FilmHack in Mordy

FilmHack: Crafting interactive stories in virtual spaces

Dream: The aspiration behind FilmHack was to enrich the social memory of Polish-Jewish relations before the war through an innovative digital approach. The project sought to attract new audiences by creating interactive films that blend education, culture, and technology, making history accessible and engaging for a modern audience.

Idea: Inspired by the success of a hackathon attended by the Karta team in 2018, the concept of FilmHack emerged. The project aimed to develop prototypes of interactive films focused on the Polish-Jewish history of Mordy town, employing a medium where viewers could influence the storyline. This approach intended to foster critical thinking and engagement with historical narratives.

Realization: The journey to bring FilmHack to life started in 2019 with a grant application and culminated in a two-weekend hackathon in May 2020. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the team adapted to an online format, conducting community work, recording interviews, and managing the hackathon with a blend of promotional campaigns and expert collaborations.

Challenges and Solutions: Transitioning to a fully online event in the wake of COVID-19 required innovative use of digital tools and platforms. The team overcame obstacles by leveraging well-known technologies like MS Teams, Zoom, and Figma for prototyping, ensuring the hackathon's smooth execution and fostering community building around the subject.

Innovation: FilmHack stands as a pioneering project in Poland, exploring the potential of interactive films for educational and cultural purposes. By integrating local history with digital storytelling, the project not only promoted Polish-Jewish heritage but also paved the way for future innovations in interactive media.

Effect: The project succeeded in building a community of interdisciplinary participants, from filmmakers to historians, and engaging them in the creation of interactive film prototypes. This collaborative effort resulted in an enhanced understanding of Polish-Jewish history and showcased the potential of digital platforms in preserving and disseminating cultural narratives.

Target Audience: FilmHack targeted a diverse group, including Karta’s regular audience of teachers and students, the local community of Mordy, and professionals like filmmakers, archivists, and programmers. The hackathon itself attracted testers, culture enthusiasts, mentors, and juries, broadening its impact.

Sustainability: Despite being an experimental initiative, FilmHack demonstrated the potential for transferability to other institutions and contexts. The project underscored the importance of flexibility in innovation programs and highlighted the challenges of securing funding for the completion of film prototypes.

Digital Tools: The project utilized a mix of familiar and innovative digital tools to facilitate collaboration and prototyping. This approach emphasized the importance of accessibility and efficiency in digital project management, making use of platforms like Facebook Groups, Google Calendar, and Zoom for seamless online interactions.

Funding: Funded entirely by the Memory-Responsibility-Future Foundation through the Digital Memory competition, FilmHack navigated the constraints of a medium budget, highlighting the need for additional financial support for film implementation and prizes.

Plans: Moving forward, the project aims to secure involvement from a new sponsor partner to continue the development and dissemination of interactive film prototypes. This future direction promises to further explore the intersection of history, technology, and storytelling, ensuring the longevity and evolution of FilmHack's innovative approach to cultural education.

Responsible institution: KARTA Center Foundation - Fundacja Ośrodka KARTA

Contact person on good practice: Agnieszka Kudełka, education department employee