After winning Aussie audiences over with his heart-warming feature June Again, writer and director JJ Winlove has now turned his hand to a genre bending, interactive digital series aimed at the growing audience watching short-form content on mobile devices.

Being released globally on 20 September, Crossing Paths is a fresh approach to interactive storytelling. It follows twelve characters over the course of a single, ordinary day as their lives all interconnect, allowing the audience to decide which of them to follow after each interaction. With over 700 possible storylines, no one watches the same story twice.

Filmed predominantly in Sydney’s Surry Hills, according to creator and director JJ Winlove, Crossing Paths is not like most interactive mediums where you wonder if you’ve made the right decision – there are no wrong turns, winners or losers here.

“I’d heard about an interactive short film grant when I came up with the idea of creating a story you could explore and navigate in different ways without actually changing the story. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I knew I just had to make it,” says JJ.

However, figuring out exactly how to do this proved a lot more challenging.

“The whole approach was like a tricky, fun experiment. First, I had to develop a matrix map to make sure all the characters had an even number of exchanges that connected and made sense whatever path was chosen, and that took weeks. Then I created interactive scripts that took you to a new PDF each time a choice was made. It was like trying to piece together a non-linear, 3D puzzle,” he says.

Even shooting Crossing Paths was complicated, with each scene needing to be shot from two different views when entering and exiting. Genres were also played with as different characters perceive the same interactions differently. However, according to JJ, the actors particularly embraced the complicated structure as unusually it meant there were 12 equal lead actors, who could own their own character hero journeys.

Producer Emily Bull from, along with DOP Jonathan Tyler and funding from Screen Australia, were also instrumental in bringing Crossing Paths to life.

“I’d worked a lot in the interactive space in the UK so was really excited to be involved with such an interesting and complex project back on my home turf,” says Emily. “We premiered Crossing Paths at the 2021 Sydney Film Festival to sell-out audiences who loved the concept, and since then have been developing the online system to allow optimum viewing for audiences at home or anywhere, anytime, and for free. We’re really looking forward to seeing how people engage with it – it’s the perfect quick entertainment fix younger generations are now looking for that can also be rewatched in fresh ways.”

Adds JJ, “When we run into someone in daily life we don’t usually know where they’ve just been or what kind of day they’ve had. Crossing Paths allows us to explore how differing amounts of information and perspectives can alter our impression of someone, and I hope audiences will take that away with them – to consider how each of us sees the world through a single, and usually very limited point of view.”

Crossing Paths is written and directed by JJ Winlove. It was produced by Emily Bull from and JJ Winlove, with funding support from Screen Australia, cinematography by Jonathan Tyler and edited by Alex Guterres.