in people and get them as close to the experience as those attempting to escape North Korea,” said Jam3 partner and creative director Adrian Belina in a statement.

New York- and L.A.-based Psyop handled animation for the interactive project.

The Defector: Escape from North Korea had its world premiere at the 2012 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. It will also screen at SXSW Interactive, Sebastopol Documentary Festival, Thessaloniki International Documentary Festival and Documentary Edge Festival.

The film is produced, directed and written by Ann Shin, with Stephen Chung as DOP and Manfred Becker as supervising editor and co-writer.