Go down a virtual reality rabbit hole into increasingly strange worlds, re-visit memories through obsolete technologies we’ve used to store and document our past, explore an app helping filmmakers find scientists to ensure “good science” in sci-fi, solve the mystery of a peeping tom with 360 interactive video…

Since 2012, POV has brought together visionary filmmakers and inventive technologists to “re-imagine the documentary for web” in a single weekend. The tenth edition of our non-fiction lab (and second edition in Los Angeles!) POV Hackathon has concluded… Now, spend some time exploring what four teams of hackers — most of whom had never met before participating — created in just one weekend at the CreatorUp!

Find out more about the POV Hackathon process and future calls for participants »

See photos from POV Hackathon 10 at the CreatorUp »

Start viewing the prototypes from POV Hackathon 10 »


Virtual Virtual Reality (We Must Go Deeper)

An introductory experience from We Must Go Deeper / Virtual Virtual Reality at POV Hackathon 10

Team: Danny Cannizzaro, Julian Ceipek, Zach R. D., Neilson Koerner-Safrata

About the project: In the near future, you are a temp worker connecting to “Activitude: Virtual Labor System”. Assigned to menial labor, you escape into different worlds through an endless array of VR headsets. VVR plays with language around VR hype and tropes as a way to highlight society’s obsession with “immersion”.

Project release: TBD. VVR will be released for mobile as well as google cardboard.


  • Unity 5: We are building out Virtual Virtual Reality using the unity game engine. This enables us to make the experience run across multiple platforms.
  • C# is the main coding language we are using in the Unity environment
  • Git for code source control and collaborative working. Git lets multiple users work on branches of the project simultaneously.
  • Slack for chat and project organization.
  • Adobe CC for all design, sound editing, and texture manipulation.
  • Cinema 4D, Blender, and Maya for 3D model creation, rigging, and editing

Danny Cannizzaro

Danny Cannizzaro is an artist creating across animation, cinema, design and coding. He has worked professionally as art director on projects for Google and Facebook. With Samantha Gorman, he founded the artist group Tender Claws who’s most recent release, PRY, exhibited in the Independent Games Festival, The Future of Storytelling Conference and the New York Film Festival.



Julian Ceipek

Julian Ceipek is the polymathic Austrian co-founder of Giverspace, LLC. He has a B.S. in Engineering from Olin College of Engineering, where he learned how to learn, and is currently studying interaction design at USC’s Interactive Media and Games Design MFA program. His life’s work is to create beautiful experiences that empower people.



Zach R. D. (Photo: Abigail Davis)

Zach R. D. is a game designer/programmer currently in his final year at USC’s Interactive Media and Games MFA program.



Neilson Koerner-Safrata

Neilson Koerner-Safrata is a recent graduate of the USC Interactive Media and Games Design program. Originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, he eschewed the fresh air of Canada in order to study and work in game design in delicious delicious Los Angeles. His interests include analog photography, digital art, and competitive videogames.



All the Bits We’ve Lost

All the Bits We've Lost

All the Bits We’ve Lost prototype at POV Hackathon 10

View the mobile web app »
View the Android App »
View a sample timeline from the project »

iOS coming soon.

Team: Jonathan Durand, (Hugh) Xiaoyu Hou, Hank Knaack, Sharif Matar

About the project: The “All the Bits” app, based on the forthcoming documentary, explores memories we have created over the years… and the technology we’ve used to document them. What happens when technology becomes outdated and unsupported?


  • Ionic Framework + AngularJS for both iOS and Android mobile apps
  • Firebase for a real time database
  • HTML, CSS, Javascript, Photoshop, Premiere


Jonathan Durand

Jonathan Durand is a Montréal-based documentary director, cameraman and editor who is drawn to stories where memory, history, and society intersect. He is currently shooting a feature-length documentary, developed at the Berlinale Talent Campus, about Polish children growing up in refugee camps in Africa during the Second World War.



(Hugh) Xiaoyu Hou

Xiaoyu Hugh Hou is the CTO and Art Director of CreatorUp. He is specializing in Hybrid mobile app and Front-end development. Xiaoyu also run his own web/app development firm and works on different design / development projects. His clients include Cars.com, Dell, Vmware, Demandbase, and IBM.



Hank Knaack (Photo: Alisha Siegel)

Hank Knaack is a UX researcher and designer. His background in TV and film production informs his work in creative advertising for nonprofit and community-based organizations.



Sharif Matar

As a new media content strategist and video director, Sharif Matar has produced both commercial and journalistic works in the technology and digital media space on issues ranging from science and education to foreign policy and cyber security for tech and media organizations such as McAfee by Intel and Reason.com. Based in Los Angeles, Sharif is working in the evolving new media and UX design space.



Keep the Windows Open

Keep the Windows Open prototype at POV Hackathon 10

Team: Anil Baral, Luke Chayo, Veronica Flint, Terry Lawyer

About the project: A group of college students learn they have a video stalker. In order to figure out who it is, they must first find all the other victims in order to get enough clues to solve the mystery. A transmedia project, this story will use a traditional web series, with interactive 360 video and gaming to let the audience solve the mystery.


  • Unity
  • Photoshop
  • AfterEffects
  • Premiere Pro
  • Illustrator


Anil Baral

As a writer/producer, Anil Baral has projects in television, feature film, and theatre. He has a movie about Ethel and Julius Rosenberg and stage musical set during the Irish Troubles. Anil has participated in the PGA Diversity Workshop, Film Independent’s Producer’s Lab, Sloan Foundation’s Screenplay Grant, and the NYFA Screenplay Grant.



Luke Chayo

Luke Chayo is a student from Southern California, interested in all aspects of film and striving to create meaningful content.



Veronica Flint

Veronica Flint is a 3D artist and winner of hackathon prizes for her talents with Leap Motion and Oculus Rift technologies. She is expert with Maya 3D software.



Terry Lawyer

Terry Lawyer is a UX designer and creative director specializing in producing mobile apps, web apps, and experiential installations for creative agencies and their clients. His work has ranged from games and entertainment experiences to Internet of Things applications and consumer digital products.



Reel Science

Reel Science

Reel Science prototype at POV Hackathon 10

View the prototype »
Watch the sizzle reel »

Team: Anna Donlin, Caryn Drake, Jennie Lake, Hoang Nguyen, Hanna Vastinsalo

About the project: ReelScience is a community-based web app connecting curated scientists with storytellers to help improve science in film.


  • HTML, CSS, Javascript, AngularJS and Ionic Framework were used to build our multi-platform mobile app
  • Visual Studio Code (IDE) was used to code
  • Local Storage for data
  • Adobe Suite of Applications Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator were used to create the logo and the graphics for our app and to design some of the pages. Our project sizzle reel was edited in Adobe Premiere Pro
  • Slack: With so many elements and so many people working together, we used Slack as our primary communication and file sharing service. It made life infinitely easier and makes it possible for new team members to review the history of our project and decisions
  • Vimeo hosts our project sizzle
  • We used Dropbox to share files
  • Fireworks to design the look of the app


Anna Donlin

Anna Donlin is a designer with GoTo, Overture, Yahoo! Search Marketing and TripAdvisor, with years of experience designing for online search. A three-year stint working with architecture firms in Berlin as a participant of a sister city professional exchange program greatly influenced Anna’s design aesthetic and international design focus.



Caryn Drake

Caryn Drake’s multi-faceted skills include graphic design, digital post-production and marketing and social media campaign planning and execution. Caryn has worked with FOX, CBS Sports, Mattel, Hasbro, Disney, Warner Bros, LEGO, Universal, The Jim Henson Company, Shout Factory, the UFC, Cirque du Soleil, AEG Live, and Lionsgate.



Jennie Lake

Jennie Lake is a producer using her global perspective and literacy in numerous artistic mediums including film, television and stage performance to bring a wide spectrum of characters and concepts to life. She excels in storytelling and collaboration, managing creative teams on projects ranging from commercial campaigns to web-series and feature films.



Hoang Nguyen

Hoang Ngyuyen is a technical entrepreneur working to change and fix our education system for all kids struggling in school. Hoang has more than 15 years of experience coding, working on software projects and managing projects involving multiple teams. Hoang specializes in focusing on a vision and executing it.



Hanna Vastinsalo

Hanna Västinsalo defended her PhD thesis in the Molecular Genetics of Usher Syndrome but found her calling in filmmaking and received her MFA in directing at the American Film Institute. She recently received the Finnish Culture Foundation grant to develop her first feature about Usher syndrome, inherited progressive deaf-blindness.




Participants at POV Hackathon 10

POV Hackathon mentors play a critical role in providing feedback, project management, therapeutic counselling… whatever is needed at any time to help the teams get their prototypes presentation-ready over the course of the weekend.

Kevin Berson (Kinected Consulting)
Chuck Chugumlung (Annexx Group)
Ralph Echemendia (The Ethical Hacker)
Keri Kukral (Raw Science)
Eddie Lee (Funktronic Labs)
Rory Mitchell
Evette Vargas (Digital Reign)
Praveen Yalamanchi (Transmedia Studios)
Julie Young (Emblematic Group)

Additional thanks to judges Amy McCabe Heibel (VP Technology, Web and Digital Design, Los Angeles County Museum of Art), Richard Ray Perez (Producer, Creative Partnerships, Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program) and Julie Young (Producer, Emblematic Group) for lending their expertise and advice to participants at the POV Hackathon 10 prototype screening.

Thanks to our partners, Film Independent, StoryCode LA and Creator Up!

If you missed any of them, here are links for quick access to the POV Hackathon 10 prototypes:

» Virtual Virtual Reality (We Must Go Deeper) (Participants’ Choice Award winner)
» All the Bits We’ve Lost
» Keep the Windows Open
» Reel Science

Want to see more? View the prototypes from past POV Hackathons at pbs.org/pov/hackathon »

Keep up with developments at POV Hackathon: Subscribe to POV’s documentary blog, like POV on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @povdocs!

Published by

POV Staff
POV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 400 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.