In honor of the Oscars this Sunday, we’re highlighting some recent movies, as well as a film coming out in April, that represent the ever-present impact of social networks today. People of all ages use sites like Facebook, Twitter and others, making the online and social networking world a popular – and also controversial – topic for movies. Take a look at SocialShield’s very own awards for movies showcasing everything from the creation of Facebook to online dangers that kids especially are susceptible to:
Best Feature Film: The Social Network
Both well-known and controversial, this movie chronicles Mark Zuckerberg’s creation of Facebook in 2003, the ensuing lawsuits and the rise to power of the social network that is still the most popular today. One point of particular interest is that Zuckerberg actually first created a similar site called FaceMash that revolved around elements of cyberbullying. While those actually involved in the story of Facebook’s beginnings claim the story portrayed isn’t entirely true, The Social Network is still the general story about how social networking truly got its start.
Best Short Film: Sexting
An 8-minute film featured at the Sundance Film Festival this year, Sexting stars Julia Stiles. Upon seeing a wayward text message, Stiles’ character learns about the wife and completely separate life of her boyfriend.
Best Documentary: Catfish
This documentary chronicles the story of a New York City photography, Nev Schulman, and the development of his online relationship with what he believes is a unique, attractive and fascinating family in Michigan. Nev especially develops a bond with Megan, the oldest daughter who is a dancer in her early twenties. After frequent texting and phone calls, Nev eventually goes to meet the family in person but realizes they are not exactly as they appear online. The primary message of Catfish is about the dangers of online manipulation and cyber fraud.
Best Upcoming Film: Trust
This movie, out in April, tells the story of a young girl who meets a teenage boy in a chat room. After bonding over their mutual love of volleyball and eventually deciding to meet in person, the girl finds out that her perfect online friend is actually a grown man and a sex offender. Director David Schwimmer says he hopes the film portrays “a cautionary tale to parents about the dangers children face online, where sexual predators can stalk victims with anonymity.”
These movies address various issues, from cyberstalking to online reputation to sexual predators. With social networking such a popular form of contact and communication today, it’s no wonder that its connected dangers and issues are becoming popular themes in movies.
Have you seen any of these films? What did you think of their different themes?