Part of SFFILM Festival
Director Liza Mandelup is expected to attend all screenings.
Join us after the April 19 screening for a special conversation around authenticity and the effects of social media with the filmmakers and special guest Jeff Hancock, Professor of Communication and Founding Director of the Stanford Social Media Lab, who is a world leading expert on the psychology of social media, including how it affects our emotions, thoughts, and relationships.
Handsome 16-year-old Austyn Tester dreams of parlaying his moderate social media following into fame, as a way to escape his life in Tennessee and become a star. Garnering enough attention online to get management, he finds out firsthand how difficult it is to remain connected with his followers. Following Austyn, talent managers, and other influencers, filmmaker Liza Mandelup delves into the world of video blogging, from emotionally fraught IRL meet-and-greets to behind-the-scenes discussions of “authenticity,” and shows what happens to the talent in the fleeting industry of social media.
“Jawline is a nuanced exploration of digital celebrity and the gap between ‘real’ and online lives, issues that are particularly relevant during a mass reevaluation of social media. But it’s also a timeless, bittersweet film about a teenager with ambitious dreams and few opportunities to realize them. ‘It’s hard getting famous,’ Austyn notes, discussing his future as a social media star. ‘It’s real hard, actually.’” – Adi Robertson, The Verge
Liza Mandelup started out in photography before moving into filmmaking, making her debut with a short film, Twinheads (2015). Her other shorts include Fangirl (2016), Sundown (2016), and Showpony (2018). She has directed commercials for brands that include Chanel, Dove, and Adidas and collaborated with online platforms that include Vogue, Dazed, I-D, and Nowness. Says Mandelup of her process, “For me, I explore my idea while filming, I need to look at the idea through a lens to fully understand where I’m going with it. I’m looking for the story as much as I am creating it.”