Boomtown Babylon

Sleepers of Sao Paulo. The homeless © Carlos Cazalis

Sleepers of Sao Paulo. The homeless © Carlos Cazalis


As the global urban population expands at a rate of 3 million people per week, the gulf between the haves and have-nots is ever widening in cities around the world. While the wealthy retreat to safe, gated communities, the poor are forced into marginal slums, where the destruction of social capital through poverty, civil strife and displacement, cast a grim future.

Boomtown Babylon is a 30-minute interactive web documentary that offers a participatory journey through the most acute extremes of the global urbanization phenomenon, inviting the viewer to embark on a compelling ride from the slums and pavements of the poorest neighbourhoods, to the private mansions of the very wealthy, in six of the world’s most divided cities, meeting local characters as they navigate through each location.

A non-linear format will lead the user from the documentary’s opening sequence to its conclusion, via a series of multiple, inter-changeable paths and optional, additional interactive features.

The Boomtown Babylon film-making process is based on a pioneering online platform which allows local film-makers living in such cities as Lagos, Paris, and Phnom Penh to collaborate remotely on the project.

Produced by Honkytonk Films (Paris), Boomtown Babylon will offer a seminal, globally-accessible public platform to address the big issues facing city-dwellers around the world, using innovative online technologies and high calibre filmmaking to draw a broad spectrum of viewers.

For more information download the documentary proposal (Pdf) or visit

Shanghai China © Greg Girard

Shanghai China © Greg Girard


2 Responses

  1. I am a bit late coming to this excellent post – just want to say the documentary proposal is not there any more – would you have a copy you could share with me?

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