Directed by Vincent Morisset
Written by Sean Michaels
Coded by Édouard Lanctôt-Benoit
Edited by Caroline Robert
Created by the studio AATOAA
Produced by the National Film Board of Canada

Full credits

Motto is a playful, one-of-a-kind adventure—an interactive novella that uses thousands of tiny videos to tell the thousand-year tale of a kindhearted spirit named September. Part ghost story, part scavenger hunt, Motto finds a way to be both documentary and fiction—incorporating participants’ lo-fi, unstaged footage into its own emotional narrative. It’s like a mirror ball that refracts its audience’s imaginations, rearranging the way they look at the world.

Conceived for your mobile device, small enough to fit in your pocket, Motto combines new technologies with some of our oldest. Text, image, algorithm and computer vision intermingle as a nameless narrator leads the participant from today to yesterday to a possible tomorrow, from the Québécois countryside to the Chilean desert to the chattering banks of the Nile. September has gone missing: Where has this ghost disappeared to? What can we learn on our quest? Meditating on memory, metaphor and the power of creativity—and calling upon each of its users’ senses—Motto gives birth to its own fascinating, intimate universe, where you will never guess what happens next.

Motto is an original collaboration between AATOAA, Vincent Morisset’s acclaimed digital production studio, and prize-winning novelist Sean Michaels. This is the third collaboration between the National Film Board of Canada and Vincent Morisset, after the Webby Award winners BLA BLA (2011) and Way to Go (2015). With this project they are exploring a new, intuitive storytelling vocabulary, inviting audiences to fold their own memories into the way a tale is told, and drawing on influences as diverse as Agnès Varda, Snapchat, Italo Calvino, Christian Marclay, W. G. Sebald, Bruno Munari and Being John Malkovich.

Link to the press kit

Legal notices

Motto uses “cookies” to enable certain functionalities during the experience. Cookies are small text files that are stored on your device when you visit certain websites. Because Motto is comprised of six chapters, you may not complete the entire experience in one visit. Cookies allow you to enjoy Motto over several sessions without losing your progress. They also save your video contributions so that these will reappear as the experience goes on. Note that no personal data is collected at any time during the experience. Furthermore, if you do not want the NFB to install a cookie on your device, you can disable the storage of cookies in your browser. In this case, your progress in Motto will not be saved, and you will lose all contributions you have made as soon as you close the Motto window in your web browser.

Motto uses thousands of short user-generated videos. When you authorize Motto to access your camera, you grant the NFB the right to use the images that you capture during the experience. These images will be used exclusively as part of the Motto project and for promotional and rollout purposes.
Created by the studio AATOAA

Produced by the National Film Board of Canada

Directed by
Vincent Morisset

Written by
Sean Michaels

Coded by
Édouard Lanctôt-Benoit

Edited by
Caroline Robert

Caroline Robert & Vincent Morisset

National Film Board of Canada:

Marie-Pier Gauthier

Executive Producers
Louis-Richard Tremblay
Hugues Sweeney

Production Manager
Marie-Eve Babineau

Technology Director
Martin Viau

Editorial Managers
Valérie Darveau
Laurence Dolbec

Senior Production Coordinator
Léa Graziella Formigli

Interactive Media Coordinator
Caroline Fournier

Marie-Andrée Bonneau

Senior Administrative Coordinator
Claudia Boutin

Production coordinator
Dominique Brunet

Information Technology
Sergiu Suciu

Marketing Manager
Laurianne Desormiers

Marketing Coordinator
Stéphanie Quevillon

Social Media Strategists
Emilie Nguyen Ngoc
Hannah Martin

Community Managers
Alyssia Duval-Nguon
Melissa Sauvé

Press Relations
Nadine Viau
Jennifer Mair

Legal Services
Christian Pitchen


Fixer (Chili)
Pablo Esquer

Fadwa Lapierre

Archive Footage:

Aaron Morris
Albert Courtemanche & Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec
Apollo missions, NASA
Caroline Robert & Vincent Morisset
Conrad Poirier & Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec
Justin Bilton via Storyful
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Wikimedia Commons

First contributions:

Aaron Varquero
Aimée Kassi
Alexe Louisa
Angel Carpio
Anne-Marie Lavigne
Astrid Feringa
Aymane Sahrane
Benedicte Kurzen
Camille Foisy
Carl Ruttan
Chilandre Patry
Deborah Chèrenfant
Diana Aziz
Diderik Evers
Dorothy Alexandre
Éricka Alnéus
Erwin Verbruggen
Eva van Dijk
Ewelyn Wnek
Fanny Robert
Francois Turcotte
Gígja Reynisdóttir
Greta Petronio
Guillaume Lee-Millier
Hamza Abouelouafaa
Harm Croockewit
Inge Bongers
Israel Hernandez Ruiz Velasco
Jean-Michel Portail
Jean-Philippe Côté
Jessie Dorélien
Jessy Thermil
JF Nadeau
Jorge Camarotti
Jumoke Sanwo
Kevin Plasman
Leisa Lee
Lily Tremblay-Viau
Lyne Godin
Marianne Bourdages
Marisol de Santis
Matteo Frescobaldi
Nancy Thibodeau
Nicholas Klassen
Nicolas Ouellet
Nizar Lachqar
Pascale Daigle
Pascale Tetrault
Perry-Delphine Séraphin
Peter Antoine
PM Fortin
Quirine Racké
Rachid Sahrane
Rafaella Wang
Ravenne Portail
Rosalie Léonard
Sabrina Lachqar
Samantha Pietro
Sanne De Wilde
Sarah Spring
Sophia Jasmin
Sophie Robert
Soumia Sahrane
Stephane Buellet
Stephane Lafleur
Stevens Charles
Tawan Arun
Tracy Maurice
Yazmin Solorzano
Ying Gao

Special thanks:

Andrea Costabal
Arlen & Jan Michaels
Canadian Museum of Nature
Casadel Films
Caspar Sonnen
Catherine Emmanuel Brunet
Claudette Raymond
Daniela Ábrigo
Emily Wood
IDFA Doclab
Jessie Van Vreden
Lily Jeanne Babineau
Marcela Cavallaro
Marisol Bacunan
Martin Babineau
Québec's public daycare system
Neues Museum
Raul Titerman
Rolando Santana
Sandro Perri
Sylvain Mazas
Thea Metcalfe & Miro
The Morisset family
The Pereda family
The Robert family
Thierry Sirois

Sorry, Motto only works in vertical (portrait) mode!