Wolfgang Rebernik studied documentary filmmaking and cinematography at “Zelig” School for Documentary, Television and New Media in Bolzano, Italy. Since his graduation in 1993 he has made documentary films all around the world and lectured seminars on „the language of audiovisual media“. To extend his storytelling-horizon he enrolled at Donau University Krems to study Medien | Spiel | Pädagogik in 2019. Through living in Asia (India & Vietnam) for more than 10 years Wolfgang developed a special interest in the history and impact of migration and colonialism.
Wherever I Go Is My Future
FROG 2022 – Talk
In my past work in documentary film, topics such as migration and flight already played a central role. Be it the film „Tara“, about a young Austrian woman who grow up in rural India, or when thousand’s of East-German refugees climbed over the fence of the West-German Embassy in Prague in autumn of 1989 and forced the GDR government to let them leave for the West, in the documentary „The Heros from Prague“. While the medium of documentary film is a wonderful tool for a general overview, it lacks the immersive engagement of the audience. So I had the idea to tell the life of a refugee through a multi-platform story to be able to pay respect to as many perspectives as possible.
„Wherever I Go Is My Future“ is the concept of a documentary trans-media story, based on the memoirs of the Austrian Jew, Ernst Frey. A documentary film, a graphic novel and a game retell his escape from Nazism to Vietnam and link it to historic circumstances. While the documentary highlights the historical background and introduces the main characters, the graphic novel tells the story trough the eyes of the main character, Ernst Frey, based on his 1200 pages of memoirs.
In the game players will then be confronted with the emotional reality of a refugee. They have to take the right decisions and face the immediate response. Their decisions have to be made spontaneously and are decisive for survival. The players are thus actively involved in the destiny of the protagonist and experience the consequences their actions have for the person escaping.
The idea behind this documentary trans-media story intends to give digital consumers new access to historical content, emotionally connect them with the characters and create an understanding for historic context. Through this concept of multi-level storytelling the recipients shall be enable to fully engage in the story. Further more it shall serve as a template for other historic portraits.