An image from The Whiteness Project, a project selected for POV Hackathon 2 (Jan. 12-13, 2013).

POV Hackathon 2 is getting underway this weekend. In a series of blog posts, we’re introducing you to the participating filmmakers, developers and designers.

The Whiteness Project is a cross-platform investigation into how white Americans experience their ethnicity. It will live primarily on the Internet and will also have film and art-installation components. The POV Hackathon 2 team includes filmmaker Whitney Dow, designers John Kudos and Sumit Paul, researcher Chithra Jeyaram and mentor Dante Chinni.

Whitney Dow (Photo: Two Tone Productions)

Whitney Dow’s directing credits include: Two Towns of Jasper, I Sit Where I Want, Unfinished Country and When the Drum is Beating. He has produced such films as Freedom Summer, Banished, The Undocumented and Toots, and been recognized with honors including the Peabody, a Columbia DuPont, Gotham, and Beacon Awards.

Over my 20 years as a filmmaker, I have developed a very specific set of skills and creative partnerships that enable me to create the liner narratives of my feature documentaries. As I began to develop the concept of the Whiteness Project, I realized that in order to create the type of project I am hoping to, it would be necessary for me learn a completely new way of thinking about content and narrative. The POV Hackathon 2 will give me an opportunity to work with people who attack content in a very different way than I. Together I hope we can produce something unique and compelling.

» Production Company Website

John Kudos (photo: Kiki Katahira)

John Kudos is a designer, educator, thinker, and strategist. He was a designer at Pentagram for 7 years, before co-founding Studio Kudos Design Collaboratory in 2008 where he produces editorial, interactive, and branded experiences in print, web, and spatial forms.

I love being part of the community of creators who make things that they love and believe in. In contrast to my day-to-day client/designer relationship, the POV Hackathon 2 will allow me to think freely without constraints and spend the weekend trying and learning new things. Storytelling has always govern much of my work. Being able to collaborate with filmmakers and other critical thinkers while having fun will be an irreplaceable experience.

» Official Website
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Sumit Paul (Photo: Jesse Lash)

Sumit Paul is an interactive designer with a passion for typographically sound design and easy to use interactive experiences. At Studio Kudos, Sumit designs and develops experiences for the web and mobile devices.

In design school, I took a class in motion graphics and animation. Some of my classmates were film students, and even though we were great friends we never got a chance to collaborate on a project. I think the POV Hackathon 2 is a great opportunity for me to see some good story driven interactive work and to work with filmmakers. I am a big fan of documentary films and cinema in general. I hope to gain insight into how filmmakers work and think and understand how they see the world.

» Follow @sumitpaul on Twitter

Dante Chinni (Photo: Nancy Anderson)

Dante Chinni is the director of Patchwork Nation, a journalism project that won a 2009 Knight Batten Award, and author of the book Our Patchwork Nation. He writes the weekly Politics Counts column for the Wall Street Journal and has covered politics and media for almost two decades.

» Company Website
» Personal Website




Chithra Jeyaram

Chithra Jeyaram is filmmaker and physical therapist with an MFA in film from University of Texas at Austin. She is an adjunct faculty at George Washington University. Her formative years in India, Kuwait and USA give her multicultural sensibilities that allow her to navigate different worlds with ease and bring divergent viewpoints to any discussion naturally.

In my opinion, the most amazing feature of interactive storytelling is that the whole is always larger than the sum of the parts. Learning by immersion works best for me and I hope to respect, appreciate and understand the amount of effort and manpower that goes into bringing interactive stories to life.

» Official Website
» Project: 1001 Breast Cancer Nights
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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.