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POV Hackathon 4: Explore the Prototypes and the Technology

Five teams "re-invented the documentary" at POV's latest weekend laboratory of nonfiction storytelling and technology.

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Approaching the Elephant


Click on the image to interact with a demo of the Approaching the Elephant prototype developed at POV Hackathon.

Launch the prototype »

Team: Sonna Kim, Alexander Khost, Amanda Wilder.

About the Project: Explore a year in the lives of young children at a “free school” (where rules are created democratically) through interlocking video that offers multiple narratives.

After reading the initial quote, click anywhere on the page to see the interactive site. Since this is a prototype, there are four sample scenes, the actual project will have many more.

Approaching the Elephant Film Website »
Follow @ApproachtheE on Twitter »
Follow Approaching the Elephant on Facebook »


  • HTML5 & CSS3: The basic building blocks for building a website.
  • JavaScript & jQuery: Used to make the site interactive.
  • Popcorn.js: A JavaScript library used for integrating the web into video production.
  • Google Fonts: Used for custom, web-friendly fonts.
  • Dropbox: Used to share files between members of the team.
  • Final Cut Pro: Video-editing software.

Sonna Kim

Sonna Kim

Interactive Art Director New York City Sonna Kim is a visual designer and musician with experience creating interactive applications and websites for Fortune 100 companies and startups. She is also a Juilliard alum and has performed at major festivals in the US and abroad.


Alexander Khost

Alexander Khost is a father, artist, educator, and web developer. His work focuses on collaboration through non-coercive processes and a positive community impact through actual hands-on experiential learning and play. Khost founded the Teddy McArdle Free School upon which the documentary Approaching the Elephant is based.

» Portfolio Website
» Alexander Khost on LinkedIn
» Follow @akhost on Twitter


Amanda Wilder

Amanda Wilder is a filmmaker living in Brooklyn, New York. Her short film subjects include toil textile artist Richard Saja and Mayah, a girl unschooled on a farm in Vermont. Approaching the Elephant will be Wilder’s first feature. The documentary was recently selected for IFP Labs, IFP’s year-long mentorship program.

» Follow @AmandaWilder on Twitter
» Follow @ApproachtheE on Twitter

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POV Staff
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 300 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.