Story Jam: New Neighbours

19 - 21 September 2022
part of the Netherlands Film Festival
Story Jam: New Neighbours

What will we do?

On 19-21 September Storytellers United organises Story Jam: New Neighbours, in cooperation with the Netherlands Institute for Sound & Vision and the Netherlands Film Festival. During three days, you work together in multidisciplinary teams under the guidance of coaches on new intercultural story prototypes. 

The stories we will be developing are:

  • Intercultural: developed with Dutch newcomers about the added value of cultural cross-pollination.
  • Interdisciplinary: told from the various expertises that team members bring together.
  • Innovative: experimental in the application of new technology and media for storytelling.

Each prototype casts a different light on the multicultural society of the Netherlands and uses the medium that best suits the makers and their story. Projects can for example take the form of a web experience, but also be VR, performance, app or installation. After three days of working together, the teams will share their results publicly during the Netherlands Film Festival.

See an outline of the programme below.

With whom?

We warmly invite creatives of all professional backgrounds with an interest in innovative forms of storytelling to take part. Perhaps you do photography, develop websites, produce podcasts, make theatre, are into data visualisation, create immersive experiences in VR or AR, excel at designing user interfaces or you enjoy editing videos for online platforms. Whatever experience you bring, you certainly have an open mind and enjoy collaborating across disciplines.

We especially encourage you to join if you have moved to the Netherlands from another country. With this Story Jam we want to build on the unique perspectives from people who are new to this country and celebrate intercultural collaboration, experiences and stories.

Why now?

Influenced by migratory flows, including wars, political unrest and climate crises, Dutch society is becoming increasingly diverse. Story Jam: New Neighbours focuses on new stories from these multicultural communities and the social and economic value they bring to the table. How can we support each other and what can these connections and collaborations bring? How can we celebrate social and cultural richness? What can different backgrounds learn from each other? And how can intercultural stories help?

With this Story Jam, we want to challenge stereotypes and expose commonly held myths, put migrants' voices at the centre of discussions about migration and deliver innovative messages to promote the integration of Dutch newcomers into local communities.

Like to know more?

Storytellers United is an international network of professional storytellers across a wide range of backgrounds. Curious to learn more about this event or other Storytellers United activities?

In short

๐Ÿ’ช Make social impact with stories that connect, at the intersection of storytelling and technology.

๐ŸŽจ Collaborate with storytellers from different disciplines and cultural backgrounds.

๐Ÿš€ Develop innovative stories under healthy time pressure, with inspiring input and professional guidance.

Take part

Would you like to join? Register before 22 August using the registration form. The selection of participants will be announced no later than 5 September. Participation is free of charge, catering will be provided.

Teams will be carefully formed to ensure a variety of skills, based on the information submitted in applications. Applications are sent on an individual basis. In case you want to apply with a team, please clearly mention this and include all team members in the application form.

You're warmly invited to bring project ideas into the co-creation process. Please keep in mind that each team will start with an ideation process to determine a focus that is shared by all team members. We ask you to have an open mind about the ideas you bring in and actively work to let them be enriched by new perspectives of others in your team.

Apply now

Where & When?

Kick-off event

8 September, 15:00 - 17:00
the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, Hilversum

Story Jam: New Neighbours

19 โ€“ 21 September, three full days (more details below)
IMPAKT - Centre for Media Culture, Utrecht

Public Presentation

24 September
Hekman Foyer, Stadsschouwburg, Utrecht


Below is a rough outline of the programme, subject to change.

Mon 19 Sept

  • Walk in, breakfast, coffee & tea
  • Welcome, introduction and goal setting
  • Brainstorm in teams: Discover insights into the problem
  • Lunch
  • Brainstorm in teams: Define the area to focus on
  • PPP stand-up: teams give a short 2 min update on Progress, Problems & Plans. Other teams can be asked for input and offer feedback.
  • End of day goal: a clear concept carried by the entire team

Tue 20 Sept

  • Walk in, breakfast, coffee & tea
  • Working in teams: Develop potential solutionsIdeally the clear concept enables teams to divide work. Some participants are designing, others are out recording, others are developing.
  • Lunch
  • Working in teams: Deliver solutions that work
  • PPP stand-up: teams give a short 2 min update on Progress, Problems & Plans. Other teams can be asked for input and offer feedback.
  • End of day goal: a first prototype (think hacky solutions, duct tape, placeholder content)

Wed 21 Sept

  • Walk in, breakfast, coffee & tea
  • Working in teams: Develop & Deliver iteration
  • Lunch
  • Finishing touches
  • Internal demo to other teams: tell the story!
  • End of day goal: a working prototype demoed in front of a live audience

Thu 22 Sept

Fri 23 Sept

Sat 24 Sept

Mentors and Speakers

During the Story Jam, you are supported by a team of mentors who bring a diverse range of experience and expertise. More mentors will be announced in the run-up to the event.

Sahand Sahebdivani

Anna Desponds

Podcaster & researcher

An ambassador of the Storytellers United community, Anna is a podcaster and researcher, combining a career as a curator in the audiovisual industries with interest in intercultural studies. She holds an MA in interdisciplinary humanities and has been designing award-winning audience experiences at the intersection of audiovisual arts and innovation for almost 15 years. She has collaborated with most important Polish media outlets, brought multimedia storytelling experiences to life, and facilitated over a hundred talks, Q&As, and workshops in physical and online settings.

As a researcher at the Berlin-based boutique consulting agency The Catalysts, Anna helps conceive industry programs for leading audiovisual institutions. She's also an intercultural educator focusing on local history narratives. Anna likes to create meaningful connections between remote concepts, as well as between people. As a child, she wanted to be an anthropologist and her dream came true. Her creative medium of choice is food.

Sahand Sahebdivani

Sahand Sahebdivani

Storyteller, founder Mezrab Storytelling School & Mezrab Cultural Center

Sahand was born in Iran and raised in the Netherlands where he studied storytelling, screenplay writing and music. Since 2004 he operates the Mezrab Cultural Centre, a renowned centre for storytelling and other arts. Heโ€™s worked both in Dutch and Persian language media as a writer and programme maker on a variety of cultural, social and political issues. When heโ€™s not in Amsterdam heโ€™s touring the world with his band, his story shows and/or his storytelling workshops.

Sahand Sahebdivani

Klasien van de Zandschulp

Interactive artist & designer

Klasien is an Amsterdam-based interactive artist and creative director at studio affect lab. She designs story-based and participatory experiences, blending digital/physical and online/offline interactions. Her work explores sensory design, embodiment, rituals, augmented realities, human interaction and (radical) thoughts around our daily technology consumption.

In collaboration with Emilie Baltz she created the futuristic cooking show called 'EAT TECH KITCHEN' (winner IDFA Doclab Immersive Non-Fiction Award 2018) and in collaboration with Natalie Dixon she created 'Good Neighbours': an interactive performance about intimate surveillance and the micro-politics of neighbourhoods (winner Dutch Design Award 2022, nominated for Gouden Kalf Digitale Cultuur 2022). During the recent lockdown she created 'DISTANCE DISCO', a virtual dancefloor for techno romances!

About the organisers

Paulien Dresscher

Paulien Dresscher

Researcher & Curator

Paulien Dresscher is working as a curator and researcher in the field of culture and digital media. For the Netherlands Film Festival she is organizing the Digital Culture Programme. She is living with her husband, daughter, cat and dog on a sailing ship in the center of Amsterdam and holds a Bachelor degree of Media and Fine Arts from Minerva Academy in Groningen, as well as both Master degree in New Media and Research Master degree in Media Studies from the University of Amsterdam.

Philo van Kemenade

Philo van Kemenade

Cultural Technologist & Community Organiser

Philo van Kemenade creates tools, stories and things in between to amplify human connection with arts and culture. He helps cultural heritage organisations innovate to make their digital collections more accessible. In 2013, Philo initiated the Storytellers United network to create space for interdisciplinary practice around innovative forms of storytelling. He has a background in Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science. Currently based in his home town Amsterdam, Philo has previously lived in Japan, the UK, Slovakia and Austria.

Storytellers United

logo Storytellers United

Storytellers United is an international network of media makers, technologists and designers interested in innovative forms of storytelling. Since 2013, SU has partnered with film festivals, universities and broadcasters to explore the future of storytelling in hands-on, multi-disciplinary sprints. These 'Story Jams' mix story, code and creativity with fun and community. Hailing from different time zones and professional backgrounds, members enjoy sharing via community channels: from upcoming events to ongoing projects and from useful tools to exciting opportunities.

Netherlands Institute for Sound & Vision

logo NFF

The Netherlands Institute for Sound & Vision in Hilversum manages one of the world's largest digitised media archives for radio, television, YouTube videos, objects, written press, podcasts and games. They preserve the daily growing media collection as heritage for eternity. At the same time, they closely follow all movements in the global media landscape, including developments in the online and digital domain.

The starting point for all activities of Sound and Vision is the importance of free media for our democracy, to contribute to an open, free, inclusive and media-minded society. They illuminate current affairs from a media-historical perspective and show how you yourself can use media to tell your story, but they also show the influence of media on your personal life and on society. They do this in various ways: online and in the museums in Hilversum and The Hague, but also at partner locations. At schools, they offer a wide range of workshops on media literacy and they also stimulate academic and journalistic research. As an organisation or in cooperation with universities, festivals, organisations at home and abroad as well as relevant companies, they organise countless public activities, workshops, debates and lectures for young and old - and now also this Story Jam.

Netherlands Film Festival

logo B&G

The Netherlands Film Festival (NFF) is involved in this project as a platform. One of its pillars is the Digital Culture Programme. Like SU and parts of Beeld & Geluid, this department focuses on the development of alternative forms of Storytelling, in which technology and new media play a role. It takes a critical look at the social impact and possibilities of technology and the opportunities this offers for new forms of storytelling. The target groups are festival visitors and filmmakers interested in innovation, as well as digital artists engaged in narrative productions.

By providing a venue for this Story Jam, NFF wants to give a new impulse to the professional field in the Netherlands. It wants to be an inspiring platform and stage for up-and-coming talent and inspire new makers by bringing in national and international experts and opening up new networks.

Supported by

Story Jam New Neighbours is made possible by a grant from the Creative Industries Fund NL.

logo Storytellers United
logo NFF
logo B&G
logo SCI