#chicagoGirl -- The Social Network Takes on a Dictator

Joe Piscatella, USA / Syria, 2013, color, DCP, 74'
Synopsis

A 19-year-old student named Ala'a Basatneh has been helping to coordinate the Syrian revolution from a suburb of Chicago since 2011, armed with all imaginable social media. And with 1,200 Facebook friends and 2,000 followers on Twitter, she has built up an impressive network. She posts demonstrations as Facebook events, plots escape routes using Google Maps and uploads footage shot by demonstrators. She also ensures that all kinds of recording equipment get to her friends, once ordinary students who now want to overthrow the rule by terror of President Bashar al-Assad. But what began as peaceful protest has escalated into a violent situation. We follow both Ala'a Basatneh and her Syrian friends throughout the crucial months. We see her friends mostly through their own footage, which gives a terrifying impression of brutal violence, death and devastated streets. The story of the young Syrians is accompanied by commentary from a range of experts in the fields of Syria, war, journalism and social media. What influence is the Internet having on the phenomenon of revolution? Why is a camera more effective than an AK-47? And why did the regimes in Egypt and Tunisia fall within a matter of days, while the Syrian regime is still holding out?

First Hand
Nominations IDFA 2014 announced November 26, 2014 | The nominations for IDFA's seven competitions hava been announced. In addition, the Oxfam Global Justice Award was presented to Fest of Duty by Firouzeh Khosrovani and Maite Alberdi received The Alliance of Women Film Journalists' EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Documentary for Tea Time.
Help crowdfund Lyari Notes November 26, 2014 | In the IDFA Bertha Fund-supported Lyari Notes, a rock star teaches a group of girls from the most volatile district of Karachi, Pakistan how to express themselves through music. The directors need your help to finish their film!
The Female Gaze: IDFA statistics As part of the theme program The Female Gaze, IDFA investigated its own gendered history: are female filmmakers equally represented in the program?

Twitter

IDFAindustry @IDFAindustry 8 hour ago
That'd them in the spotlight: the winners gather for a group pic. http://t.co/H3QONsOqdp
Open
IDFAindustry @IDFAindustry 9 hour ago
9 films of the 12 IDFA 2014 winners were made by women! #FemaleGaze
Open
VPRO Oxfam Novib de Volkskrant BankGiro Loterij Fonds 21 Fonds 21