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Wired World: Juniata Hosts Screening of 'Connected' Film

(Posted March 18, 2013)

"Connected" combines the personal story of director Tiffany Shlain with trends on the wired world.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- If you'd rather tweet, post, Instagram or just tumblr along the information superhighway than sit down and read a good book, then Tiffany Shlain's documentary "Connected," is worth turning off the iPad to see, as Juniata College screens the film at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 26, in Alumni Hall in Brumbaugh Academic Center.

The movie and presentation is free and open to the public.

"Connected" explores modern life as experienced through the myriad communications devices few people seem to be able to ignore. Director Tiffany Shlain creates a film that is equal parts documentary and memoir as she depicts the inter-connected nature of modern society through scenes that cut between her own struggles with a high-risk pregnancy and her father's battle with brain cancer.

Shlain's film, which the New York Times described as "incredibly engaging…examining everything from the Big Bang to Twitter," has been selected by the U.S. State Department as part of their 2012 American Film Showcase.

Shlain organizes the film around her father's diagnosis and weaves into the narrative her left-brained thoughts on how the neural parts of the brain correspond with how webpages function and right-brained analysis of how humans interact through personal relationships.

"I employ many tactics to pry open and untangle this idea: humor, animation and my own personal story -- wielding a large magnifying glass to look at some of the absurd and beautiful behaviors of our species and our world."
Tiffany Shlain, director

Tiffany Shlain has made a variety of documentaries and short films. Her current project is called "Cloud Filmmaking," which hopes to document "important aspects of life" by inviting people from all over the world to send in videos via their cell phones. This multi-part series released its first film, "A Declaration of Interdependence." She plans to make 12 small films during the project.

Her previous films include, "Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness," "The Tribe" and "Yelp: With Apologies to Allen Ginsburg's 'Howl.'"

Shlain first come to national prominence as founder and producer of The Webby Awards, for "excellence on the Internet." She created the awards ceremony in 1996 and produced the awards ceremonies through 2006. She also co-founded the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, a 550-person organization that votes on the Webbys.

She earned a bachelor's degree in 1992 from the University of California, Berkeley, and earned the university's Eisner Award for filmmaking. She also studied at the Harvard University Executive Education program.

Shlain serves on the advisory boards of UC-Berkeley's Center for New Media and the San Francisco Film Festival. She also served on the board of directors for the Commonwealth Club of California.

"I appreciate this is a huge subject and concept," she says in her artist's statement. "I employ many tactics to pry open and untangle this idea: humor, animation and my own personal story -- wielding a large magnifying glass to look at some of the absurd and beautiful behaviors of our species and our world."

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.