Lights! Camera! Data! Ashland Independent Film Festival hosts hack day featuring Immigrant Nation

Film can serve to entertain, to educate, and to inspire. But some projects can also serve as an incredibly rich and interesting pool of data. And given the increasingly blurry line between technology and storytelling, the Ashland Independent Film Festival is hosting an event that creatively combines the two, April 6-7.

Designed to coincide with the annual Ashland Independent Film Festival, AIFF, Oregon Film, Southern Oregon University Emerging Media & Digital Art, the Technology Association of Oregon, and PIE (Portland Incubator Experiment) are working to gather filmmakers, developers, designers, and other creatives together to explore the potential of collaborating for the weekend—with the hopes of creating some new ways of experiencing stories and data.

The primary property for the event will be Immigrant Nation. It’s an interactive project created by Theo Rigby that allows participants to watch powerful short documentaries, then create and share personal immigration stories. But it’s also an incredible dataset that provides an interesting perspective on immigration in the United States—a dataset that’s ripe for visualization and augmentation.


Even better? It’s going to be a dynamic dataset. You see, Theo will be working throughout the festival to add more stories—and increase the available data for the project—with installations around Ashland that allow people to view existing stories and share their own.

Sound interesting? We’d love to have you join us for the event. What’s more, we’d love to make this an opportunity for hackers from all over Oregon to descend upon Ashland for a few days to spend time with their peers from other Oregon towns. And if friends from northern California want to come up? All the better.

What if you’ve got another project in mind besides Immigrant Nation? That’s fine too. This is just a compelling opportunity to get a variety of creative people in one room with the hopes of exploring ideas we don’t always get the chance—or inspiration—to build.

And finally, if you’re planning to apply for the next class of PIE or have already submitted your startup—applications are due April 15—this is a perfect opportunity to spend time showing off your development and management skills.

For more information or to RSVP, visit the Immigrant Nation hack. For more information on the festival, visit Ashland Independent Film Festival.

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