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NFB’s A Journal of Insomnia launches online and at Tribeca Storyscapes


New York City – Starting tonight, you’ll be able to enter a unique nocturnal online experience with A Journal of Insomnia (, a new web-based interactive documentary that breaks the silence around the distressing condition of insomnia, gathering the intimate stories of insomniacs from around the world. This latest interactive documentary from the National Film Board of Canada’s pioneering Digital Studio is launching online and as part of Storyscapes—a new celebration of interactive storytelling at New York City’s Tribeca Film Festival, created in collaboration with Bombay Sapphire Gin—on the evening of April 18.

Insomnia affects one in every three people in the developed world. A Journal of Insomnia takes a very human look at this phenomenon, exploring it through the perspectives of people who suffer from insomnia and share their intimate experiences while in the grip of sleeplessness.

Web users begin their personal experience with A Journal of Insomnia by visiting the site and making an appointment with one of the four protagonists―real-life insomniacs Tina, Fathia, Francis and Sarah. Next, users will get a phone call at night, informing them that the time has come to experience insomnia from their character’s point of view.

Once inside A Journal of Insomnia, the public will also discover a collective insomnia generated by thousands of insomniacs, who have confessed their sleeplessness via webcam, text and drawings since September 2012.

A Journal of Insomnia is also an interactive installation premiering in Tribeca’s newly created Storyscapes section, which recognizes the impact of the transmedia movement and groundbreaking trends in multi-platform storytelling. One of only five projects selected from around the world for this historic new program, A Journal of Insomnia is eligible for the prestigious Bombay Sapphire Transmedia Award. Judith Portier was the project’s installation art director. The public is invited to live the experience from April 19 to 21 at Bombay Sapphire House of Imagination on 121 Varick Street in Soho.

The original idea for A Journal of Insomnia was conceived by Hugues Sweeney, producer and executive producer for French Program’s Digital Studio at the NFB. The four main creators for A Journal of Insomnia are Guillaume Braun (creative direction and interactive scenario,, Bruno Choinière (art direction and interactive scenario,, Thibaut Duverneix (direction, post-production and interactive scenario,, and Philippe Lambert (music and interactive scenario, Monstre).

Designed for chronic or occasional insomnia sufferers, those who’ve lived with someone suffering from the condition, as well as those who’ve never had a sleepless night, A Journal of Insomnia pushes the limits of documentary and our thinking about insomnia. Insomniacs are both spectators and actors in this unprecedented interactive work that combines hundreds of personal reflections on sleepless nights.

One of the world’s leading digital content hubs, renowned for its interactive productions and immersive online experiences, the NFB has worked with visionary independent creators on A Journal of Insomnia to explore new forms of interactive narratives, achieving a spectacular marriage of art, storytelling and documentary.

Starting on April 18 on NFB.CA/INSOMNIA

About the NFB

Canada’s public producer and distributor, the National Film Board of Canada is devoted to new forms of storytelling, helping to reinvent the grammar of 21st-century media and art. The NFB’s acclaimed content can be seen at and on apps for smartphones, tablets and connected TV. The NFB’s Digital Studios produce interactive documentaries and animation, mobile content, installations, and participatory experiences from an English-language unit based in Vancouver and a French-language unit in Montreal. The NFB has created over 13,000 productions and won over 5,000 awards, including 6 Webbys and 12 Oscars.


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