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. At POV Hackathon 5, five mentors shared their expertise with the teams, and we can’t thank them enough for their time and for sharing their wisdom.

Photo: Ann Bennett

Ann Bennett is a filmmaker, writer, and transmedia producer. She has worked on a host of documentaries and new media projects for public television, cable networks, and museums. Ann’s goal is to explore the nexus of history, culture, and technology.



Amanda Hickman Photo: Ricardo Nelson

Amanda Hickman is an innovative leader in online reporting and media strategy and has deep experience working with low income communities in New York City and across the US. Amanda has spent more than a decade working at the intersection of journalism and civic engagement, reporting on local and international events and helping community organizers understand and draw their membership into the political process.

As Director of Technology at Gotham Gazette, her work won numerous awards, including multiple notable entries to the Knight Batten Awards for Innovation in Journalism and an award in General Excellence in Online Journalism from the Online News Association and a Knight News Challenge Innovation grant. In 2009, Amanda left Gotham Gazette to launch DocumentCloud, an award winning reporting tool and catalog of primary source documents now used by thousands of journalists around the world.

Amanda now teaches multimedia storytelling and data visualization at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, and has taught reporting at Columbia’s Journalism School, where she also helped launch The New York World. As a consultant, she works with diverse clients who share a genuine interest in reaching new audiences and engaging them in campaigns and reporting. In addition to Union Settlement House, her current client list includes Studio Rev, a visionary pioneer in transmedia and interactive storytelling, and Adapt NY reporting project that is expanding citizen involvement in New York City’s climate adaptation planning.

» Amanda Hickman at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism


Photo: Thomas Prior

Takaaki Okada is a creative director & advisor, photographer, and filmmaker. His clients include: The National Film Board of Canada, Sundance, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Magnum, and Bloomberg. He co-founded a video technology company, Condition One. His work for One Laptop Per Child is in the permanent collection at MoMA.



Photo: Ivan Kander

Joe Posner works at the intersection of documentary film and motion design. He has contributed design and animation to several documentary films, most recently the Tribeca-winning Point And Shoot. He recently became Video Director for Ezra Klein’s new explanatory journalism site

» @joeposner


Photo: Ben Gancsos

Emma Raynes is a Program Director at the Magnum Foundation, where she supports photographers to cover under-reported stories on pressing global issues. Through the Magnum Foundation’s Photography, Expanded initiative Raynes inspires photographers to form interdisciplinary partnerships and apply new tools and approaches to their socially engaged narratives. Raynes earned a BA in Art History from Bowdoin College and an MA in Cultural Anthropology from the New School for Social Research. She is the recipient of several awards for research and photography, including a Hine Fellowship from Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies.

» Photo Expanded on Facebook
» Magnum Foundation



The prototypes were presented to a public audience and judges who represent a cross-section of the documentary and technology industries. POV Hackathon 5’s judges consisted of Brent Hoff (IDFA Doc Lab | NY Media Center), Ingrid Kopp (Tribeca Film StoryScapes) and Edwin Torres (Rockefeller Foundation).

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.