Victoria Mapplebeck is a director of creative documentary films and series for cinema, TV and the web, and has received a variety of commissions for her films including The Arts Council of England, Film Four and Channel 4. Her research explores issues of intimacy, media ethics and interactive technologies. She is a media consultant and has appeared on BBC2, Radio 4, Radio 5. Victoria is also regularly interviewed for Sky News.
Her current project Text Me, part funded by Channel Four, LCACE and Creativeworks London, is an animated documentary, and multi-platform storytelling project, exploring the multitude of stories and memories hidden in our phone memories and hard drives. Text Me won The Merging Media Prize for Best Cross Platform European Project in competition at Power to the Pixel in 2013. Text Me is about the story behind the message. We will enable a large and diverse audience to create their own online short films, which will bring to life a message thread or email from their own digital archives. These multi platform films will be showcased on the project website. Victoria was recently interviewed in Wired magazine and has written features on Text Me for The Conversation and The Huffington Post.
For the last fifteen years Victoria has worked in cross platform documentary. She wrote and directed British TV’s first convergence project - Smart Hearts, an interactive TV and online series made for Channel Four. This cross platform series combined filming the subjects with constant web cam access, which streamed from their homes for over eighteen months. Smart Hearts was described as ‘hypnotic and compulsive’ by The Guardian and nominated for the 2001 New Media Indie Award.
Victoria’s broadcast documentaries include Channel Four’s Meet the Kilshaws, an intimate documentary portrait of Alan and Judith Kilshaw. Described by The Guardian as ‘a fascinating piece of Television’, Meet the Kilshaws was selected for the documentary category in The 2002 Grierson Awards.
She writes media criticism for The Guardian, The Observer and Dox magazine. Her writing includes a chapter in Reality TV:How Real is Real? a book exploring developments in Documentary and Interactive Media (Hodder and Stoughton 2002). Victoria’s chapter features her cross platform documentaries, exploring the changing ethics surrounding intimacy and confession in factual programming, from Reality TV to news and current affairs. This chapter has also been re-published in The Tabloid Culture Reader (McGraw Hill - 2007)
Her work as a Documentary consultant has included an advisory role on Tony Garnett’s and Amy Jenkins’s BBC2 Feature drama, This Life +10, and she has also been a jury member of The Royal Television Society documentary series awards and The Banff New Media Awards. Victoria is regularly invited to speak at international festival think tanks and conferences exploring new approaches to interactive media. These include, Cybercultures, Crossover UK, The Banff TV Festival, HotDocs Toronto, The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, The Sheffield International Documentary Film Festival and Weblab:Crossover/Studio A - Florida.
Victoria has previously lectured at The London Film School, The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Royal College of Art, The Royal Society of Portrait Painters, The Banff New Media Institute and The London Film School. She is the Programme Director of the MA in Documentary Practice at Royal Holloway and teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students. She also supervises practice based PhDs.