Tribeca Hacks Takes On Documentaries

In June, our Digital Initiatives department headed over to Chicago to hold their latest Tribeca Hacks event. This one, titled <Data/Docs>, was a three-day hackathon in partnership with Kartemquin Films and the University of Chicago for documentary filmmakers, technologists and academics to think outside the box and immerse themselves into data-driven storytelling.

A big thanks as always to the Ford Foundation for making the Hacks possible, as well as the support of Kartemquin and the University of Chicago.

Above is a look inside what took place and below is a summary of the projects involved.



HOW TO BUILD A SCHOOL IN HAITI

The Team:
Jack C. Newell, Filmmaker
Dinesh Sabu, Filmmaker
Matthew Rowe, Designer/Developer
Yamho Chan, Designer/Developer

What We Created:
The website we created to accompany How to Build a School in Haiti is an NGO (non-governmental organization) resource driven by community feedback on international aid projects. The site empowers aid recipients to share their voice to affect NGO projects in their community. 

How to Build a School in Haiti tells the story of Tim Myers, a well-intentioned construction manager and his attempt to completely fund and construct a school in rural Villard, Haiti. Find us on Facebook



ALMOST THERE
Pictured Above

The Team:
Dan Rybicky, Filmmaker
Aaron Wickenden, Filmmaker
Janell Baxter, Interactive Media Developer
Bill Guschwan, Creative Technologist
Andrew Hicks, Interactive Media Designer and Developer
Phillip Hogan, Game Designer
Spencer Riedel, Game/Sound Designer

What We Created:

Drawing on the talents of our design team from Columbia College Chicago's Interactive Arts and Media Department, we used gaming technology to develop a personalized, interactive 3D storytelling experience where visitors can explore and contextualize the archive of art, text and ephemera of our documentary's 82-year-old protagonist Peter Anton in the environment in which he created it. We also gathered information and resource data to include on our website for those interested in helping Peter - and seniors in their neighborhoods like him - who struggle with poverty, disability, illness and deteriorating living conditions.

Almost There focuses on 82-year old "outsider" artist Peter Anton and how his life changes when his work is shown in a gallery for the first time, his house his condemned, and a series of helpers from his community - including the filmmakers - come together to help save him from homelessness.

 

 

 



THE AREA

The Team:
David Schalliol, Director
Brian Ashby, Co-Producer
Amit Kapada, Developer
Daniel Yu, Developer 

What We Created: 
The Tribeca Film Institute's hackathon provided us with the opportunity to develop our documentary's first online home, featuring a map-based timeline. The timeline combines public records to demonstrate how the train company is expanding into the neighborhood, gradually acquiring and demolishing homes, churches and stores. 

The Area (working title) tells the story of South Side Chicago residents who are struggling to maintain friendships and traditions while a freight yard expands into their neighborhood.

 

 


RAISING BERTIE


The Team: 

Bojan Radojcic, Designer/Developer

Philipp Batta, Designer

Bo Akerele, Designer

Margaret Byrne, Filmmaker

Ian Kibbe, Filmmaker

What We Created:
We designed and began coding an interactive website for the film. The site, which is designed to look hand drawn, displays relevant and easily accessible information about rural America paired with actual stories from the film. The hope is that this information will allow users to identify and connect with the issues facing rural America in powerful and personal ways.

In Raising Bertie, three young men grow up in a rural community where expectations are low and fighting is a way of life. When their alternative school closes down, they must find a way to survive in the community that rejected them.

 

 

 

ALL THE QUEEN’S HORSES

The Team:
Kelly Richmond Pope, Director
Alfredo Pantoja, Computer Programmer


What We Created:
Team All the Queen's Horses created an interactive website prototype that would educate people about the largest municipal fraud in U.S. history and encourage people to demand fiscal transparency in their communities.

Rita Crundwell, former city comptroller of Dixon, IL (pop. 15, 838) committed the largest municipal fraud in American history when she stole $53 million and remained undetected for 20 years. All the Queen's Horses follows her crime, her lavish lifestyle and the small town she left in her wake.


 

 

 



DECLARE HOME

The Team:
Helfand, Producer/Director
Fenell Doremus, Co-Producer
Daniel Latorre, Product Manager
Mark Blane, Designer
Al Candelario, Programmer

What We Created:
We’ve taken the most cogent lesson from the world of disaster preparedness,  “in the first 72 hours, nobody is coming for you; you’re only as safe as your block is organized,” and fused it with the strategic needs of community organizers doing rapid response to public health disasters in slow-motion. Our operating maxim: why wait till after a hurricane or an earthquake and an official declaration of “disaster” to rebuild, restore resilience and “bring back” vulnerable communities that have been hit. Let’s literally “restore power” to the “vulnerable” communities now.  

Enter Declare Home, a hand-held mobile app designed with organizers for organizers, united by their shared vision for restoring resilience, power and health to their communities, block-by-block. It purposefully, builds on the familiarity of the social media networking platform Facebook to forge a social values networking platform that generates the greatest impact through fostering collaboration across community based organizations -- “My diabetes intervention program is linked to your urban garden/access to healthy food initiative.” Declare Home will provide organizers with mobile tools, to more effectively navigate their constituents to, through and most importantly with the network of neighborhood resources that are out there but can be hard to access.  Critical to this platform will be a set of built in evaluation and collaboration tracking tools that can measure the value and effectiveness of the work and visualize resilience over time.