Blog 4: Berlin Film Festival

By Zhao, Hong

I choose to critique the website of Berlin Film Festival.

The header, the footer, the navigation bar at the top, and the search function at the top right of the webpage all together make it easy to navigate.

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It uses many pictures. Almost every inner page has pictures followed by text. In the archive, there are photo galleries and videos of the festival. At the homepage, the first module is slide show, and then the second is comprised of small picture information boxes.

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Their intended audiences include people who are interested in the film festival, who want to attend, film-makers, and media professionals. As shown in the navigation bar, “Professionals” is specifically for film-makers to submit their films, the fuel of the festival and “Press” for journalists, who create the buzz for the festival.

However, when I looked at the website, to be honest, I am a little disappointed. It’s simple and conveys clear information about the festival but for a leading film festival in the world I expected way more than that. It’s simple coded, without beautiful and luxurious variation or special effects. Being simple is not a problem at all, but for a film festival, it requires stronger visual expression and more artistic performance.

Compared with that, the Berlin Independent Film Festival website shows more transition and variation on its home page. The Berlin Independent Film Festival is not connected to the world famous Berlin Film Festival, but is a program of independent film-making. On its profile, it emphasizes its shortage of budge.

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A navigation function bar in the shape of an award badge in front of full-screen slide shows. The navigation can be hidden to see a full picture as well. It uses black color as background, which also makes me wonder why Berlin Film Festival chose to use pink, is it to show support of raising awareness for breast cancer?

Kolkata International Film Festival: The Website

Since our storyboard assignment was on a film festival, I decided to do a blog about a film festival as well. I chose the website of Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) because aesthetically, the website is well-designed, but it is not as good a website as it could be.

KIFF Homepage

On the face of it, there seems to be nothing the website does not have. On the left-hand side of every page, there is also a box of icons that connect to different social media websites and it shows only when you hover over it. I think that is a neat idea because it keeps things clean and simple.

The KIFF website has one major element working against it: it does not have any videosYouTube button on the website itself except for the one on the home page. For the curious person with enough patience, they will realise that you click on the YouTube buttom on the top right of the page, it will take you to the festival’s channel where there are more videos.

Under the categories tab, if you click on any of the categories, nothing happens. To see wSidebarhich movies are featured under each category, you have to do it from the side bar, also on every page (except the Categories page, obviously).

As mentioned before, the website has a good design but it takes patience to navigate through the website because it is not easy to find what you are looking for. Also, the website does not feature any trailers on the website neither does it have information on any upcoming festivals.

It seems to me as if they only have a website as a log or a diary of the festival. It does not function as a website for active festival-goers. One possible reason is that in newspaper readership in Kolkata (India) is high and many events prefer to advertise that way. It could also be because the organizers are not looking to cater to an audience that is very web-savvy, at least as far as information about the festival is concerned.

Blog 4: Life and Death with Dogs

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 5.35.05 PMI came across Vox’s Life & Death with Dogs package early on in the summer. I was serving as digital editor at Vox, and this was one of the first packages I posted. I have to say, it was much more advanced than any of the designs I came up with over the summer.

I took a second look at this site when I was trying to come up with my T/F site design. I like the simplicity of the site. It’s easy to navigate. It’s straight forward. The short intro clarifies what the stories will be about. Right off the bat, you know what publication did the stories, what they will be about, and how to navigate the site. I like how they use the video loop as the centerpiece of the site. It further gets across the purpose of the site by showing a man interacting with his dog. It’s a nice way to set the mood.

By scrolling down, you get links to the content, which is eight videos about dogs during their final days. I like how the white text stands out against the photos. It’s a nice way to merge text and image to condense space.

Each page is designed the same, so you get the uniformity that helps you navigate. The focus is on the videos, but each video has a short text intro to set it up. The intros are concise, so it doesn’t take anything away from the videos. It also shows that all of the videos are on the same plane — none are considered more or less important than any of the others.

Typically, pet stories play well in newspapers and magazines. This is a little different because it is dealing with death. But I think the subdued design sets up the viewer for the content.