Description (in English): 

Motto is a playful, one-of-a-kind adventure—an interactive novella that uses thousands of tiny videos to tell the thousand-year tale of a kindhearted spirit named September. Part ghost story, part scavenger hunt, Motto finds a way to be both documentary and fiction—incorporating participants’ lo-fi, unstaged footage into its own emotional narrative. It’s like a mirror ball that refracts its audience’s imaginations, rearranging the way they look at the world.

Conceived for your mobile device, small enough to fit in your pocket, Motto combines new technologies with some of our oldest. Text, image, algorithm and computer vision intermingle as a nameless narrator leads the participant from today to yesterday to a possible tomorrow, from the Québécois countryside to the Chilean desert to the chattering banks of the Nile. September has gone missing: Where has this ghost disappeared to? What can we learn on our quest? Meditating on memory, metaphor and the power of creativity—and calling upon each of its users’ senses—Motto gives birth to its own fascinating, intimate universe, where you will never guess what happens next.

Motto is an original collaboration between AATOAA, Vincent Morisset’s acclaimed digital production studio, and prize-winning novelist Sean Michaels. This is the third collaboration between the National Film Board of Canada and Vincent Morisset, after the Webby Award winners BLA BLA (2011) and Way to Go (2015). With this project they are exploring a new, intuitive storytelling vocabulary, inviting audiences to fold their own memories into the way a tale is told, and drawing on influences as diverse as Agnès Varda, Snapchat, Italo Calvino, Christian Marclay, Bruno Munari, W. G. Sebald and Being John Malkovich.

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Amanda Hodes