Rebecca Sandulak, Stephanie Plaitin, Dave Brown, (Robyn Gel)
Want to know more about the scandalous history of Winnipeg's Point Douglas? There's an app for that!
John Walk, a short film by writer-director Stephanie Plaitin and cinematographer Rebecca Sandulak, premieres this week, but not on the big screen. This romp through the fact and fiction of Winnipeg's storied Point Douglas neighbourhood will be available on Saturday through a new iPhone app, Moveable.
This interactive app takes you on a walking tour of Point Douglas, starting at the corner of Lily and Alexander. The whole stroll takes about 45 minutes, but you'll have a wonderfully entertaining little movie to keep you company.
Plaitin looks into the stubborn urban myth that many of our city's street names -- Stella, Lizzie, Annabella - commemorate legendary madams, mistresses and ladies of questionable employment. Of course, the real question might not be whether this is true or not - it's hard to pin down - but why we all want to believe it.
Combining saucy re-enactments with a little serious social history and some shots of the streets as they look today, John Walk does confirm that prostitution was once a roaring success in our town. There were reportedly 53 brothels in Point Douglas around the turn of the 20th century, and Winnipeg had a continent-wide reputation as a magnet for "social vice." Who knew?
All this steamy speculation probably works better if you walk the walk along Point Douglas's streets, but if you're feeling lazy, you can also enjoy John Walk as a virtual experience.
Three fast facts about Moveable Feast Mobile Media:
1. The Winnipeg film is the pilot project for Moveable Feast Mobile Media , which New York-based founder Steve Schultz describes as "a way to tell stories that are attached to geographies."
2. "It's like geocaching meets music videos," explains Plaitin. A GPS-enabled walking tour that can be augmented with text, photos, audio and video, it also includes interactive features that let participants share their own real-time thoughts and pics on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.
3. Moveable projects can be about history or architecture or donut shops or dog parks. After the Moveable app debuts this weekend, you can check out new projects -- or look into making your own, which requires only a little clicking and passionate sense of place.