2008-2015 |Director

web documentaries | live performances | installations | | participatory sites | radio shows | public art | policy change | community newsletters | media training | academic research | books | newspaper and magazine series

HIGHRISE was a seven-year experiment in documentary, emergent media technologies, and urbanism at the National Film Board of Canada, led by director Katerina Cizek and senior producer Gerry Flahive. It explored vertical living in the global suburbs.

HIGHRISE was fueled by partnerships with groups as diverse as local tenants’ associations, global networks of scholars, the Mozilla Foundation, and The New York Times. The project included five feature-length digital documentaries, multi-year academic research studies, special issues of print journalism and live radio, live presentations, art installations, two books, policy recommendations, and material improvements in the physical and social conditions of specific highrise neighbourhoods. The project was covered by international press with over 350 mentions and won many awards, including Emmys, a Peabody, Canadian Screen Awards, and Webbys, among others.

The next pages provide a more detailed account of the project’s many iterations and impacts.



An early trailer for the HIGHRISE project, made to develop partnerships and to illuminate the unique process behind the project. (1m 44s)