New York, NY — May 24, 2016 — The award-winning PBS documentary series POV is announcing POV Digital Lab, a weekend media incubator for independent storytelling projects. Applications are now open for teams that seek to innovate with story form and technology.

The labs are a continuation of POV Hackathon, which since 2012 has had a stunning rate of converting ideas into prototypes that become real storytelling “products” and a track record of launching funded, highly viewed and award-winning media. Previously incubated projects have included virtual reality, 360-degree video, augmented reality, text interfaces and iOS video apps. Alumni projects also boast nominations from the Webby awards and Emmy awards along with showcases at festivals such as SXSW, the Tribeca Film Festival, the New York Film Festival and International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA). Fast Company went so far as calling POV Hackathon one of the most anticipated events of 2014.

Under the new branding, the POV Digital Lab will be held in three cities in 2016 – New York City (September 24-25), Los Angeles (October 15-16, 2016) and San Francisco (October 29-30, 2016), with public screenings on the evening of the second day. Free tickets for the public screenings will be released later this summer.

“For decades, innovation has been at the core of what POV does,” says POV Digital Executive Producer Adnaan Wasey. “We were online and crowdsourcing television in the early 1990s, investing in web series in the early 2000s, and now the Digital Labs are our way to accelerate the creation and exploration in the new digital landscape of video, apps and connected mobile devices.”

Previous winners of lab prizes include the virtual reality game “We Must Go Deeper,” the “Tinder for storytelling” mobile app “Hello, Fat Larry,” the graphic novel companion app “The Dandelion King”, the VR experience “The Enemy” (“Portraits of the Enemies”), the Emmy-award nominated interactive video “Empire,” and the Webby-award nominated exploration of race in America “Whiteness Project.”

POV Digital Lab 2016 New York City (Sept. 24-25, 2016) will be held in partnership with The Centre for Social Innovation, a coworking space, community and launchpad for people who are changing the world.

POV Digital Lab 2016 Los Angeles (Oct. 15-16, 2016) will be held in partnership with CreatorUp!, an online education platform connecting and educating independent content creators with advice on how to tell their story and make great videos, web series, and YouTube shows; and The Impact Hub Los Angeles, a coworking space and community hub for socially conscious creatives, entrepreneurs, community leaders and organizations.

POV Digital Lab 2016 San Francisco (Oct. 29-30, 2016) will be held in partnership with KQED, public media for Northern California.

How will you re-invent the future of storytelling? The application forms for storytelling-hacker teams are now available at The deadline to apply is August 19, 2016.

POV Digital Labs are supported by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.


Since 1994, POV Digital has driven new storytelling initiatives and interactive production for POV. The department created PBS’s first program website and its first web-based documentary (POV’s Borders) and has won major awards, including a Webby Award (and six nominations) and an Online News Association Award. POV Digital continues to explore the future of independent nonfiction media through its digital productions and the POV Digital Lab, where media makers and technologists collaborate to reinvent storytelling forms. @povdocs on Twitter.


Produced by American Documentary, Inc., POV is public television’s premier showcase for nonfiction films. Since 1988, POV has been the home for the world’s boldest contemporary filmmakers, celebrating intriguing personal stories that spark conversation and inspire action. Always an innovator, POV discovers fresh new voices and creates interactive experiences that shine a light on social issues and elevate the art of storytelling. With our documentary broadcasts, original online programming and dynamic community engagement campaigns, we are committed to supporting films that capture the imagination and present diverse perspectives.

POV films have won 34 Emmy® Awards, 19 George Foster Peabody Awards, 12 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, three Academy Awards®, the first-ever George Polk Documentary Film Award and the Prix Italia. The POV series has been honored with a Special News & Documentary Emmy Award for Excellence in Television Documentary Filmmaking, three IDA Awards for Best Curated Series and the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) Award for Corporate Commitment to Diversity. Learn more:

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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.