• Independent film innovator will be embedded in POV for a one-year fellowship.
• Chirls is an interactive storyteller known for his pioneering work with Four-Eyed Monsters, Iron Sky, Popcorn.js and Seriously.js, among many other projects.
American Documentary Inc. today announced the selection of Brian Chirls as its POV Digital Technology Fellow, a yearlong fellowship for a technologist to develop digital tools for documentary filmmakers, journalists and other nonfiction media-makers. The position is a first for POV and is funded as part of a $250,000 grant from John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
Chirls is a recognized innovator in the independent film world, dating back to his pioneering work with 2005’s Four-Eyed Monsters, the first feature-length film featured on YouTube, the first to screen in a virtual world, and the first to be distributed based on audience demand.
Chirls will report to Adnaan Wasey, Executive Producer of POV Digital, and will work with filmmakers and various non-fiction producers.
Most recently, Chirls has worked on interactive projects for the citizen journalism documentary 18 Days in Egypt, an interactive making-of version of an OK Go music video, and the browser-based video compositing tool Seriously.js. He was formerly Lead Video Player Developer for the interactive video platform Hapyak and is a contributor to the Popcorn.js platform.
Chirls holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Economics, both from the University of Pennsylvania.
Follow Chirls on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bchirls.
POV Digital (www.pbs.org/pov/)
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 Hackathon lab, where media makers and technologists collaborate to reinvent storytelling forms. @povdocs on Twitter.
Produced by American Documentary, Inc. and now in its 27th season on PBS, the award-winning POV is the longest-running showcase on American television to feature the work of today’s best independent documentary filmmakers. POV has brought more than 365 acclaimed documentaries to millions nationwide. POV films have won every major film and broadcasting award, including 32 Emmys, 17 George Foster Peabody Awards, 10 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, three Academy Awards® and the Prix Italia. Since 1988, POV has pioneered the art of presentation and outreach using independent nonfiction media to build new communities in conversation about today’s most pressing social issues. Visit www.pbs.org/pov.
American Documentary, Inc. (www.amdoc.org/)
American Documentary, Inc. (AmDoc) is a multimedia company dedicated to creating, identifying and presenting contemporary stories that express opinions and perspectives rarely featured in mainstream media outlets. AmDoc is a catalyst for public culture, developing collaborative strategic engagement activities around socially relevant content on television, online and in community settings. These activities are designed to trigger action, from dialogue and feedback to educational opportunities and community participation.
Major funding for POV is provided by PBS, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Bertha Foundation, Wyncote Foundation, The Educational Foundation of America, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee, and public television viewers. POV is presented by a consortium of public television stations, including KQED San Francisco, WGBH Boston and THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG.