#chicagoGirl -- The Social Network Takes on a Dictator 74 min.

Joe Piscatella, USA / Syria, 2013, color, DCP

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?

Opening film: Stranger in Paradise October 18, 2016 | IDFA 2016 will open at the Royal Theatre Carré on November 16 with Stranger in Paradise by Dutch director Guido Hendrikx, exploring the relationship between Europe and refugees in a film on the boundary between documentary and drama.
Three films selected for IBF Europe distribution support October 18, 2016 | The IDFA Bertha Fund has concluded the final selection round of 2016. Three documentaries will receive grants through the IBF Europe scheme for distribution support.
IDFA Forum Selection 2016 October 17, 2016 | The selection for IDFA Forum 2016 has been announced. This year's Forum welcomes 60 pitch teams from 25 different countries.
Film List 2016 October 10, 2016 | The full line-up for IDFA 2016 is now online. Full details on all films and programme information will be announced November 3.
IDFA Spotlight in Ramallah October 4, 2016 | IDFA will present a documentary programme during the upcoming ‘Days of Cinema’, taking place October 15-21 in Ramallah.
Special focus program: Assembling Reality October 4, 2016 | In the IDFA 2016 special focus program Assembling Reality, leading international editors - including director/editor Frederick Wiseman - will discuss the role of editing in constructing documentary narratives.
Special focus program: Shifting Perspectives September 27, 2016 | The special focus program Shifting Perspectives will investigate the role of opinion-shaping in terms of the way we see and think about race and identity, as well as the perspectives from which we do so.
Special focus program: The Quiet Eye September 20, 2016 | IDFA’s special focus program The Quiet Eye will investigate ‘slow documentary’, presenting documentary projects that take the experience of time in real life as their starting point.
Sergei Loznitsa to present Top 10 August 30, 2016 | This year’s IDFA Top 10 will be compiled by Ukrainian director Sergei Loznitsa. His latest documentary, Austerlitz, will have its world premiere at the Venice film festival and will screen at IDFA as part of a retrospective of Loznitsa's work.
IDFA Award at Docu Rough Cut Boutique August 19, 2016 | At last night's closing ceremony of the Docu Rough Cut Boutique of the Sarajevo Film Festival, the IDFA Award was given to City of the Sun by Rati Oneli.
The Vice Documentary Pitch at IDFA July 25, 2016 | VICE returns to IDFA to launch The VICE Documentary Pitch at IDFA, offering filmmakers a chance to win a commission from the VICE documentary team. 
IDFA Bertha Fund Concludes May 2016 Selection July 12, 2016 | Eleven documentary projects from countries including Sudan, Chile, Syria, Cuba, Afghanistan and Ukraine will be supported through IDFA Bertha Fund - Classic. The selection includes new projects by Maite Alberdi, Alisa Kovalenko and Manolo Sarmiento.


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