POV (Point of View), the award-winning independent documentary series celebrating its 25th anniversary on PBS this year, is reaching out to documentary filmmakers with projects at any stage of production for the firstPOV Hackathon, taking place Saturday and Sunday, August 11-12, 2012, in New York City.
The weekend is an opportunity for filmmakers with a digital vision to work with developers and designers to create a finished prototype — be it a web app, mobile tool, game or something we’ve never seen before — for the web.
What Is a Hackathon?
POV’s Hackathon is inspired by the “hack days” of the open-source development community and companies such as Facebook and Google. In a traditional hackathon, software coders collaborate outside of the usual corporate constraints in compressed time frames (usually fueled by pizza and energy drinks) to solve a problem.
With POV’s Hackathon, we’re adding independent producers into the mix, adding their creativity and expertise in social-issue storytelling. POV will pair five filmmakers with developers based on their Hackathon applications.
Once matched, the teams will participate in a pre-Hackathon orientation session to prepare media (video, photos, data…) and make decisions about software and tools. Then, over two days, the teams will work together to produce a working prototype.
Saturday, Aug. 11
9:30am-10:00am – Check In & Orientation
10:00am-10:30am – Strategy Session
10:30am-5:30pm – Hacking!
5:30pm-6:30pm – Show & Tell of Works in Progress
Sunday, Aug. 12
10:00am-10:30am – Check In & Orientation
10:30am-11:00am – Strategy Session
11:00-6:00pm – Hacking!
6:00pm-7:00pm – Break and Preparation for Screening
7:00pm-8:30pm Screening with Selected Guests
1. Aatsinki: The Story of Arctic Cowboys
Aatsinki: The Story of Arctic Cowboys is a feature-length documentary that follows a year in the life of a family of reindeer herders in Finnish Lapland. Equal parts story, game and educational study guide, the film unfolds over the course of a year in the Arctic. It is a study of hard work, hard-earned leisure and an intricate bond between man and nature. The complementary online component will expand the reach and depth of the project, bringing each participant face-to-face with the unique challenges of herding reindeer. Utilizing video, photos, maps and infographics for their Web component, the filmmakers aim to show that the struggles herders face are the struggles of traditional, agrarian communities around the world.
Filmmaker: Jessica Oreck
Jessica Oreck’s first feature documentary, Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo, was released theatrically and aired on PBS’s Independent Lens. She is currently in production on two new feature documentaries. Mysteries of Vernacular, her series of animated shorts, is now playing at the IFC Center in New York City.
Mike Knowlton A digital veteran of 20 years, Mike Knowlton is a recognized leader in the transmedia community in New York City. He co-founded the nonprofit, immersive storytelling community StoryCode. He has also founded and led a number of technology companies, including digital agency BASIK and interactive film company Murmur.
Hal Siegel’s work represents a unique blend of storytelling, visual design, interaction design and usability. As a creative director at BASIK, he leads the development of Internet initiatives for arts and cultural organizations. He recently co-founded the interactive film company Murmur.
Christopher Allen is founder of UnionDocs and an initiator of numerous experiments in documentary and interactive media. His individual works and collaborative productions have been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, Harvard’s Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, the Volksbühne theater, Direktorenhaus in Berlin, Independent Film Week, and at Sonár, DIVA and the Conflux Festival.
Andre Almeida is a media theorist, filmmaker and Ph.D. candidate currently writing his dissertation on interactive documentary. He is affiliated with UnionDocs and the University of Porto and has been exploring the boundaries of nonfiction through linear features, including From New York With Love, and interactive projects.
Danny Bowman is a recent Bay Area transplant to New York City. He worked previously as a front-end software engineer at a social gaming startup in San Francisco and as a program manager and internal tools developer at Google.
After completing a degree in computer science, Kyle Warren engineered the nonprofit site govoteabsentee.org for the 2008 election. He has recently worked on such products as Words with Friends, Timehop and projectOPEN, while finding time to cultivate his interest in software as art.
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Joe Posner works at the intersection of documentary film, motion design and music. His work as a mixed-media director has appeared in Newsweek, The Daily Beast and APM: Marketplace, and he has contributed motion design to several documentary feature films.
Lam Thuy Vo
Lam Thuy Vo is a multi-platform journalist currently producing infographics, videos and animations for The Wall Street Journal and NPR’s Planet Money. She is an instructor in multimedia and data journalism and has spoken at conferences and universities around the world.
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Susan E. McGregor
Susan E. McGregor was the Senior Programmer on the News Graphics team at the Wall Street Journal Online for four years before leaving to join the Tow Center for Digital Journalism in 2011. An expert developer in multiple languages, Susan specializes in areas of data journalism and information visualization.
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Theresa Loong is a filmmaker and interactive media professional whose work has been exhibited worldwide. She directed the documentary Every Day Is a Holiday and has produced digital media projects with AMC Networks, nymag.com and Food & Wine magazine. A Harvard graduate, she has lectured at New York University and The New School.
Laura Nova is an artist and associate professor in creative art and technology at Bloomfield College in New Jersey. She received Lower Manhattan Cultural Council funding to create The Crescendo Project, an interactive praise-singing machine. She holds a master of fine arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and was a Rotary scholar at Goldsmiths College.
Developers & Designers:
Lauren Hasson is an iOS developer with a degree in electrical engineering, computer science and economics from Duke University. She is a graduate of Leadership Texas and is co-chair of the Dallas chapter of Women in Wireless. She currently develops iOS apps at Bottle Rocket Apps in Dallas, which she describes as “the greatest place to work on Earth.”
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Sumin Chou is Co-Founder and Principal of Concentric Studio and oversees strategic direction, conceptual and aesthetic design as well as engineering for all projects. An interactive industry veteran, Sumin previously served as design director for New York Times Digital, where he oversaw all interactive design projects.
Sonna Kim is a visual designer and musician with experience creating interactive applications and websites for Fortune 100 companies and startups. She has degrees from Princeton, MIT and Parsons and has performed on the cello at major international festivals.
Michael Garofalo is senior producer for StoryCorps, where he leads the production team. He has had a hand in nearly all of StoryCorps’ content, including producing segments for NPR’s Morning Edition and the StoryCorps podcast and co-producing animated shorts on POV.
Isaac Kestenbaum is the production manager for StoryCorps. He previously worked as a reporter for the Portland Press Herald and logged many hours as an erstwhile farmer and lobsterman. He is a graduate of Vassar College and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies.
Antonio Kaplan is the CEO of Innovent and creator of the Transmedia Toolbox. Leveraging decades of experience in online video and media, he co-founded Innovent to help media creators use technological innovation to realize their creative and commercial goals.
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Matt Oltendorf works in Interactive Development at Innovent, working directly with clients, taking project visions and inventing new unique ways to efficiently achieve the project goals.
Sam Bailey has been designing and building new media projects for FRONTLINE since 1996. Previously he was the webmaster of Random House. He’s built many interactives, a video system and a simulated stock market game tied to the 2004 Presidential Elections. As a contractor he’s worked with ABC and others.
Philippe Pierre is the Director of Operations at Socialbomb, a social media agency which specializes in creating applications that integrate with social platforms, and mobile applications tailored to engaging users.