TORONTO, Oct. 28 /CNW/ - PTV Productions and TVO are proud to announce the release of their hotly-anticipated interactive website Inside Disaster and Inside the Haiti Earthquake a first-person simulation about the Haiti earthquake and humanitarian work.

The Inside Disaster team is also celebrating two Canadian New Media Award nominations for their work, for Best Cross-Platform Project and Best Web-Based Game.

The website and simulation are companions to the upcoming documentary series Inside Disaster, which follows the Red Cross response to the January 2010 Haiti earthquake.  The web-based projects are based on footage and themes from the documentary series. The series premieres on TVO on the first anniversary of the Haiti earthquake, January 12, 2011 and continues January 19 and 26 at 9 pm.

With today's launch, InsideDisaster.com becomes the premiere online destination for interactive and educational content about the Haiti earthquake and humanitarian work.  The website and simulation are produced by PTV's new interactive department, headed by Web Director Katie McKenna:

"Canadians are deeply invested in Haiti's recovery from the earthquake.  We wanted to create content that would help them understand why the devastation was so great in Haiti, how Haitians survived, and the specific challenges that are still hampering the aid rollout and reconstruction today.  Our website and simulation allow them to experience that complexity first-hand.

"There's an increasing interest in humanitarian work around the world, and many people want to know how to get involved in the field.  Donors are also asking who is accountable when things go wrong.  The goal of our work is to help answer all of these questions, and more."

Inside the Haiti Earthquake is a cinematic web-based simulation that allows users to experience the aftermath of the earthquake as a survivor, aid worker, or journalist.  It combines a provocative script from award-winning "serious gaming" expert and Co-Director Michael Gibson with real-world documentary footage to help users experience the complexities of humanitarian work in Haiti for themselves.

Co-director, cinematographer, editor and composer Nicolas Jolliet travelled to Haiti in January and August 2010 to capture original footage, photos and music for the simulation. Jolliet used inconspicuous camera equipment and his fluency in French and Creole to reach stories and locations unavailable to other filmmakers.

The Inside Disaster website was produced by a dynamic sixteen-person team, anchored by Technical Lead Spencer Saunders and Creative Lead Kirk Clyne.  The site also features a world-class advisory board, including humanitarian academics Mareike Schomerus and Tim Allen of the Development Studies Institute (DESTIN) of the London School of Economics; aid professionals Patrick Crowley (Tearfund), Carol Devine (Dignitas International), and Shelley Gornall (UNHCR); and innovation leaders Mark Greenspan (Achilles Media) and Morgan Clendaniel (Deputy Editor, GOOD Magazine).

InsideDisaster.com and Inside the Haiti Earthquake were funded by TVO, the Canada Media Fund, the Bell Broadcast and New Media fund, and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

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TVO is Ontario's public educational media organization and a trusted source of interactive educational content that informs, inspires and stimulates curiosity and thought. Celebrating 40 years in 2010, TVO's vision is to empower people to be engaged citizens of Ontario through educational media. TVO is funded primarily by the Province of Ontario and supported by thousands of donors. For more information, visit tvo.org.

PTV Productions Inc. is an established, diverse & innovative producer of multi-platfrom documentaries, lifestyle and factual series.  It is owned and operated by Andrea Nemtin and Ian Dunbar. PTV Productions works with broadcasters and co-producers in Canada and around the world, and owns a growing library of over 60 hours of award-winning and award-nominated documentaries and series.

For more information:

Inside Disaster: http://insidedisaster.com/haiti/
Inside the Haiti Earthquake: http://insidethehaitiearthquake.com/     

For further information:
Katie Jeffs, Development and Communications, PTV Productions
416-531-0100 x 228 / kjeffs@ptvproductions.ca    

Paul Ginis ,TVO Marketing and Communications
P: 416-484-2600 x2445 / pginis@tvo.org