Highrise: The Towers in the World and the World in the Towers

Firefly Books

Katerina Cizek

Katerina Cizek is a two-time Emmy-winning documentarian, author and director working across emergent media platforms. For over a decade at the National Film Board of Canada, she helped redefine the organization as one of the world’s leading digital content hubs, as the director and writer of the Filmmaker-in-Residence and HIGHRISE projects. Both community-based and globally recognized, these two ground-breaking serial and digital projects garnered international critical acclaim and awards, a Peabody award, a World Press Photo Prize, 3 Canadian Screen Awards, amongst others. During her time at the NFB, Cizek forged unconventional, co-creative partnerships with such diverse organizations ranging from an inner-city teaching hospital to Mozilla Foundation, to The New York Times. Cizek’s earlier human rights documentary film projects instigated criminal investigations, changed UN policies, and screened as evidence at an International Criminal Tribunal. Cizek’s films include the Hampton-Prize winner Seeing is Believing: Handicams, Human Rights and the News (2002, co-directed with Peter Wintonick), In Search of the African Queen: A People Smuggling Operation (1999, co-director), and The Dead are Alive: Eyewitness in Rwanda (1995). She is now the Artistic Director of the Co-Creation Studio at MIT’s Open Documentary Lab (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Recently, she wrote (with William Uricchio et al.) a ground-breaking field study entitled Collective Wisdom, launched at the Venice Film Festival and published on MIT Press’ new web platform. Cizek is frequently invited to teach, advise and speak on innovative approaches to the documentary genre, emergent media and journalism.


2019 HIGHRISE to be published by Firefly Press
2019 Co-PI, lead researcher, author (with William Uricchio et al.) of field study, Collective Wisdom: Co-Creating Media within Communities, Across Disciplines and with Algorithms, MIT Press PubPub
Forthcoming Chapter in book, Infrastructures of Citizenship: Digital Life in the Global City, edited By Deborah Cowen, Emily Paradis, Brett Story, Alexis Mitchell. To be published by UBC Press
2015 The Atlantic City Lab, June, co-conceived and developed an 8-part series of features, called HIGHRISE REPORT, in conjunction with the launch of HIGHRISE: Universe Within
2015 The Globe and Mail, June 2, Arts Section “We should recognize Canada as a nation of highrise-dwellers”
2014 The Globe and Mail, March 7, Obituary “Josefina Napravilova: ‘Second mother’ reunited Czech families”
2013 Short History of the Highrise, The New York Times
2011 “When Community and Journalism converge”, Nieman Report published by Harvard University, Vol 65 No 2 Summer 2011, ed. Melissa Ludtke
2010 “Filmmaker-in-Residence: The Digital Grandchild of Challenge for Change,” Interview with Katerina Cizek by Elizabeth Miller, in Challenge for Change, published by McGill- Queens University Press.
2007 Annual Film Textbook, Contemporary Learning Series, McGraw-Hill USA Writer, “The Real Deal,” Chapter on the documentary rage.
2006 Book on Contemporary Film Movements, Film Institute, Stuttgart Writer, “The Handicam Revolution” Chapter, translated into German.
2006 International AIDS conference 2006, Toronto, ON Academic poster presentation with co-presenter, Dr. Katherine Rouleau.
2006 Schnitt 41, Das Filmagazin, Germany, January 2006, Special Issue on Globalization Writer, “The Handidcam Revolution” Essay on the democratization of media.
2005 THIS Magazine, November 2005, Special Issue on Film, Writer, “The Documentary is Everywhere.” Essay on the current documentary rage.
2005 Video for Change, Book published by Pluto Press U.K., Contributing Writer Wrote three chapters examining the use of new media to document human rights abuses. Interviews with internationally renowned journalists, filmmakers, artists .
2004 Walrus Magazine, January 2004 issue Writer, “Georgia on my Mind” Personal essay on the fall of Shevardnadze.
1993-98 The Nation, a bi-weekly newsmagazine Co-Founder, Art Director, Special Projects Lead, Graphic Designer, Writer, Editor An independent bi-weekly newsmagazine by and for the James Bay Crees.
1990-92 The McGill Daily, Daily University Student Newspaper, Senior Editor Responsible for editorial, daily operations, production, design and photo department.




Twitter: @katciz

Kristy Woudstra

Kristy Woudstra is an award-winning Hamilton-based writer and editor. She has traveled the world to cover human rights stories in countries like Niger, Uganda, Brazil, South Africa and Mexico, and her writing has appeared in many Canadian publications including The Walrus, Canadian Living, Broadview, Report on Business and This.



Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kristy.woudstra
Twitter: @KWoudstra
Instagram: @fixnote