Participants at the DocMontevideo Hackathon in Montevideo, Uruguay. (Credit: Luciano Demarco).

DocMontevideo held their first Hackathon in Montevideo, Uruguay from July 19-22, 2013. Over a period of 48 hours, three teams of filmmakers and technologists produced interactive prototypes for documentary film projects. Held in conjunction with the annual DocMontevideo Documentary Workshop, at the end of the Hackathon the teams pitched their final prototypes in front of an audience of industry professionals.

Participating teams included Fatherland (Argentina), Frozen Man (Uruguay), and The Lost City of the Caesars (Chile).

Teams for the Hackathon were chosen by invitation, with DocMontevideo reaching out to filmmakers that had passed through their annual workshop pitching forum over the last three years. From that pool, they selected three South American projects from Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. After assembling the teams by reaching out to programmers, web developers and designers from universities and arts institutions based in Montevideo, they held the first stage of the Hackathon online, and then gathered all teams to produce the prototypes face-to-face in Montevideo.

Luis González, the director of DocMontevideo notes that they worked hard to create strong partnerships for the event. “We built it with the National Film Board of Canada and then we invited Arte in France to be on board. It was our first Hackathon and gained advice from other organizations who have held similar Hackathons, like POV.”

The rules for the Hackathon were simple: prototypes must have one dynamic aspect, use a full browser design optimized for Chrome or Firefox browsers, use video, still image, text and sound, have no menu, and finally — that teams were allowed to break only one of these rules.

Team One: Fatherland (Argentina) is a journey by the cemetery of La Recoleta, Buenos Aires and the history of Argentina based on the 2011 feature-length film by Nicolás Prividera. Launch the prototype »


Click on the image to interact with a demo of the Fatherland prototype developed at the DocMontevideo Hackathon.

Team Two: Frozen man (Uruguay) is an exploration of the loneliness in a trip through the Antarctica. Launch the prototype »


Click on the image to interact with a demo of the Frozen Man prototype developed at the DocMontevideo Hackathon.

Team Three: The Lost City of the Caesars (Chile) is an essay about the places we want to live, based in a popular myth in Chile. Directed by filmmaker Francisco Hervé. Launch the prototype »


Click on the image to interact with a demo of the The Lost City of the Caesars prototype developed at the DocMontevideo Hackathon.

From the Hackathon, González is confident that the participants took away a new model of working with people from different disciplines. “Now in a real and practical way, the filmmakers got what they needed to develop and create interactive content. And they also got great prototypes because they stayed until the end.” The next DocMontevideo Hackathon will take place in 2014.

The tutors on the DocMontevideo Hackathon were Hugues Sweeney (NFB), Dominique Willieme (NFB), Martin Viau (NFB) and Alexander Knetig (ARTE). This activity was co-organized with the National Film Board of Canada with support from Arte France, and was sponsored by ANII and DINATEL – MIEM.

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Shannon Carroll was Digital Community Associate at POV, where she supported POV's social networks.