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: Steph Belsky

Steph Belsky is an engagement and content strategist, specializing in video for web and YouTube optimization. She has more than eight years experience in entertainment, digital marketing, and social media. She has worked with Fortune 500 companies, including Proctor & Gamble, Motorola, and Pepsico as well as some of the top advertising and public relations agencies.

» @stephbelsky

Photo: Peter S. Medina

Manish Goyal is the CEO at Friendbuy, which delivers engaging, organic and viral social media marketing for high-end
brands in apparel, accessories, home and health & beauty. He is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

» @Friendbuy

Photo: Myrna Suarez/The Film
Society of Lincoln Center

Kel O’Neill and Eline Jongsma work at the intersection of art, documentary and journalism. Their immersive documentary project Empire (IDFA 2012, NYFF 2013, SXSW 2014) was filmed in ten countries over four years, and
won the 2nd POV Hackathon’s Participants Choice Award.


Photo: Steve Kleiman

Steve Kleiman jumps between film and tech. He is currently CEO of, an online project management platform for film and TV projects (launches July 2014) and was previously Director of Technology & Operations for AOL’s West Coast Entertainment Division.

Photo: Ami Mariscal

Ami Mariscal is currently starting up the marketing and media company Good+WOW. They create WOW experiences that result in more sales and/or more investors for their clients. Good+WOW’s clients include businesses and filmmakers that are doing GOOD in the world. In 2013 Ami created Howhap, as in “how to make it happen.” She has also traveled the world creating art and exhibiting across the country and working on camera crews for movies and television.

» @amimariscal
» Ami Mariscal on LinkedIn
» Ami Mariscal on Facebook

Photo: Getty WireImage

Taylor McPartland graduated from Whittier College and dove into the entertainment space as a producer and screenwriter. Today he is the Forbes featured Co-Founder and President of FilmBreak.

» FilmBreak
» Clarity

Photo: Jon Michaels

Rain Breaw Michaels is the principal Project Manager and User Experience Designer with The Cherry Hill Company. With Cherry Hill, her primary focus has been producing digital tools for public libraries, higher education and non-profits. She holds an MFA from the USC School of Cinematic-Arts film production program.

» @rainbreaw
» Rain Breaw Michaels on Facebook
» Rain Breaw Michaels on LinkedIn

Photo: Sophia Viklund

Sophia Viklund is the Founder and Head of Strategic Relations of backCODE, a Pasadena based creative studio transforming education and engagement through entertainment that specializes in immersive games, interactive simulations, and premium digital educational content with clients like Lockheed Martin, Boeing and IARPA. Sophia is a serial technology entrepreneur since founding her first technology company in 1997.

Sophia was named in Forbes in July 2012 as one of a select group of “Female Founders to Watch” and in March 2013 as part of a group of “Women in Gaming to Watch.”

» @backCODE


The prototypes were presented to a public audience and judges who represent a cross-section of the documentary and technology industries. POV Hackathon 6’s judges consisted of David Craig (USC Annenberg), Lyn Goldfarb (Lyn Goldfarb Productions), Cooper Harris (Klickly) and Lori Kozlowski (Forbes) .

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.