October 22, 2015

Contact: Susan Helmink

October 22, 2015
For Immediate Release:

Tribeca Film Institute® and Vision Maker Media 
Spotlight Native Stories for
Tribeca Hacks <NDN Identity> in Oklahoma

(MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA): Bacone College is thrilled to announce that it will be hosting a hackathon for interactive storytellers Dec 3-6. The Tribeca Hacks <NDN Identity> will be offered in partnership with Vision Maker Media, Tribeca Film Institute, Pacific Islanders in Communications, OETA and Bacone. The four-day event will feature creative talent from across the United States in a medium in which all filmmakers, designers, technologists, visual artists and storytellers will find inspiration.

The hackathon will take place at Bacone's historic campus in Muskogee. Each team will select a project pertaining to "Identity in Indian Country" and expand it via interactive installation, live performance, web, or tablet-based platforms. No prior knowledge in programming or electronics is needed for storytellers. Apply now online:
(Deadline is Nov. 11.)

"Technologists and artists make up two distinctive communities that continue to be on the forefront of sharing new ideas and challenging old ones-yet the two often have very little chance to work together, especially in Indian Country," said Georgiana Lee (Navajo), assistant director for Vision Maker Media. Tribeca Hacks <NDN Identity> will gather Native American coders, developers and technologists with Native American filmmakers and visual artists in Muskogee to collaborate and create a mutually beneficial creative exchange, allowing for innovative creative visions to come to life and be shared with a worldwide digital audience."

This year, Pacific Islanders in Communications will join the hackathon to bring Pacific Islander media makers to the event. 

"This is a wonderful opportunity for our Pacific Islander media makers to add their unique perspectives to the exploration of identity," said Cheryl Hirasa, Director of Program Development and Content Strategy for Pacific Islanders in Communications.

Tribeca Hacks <NDN Identity> is one of a series of hackathons in Tribeca Film Institute's Tribeca Hacks program, which creates such events around the world to increase understanding and broaden participation in the field of interactive storytelling. These workshops give creative media artists the insight and skills to develop robust interactive prototypes or projects that effectively engage with audiences.

Additionally, it provides the talent a chance to experiment with new tools and the latest technologies. These workshops provide heavy emphasis on showcasing innovation in this field for artists, funders and the public. A primary goal of the program is teach new modes of storytelling to filmmakers and, in turn, to broaden technologists' portfolios and skill sets by working with new sorts of partners. Tribeca Hacks is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

"Since 2012--our hackathon program's inception--we have seen the interactive field and our community explode globally. We are now focusing not only on creating and supporting visionary work and storytellers, but also on making sure various communities are a part of this culture shift," said Opeyemi Olukemi, Senior Director of Interactive for Tribeca Film Institute.

Vision Maker Media has supported Native filmmakers through funding and training opportunities to tell their stories through the form of non-fiction programming on public television. One of Vision Maker Media's goals in hosting the Hackathon was to encourage Native filmmakers and storytellers to consider building interactive storytelling around their programs.

Bacone College soon celebrates its 135th anniversary-the oldest continuing center of higher education in Oklahoma, with a mission to serve Native Americans in a nurturing Christian environment. Bacone's rich historic ties with Native American artists and its location deep in the heart of Indian Country make it the ideal place to inspire artists of every kind.

For a full list of the 2014 participants and a list of the projects created, visit:
For video coverage from the 2014 hackathon in Santa Fe, New Mexico, by New Mexico PBS, visit:
About Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC) - Since 1991, PIC's mission has been to support, advance and develop programming that enhances public recognition of and appreciation for Pacific Islander history, culture and society. PIC works with independent producers to create and distribute programs about Pacific Islanders that bring new audiences to public television, advance issues, and represent diverse voices and points of view not usually seen on public or commercial television. PIC offers a wide range of development opportunities for Pacific Island producers through fellowships, seminars and media training. PIC is a member of the National Minority Consortia, which collectively addresses the need for programming that reflects America's growing ethnic and cultural diversity. Primary funding for PIC and the Consortia is provided through an annual grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Visit piccom.org for additional information.

About OETA - OETA, the Oklahoma Network, consistently engages Oklahomans across the state with educational and public television programming, outreach initiatives and online features that collectively encourage lifelong learning. Explore www.oeta.tv for more information about local productions, digital television, community resources and show schedules.

Tribeca Film Institute® (TFI) champions storytellers to be catalysts for change in their communities and around the world. Through grants and professional development programs, TFI supports a diverse, exceptional group of filmmakers and media artists, providing them resources needed to fully realize their stories and connect with audiences. The Institute's educational programming leverages an extensive film community network to help underserved New York City students learn filmmaking and gain the media skills necessary to be productive citizens and creative individuals in the 21st century. Featuring hands-on training and exposure to socially relevant films, the Institute administers programs to more than 25,000 students annually. TFI was founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001, and is a 501(c)(3) year-round nonprofit arts organization. For more information, visit www.tribecafilminstitute.org.


About Vision Maker Media
Vision Maker Media shares Native stories with the world that represent the cultures, experiences, and values of American Indians and Alaska Natives. Founded in 1977, Vision Maker Media, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) which receives major funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, nurtures creativity for development of new projects, partnerships, and funding. Vision Maker Media is the premier source for quality Native American and Pacific Islander educational and home videos. All aspects of our programs encourage the involvement of young people to learn more about careers in the media--to be the next generation of storytellers. Located at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, we offer student employment and internships. For more information, visit www.visionmakermedia.org.

Download the Full Press Release:
Susan Helmink, Director of Communications
Vision Maker Media
shelmink@netad.unl.edu | 402-472-8607

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