This year’s Webby Award nominations are out, and we’re tipping our hats to Canada’s National Film Board for their interactive documentary, “The History of the Highrise”, featured in the New York Times.

2,500 years of vertical living are showcased through the four-part series. Viewers watch animated footage and click through millions of archival photographs, giving them the opportunity to dig deeper into major themes of the documentary project.

Interactive Video: History of the Highrise

“I was faced with a daunting challenge,” says Katerina Cizek, director of the project in a 2013 New York Times article. How does one tell two and a half thousands years of global history in a short film?

Katerina Cizek

“The solution was to expand the project into an ambitious four-part interactive series,” she says in the Times article. Inspired by the reinvention of storybooks on digital tablets, Cizek and collaborators used rhymes, animation, and interactivity to “playfully revisit a stunning photographic collection and reinterpret great feats of engineering,” she says.

Interactive Video: History of the Highrise

Spectacular web videos like this prove that giving your viewers complete control over what they’re watching transforms the viewing experience. Based on individual interests, viewers can can follow their own path, discover more about topics they like, and make decisions on what to watch next.

The History of the Highrise is a shining example of taking the full power and potential of the web and applying it to video.

Interactive Video: History of the Highrise

Webby Award winners will be announced Tuesday, April 29. Best of luck to all the web video nominees!

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