2020 Film Festival Spotlight
World Cinema Spotlight: Technology, for Better & Worse
Technology, friend or foe? This seems to be one of the pressing questions of our time. Facebook and Twitter are in the spotlight for disseminating fake news and hate speech. Amazon is busy putting retail stores out of business and demanding ruthless quotas from their employees. And streaming services are jeopardizing the future of cinemas. Not to mention the technological singularity which some experts are convinced will happen in the coming decades. Four films in the festival also address the complexities of the information age, using individual stories to talk about larger issues. Coded Bias demonstrates how the algorithms developed from AI systems infringe on civil rights and focuses on several women tackling the issue. Feels Good Man tells the story of how an animated stoner frog became a meme for the far right and depicts the artist’s struggle to reclaim his character’s image. Sing Me a Song shows the influence technological access has on a community of Bhutanese monks. And Stewart Brand, the founder of the Whole Earth Catalog, is profiled in We Are as Gods, discussing his interests in using biotechnology to bring back extinct species such as the wooly mammoth. Wooly times indeed.
Read more about this year’s World Cinema Spotlight and the films within it in Cheryl Eddy’s essay.