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date: 30 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an overview of the emergence of interactive documentary (i-doc) in Canada and situates it within the history of the National Film Board’s Challenge for Change program, a participatory documentary experiment envisioned as a means of social change. It outlines various kinds of interactivity using examples from recent Canadian works. Additionally, it considers how the interactive documentary shifts spectator/screen relations and the implications this has on the documentary construction of reality. Focusing on how the spectator is positioned differently to the world on screen—as a navigator instead of as a viewer—this article examines two opposing perspectives on the potential of interactivity to be used as a tool for change.

Keywords: interactive documentary, Challenge for Change, NFB, spectatorship, documentary, interactivity, social change

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