#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?

Credits
Director
Joe Piscatella
Cinematography
Bassel Shahade
Rob Hauer
Editing
Matthew Sultan
Production
Mark Rinehart
Contact info
World Sales
Preferred Content
Screening Copy
Joe Piscatella
Website
http://www.chicag....com
Social Feeds
IDFA relocates festival heart to Amstel September 16, 2014 | This year’s IDFA will for the first time be focused around the Amstel river. The main festival locations Pathé Tuschinski, Pathé de Munt, EYE and De Brakke Grond remain, but the festival buzz will move to Café de Jaren and Café Swych on Amsterdam’s Nieuwe Doelenstraat.
IDFA to present themed program on The Female Gaze September 9, 2014 | During the upcoming festival, IDFA will present a themed program on the role of women in documentary called The Female Gaze. Fifteen leading international female directors, including Pirjo Honkasalo, Barbara Kopple and Kim Longinotto, have put together a program of old and new documentaries by themselves and other female directors.
IDFA Bertha Fund introduces European program September 1, 2014 | The IDFA Bertha Fund is launching a new program: IDFA Bertha Fund – Europe. The new program will support the production and distribution of documentaries realized through co-productions between European producers and producers from developing countries.

Twitter

IDFAindustry @IDFAindustry 1 day ago
The Kids & Docs workshop started this morning! Participants will develop a plan for a short kid' doc. @Mediafonds http://t.co/jcfpXsb3kq
Open
IDFAindustry @IDFAindustry 3 days ago
IDFA's festival heart will move from the Rembrandt square to the Amstel river for the 2014 edition: http://t.co/1B03PNxxs5
Open
VPRO Oxfam Novib de Volkskrant BankGiro Loterij SNS Reaal