Onward! 2011

October 22–27, 2011
Portland, Oregon USA

ACM Symposium on New Ideas in Programming and Reflections on Software

Call for Films

The Onward! film track invites "submissions in motion.“ Papers and slide presentations are not always the right media to convey ideas. We are therefore interested in anything that combines film with programming and software.

For example, film can show the interactive nature of a proposed system in a way that goes well beyond the capacity of requirements specifications and use-case diagrams. Film can visualize how a proposed system should or might work, and reveal exceptional circumstances in which the system still must work.

There is also an increasing need of describing research projects whose results are difficult to explain to non-experts. The interesting behavior of such systems often stretches into weeks or months and a film might be much more helpful than a real-time demo. Moreover, film can be used as visual scaffolding of how software engineering is conducted in order to help us improve the software development process itself.

Other topics including, but not limited to: documentary on learning a new language; interviews with practitioners; diary of a frustrated graduate student, presenting worlds that are physically difficult to access; capturing group interaction dynamics; branching scenario options; portraying the emotive excitement of real-time activities; displaying processes from a specific, personal perspective; displaying examples of exceptions and exception-handling; animation of new programming methodologies or team-oriented processes; mobile video microblogging.

Author Guidelines

We accept two categories based on the length of the film: Short movie (1-3 minutes, "YouTube" category) and long movie (between 4 and 10 minutes, "epic" category). Films will be peer-reviewed based on these characteristics:

  • Clarity of presentation: Is the message clearly stated and is it understandable?

  • Visual storytelling: Do the film makers maximize the use of image and sound to clearly make their case? Does the plot (visionary scenario, user story, ...) make sense?

  • Production value: Is the material presented in a pleasing manner?

  • Sound/music: Is audio as well as visual information used effectlvely?

  • Cinematography: What light and camera choices were made? Does the movie look like somebody's home video?

Film Submission

  1. Electronic submission of the film is required. Films must be submitted in AVI or MOV format, preferably encoded in H.264.
  2. A film submission must include a 200-word description about the film. The final camera-ready text must be formatted to conform to SIGPLAN Proceedings requirements. Details will be released once the film has been accepted.
  3. The film makers must secure the rights for any third-party materials used.
  4. A film submission must include an early or partial version of the film. Full films are only required by the time of the conference.

Important Dates

  • Initial Submission: May 10, 2011
  • Notification: July 1, 2011
  • Final Submission: August 1, 2011

Onward! Film Program Committee

  • Bernd Bruegge (Chair), Technische Universität München, Germany
  • Yvonne Coady, University of Victoria, Canada
  • Oliver Creighton, Siemens Corporation, Germany
  • Ralph Guggenheim, Alligator Planet, USA
  • Jessica Hodgins, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
  • Bruce Horn, Microsoft, USA
  • Martin Purvis, University of Otago, New Zealand
  • Jesse Schell, Carnegie Mellon University and Schell Games, USA

For additional information, clarification, or questions please contact the film chair, Bernd Bruegge, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it