DOCUMENTARY | 15 – 20 MIN. | AWARD WINNERS, COLLEGE AGE, COMING OF AGE, LGBTQ+, MENTAL HEALTH
An 18-year-old Instagram influencer attempts to reconcile his identity online with his identity in real life.
Winner of the Cigna Diversity Advocate Award
But What Does It Mean?
EXPLORE THE FILM'S MEANING →
Even when we feel that we have a sense of a film’s meaning, there is often more to uncover.
Watch this video to better understand the film and why we selected it for the festival.
CLICK TO EXPLORE THE FILM'S THEMES
Consider sharing an aspect of you that is lesser known or that you try to keep under wraps. Take a self-portrait and write a caption or message that shares this information with someone close to you or, if you’d prefer, post it to one of your social media channels and announce it to the world. Even letting one person in on your secret may help you feel better understood.
Meet the Filmmaker
ABOUT THE FILMMAKER
Barna Szász is a Budapest-born filmmaker, who moved to the U.S. in 2017 on a Fulbright and graduated in Stanford University’s M.F.A. Documentary Film program in 2019.
Ellie Wen is a Hong Kong-born filmmaker. She has worked at CAA, CBS, and Super Deluxe in all aspects of Film and TV. She recently graduated from the MFA program in Documentary Film at Stanford University and is now an artist in residence at SFFILM.
WHY THEY MADE THE FILM
“We initially set out to make a film about screen addiction among today’s teenagers, the first generation to be born into social media. When most of their communication is mediated by a screen, it’s not unreasonable to think that real connection and communication are becoming obsolete.
But after meeting our subject Tim, an 18-year old instagram influencer, and learning about his unique experience, we realized there was a more nuanced story to tell about social media. We were moved to learn how Tim’s activity online actually helped him come to terms with his real identity and work through his depression.
While shooting the film, it turned out that observing the life of a Generation Z teenager meant observing him in real life just as much as observing his phone screen. This is why we ended up with a part verité, part desktop – or rather, mobile – documentary. Making this film was a truly collaborative process. By sharing his private google searches and text messages with friends, Tim gave us intimate access to his most personal moments, beyond what any camera could capture.
The greatest outcome has been seeing how the film has directly impacted Tim’s life. Through the process of making the film, Tim has made changes in his life that he had been postponing for years. We are so honored to have been entrusted to tell his story, and we hope it inspires others to embrace their own identities, or those of people who are different from them.“
Your Turn: What did YOU think of this film?
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