Here’s news of a real scary movie for your Halloween morning. Social Animals, a documentary that looks at teenagers whose lives have been transformed by Instagram, will arrive on digital and VOD platforms on December 11th via Gravitas Ventures. The film also just released a cool new poster, which you can find below.
The debut feature of Jonathan Ignatius Green (Birth of the Camera Phone), Social Animals premiered at SXSW earlier this year to great acclaim. Nonfics friend Natalie Mokry reviewed the film for Austin 360, writing that it “brilliantly” achieves its goal of exploring the complexities of youth and social media.
Social Animals features interviews with a number of teens about their Instagram accounts but focuses on three characters who’ve achieved a certain amount of fame with the app. Fifteen-year-old Kaylyn has amassed 500,000 followers as an amateur model. Humza dangerously documents his own daredevil activities, which mostly consist of climbing bridges in New York City. Then there’s Emma, whose real life was all but ruined thanks to digital media.
As Mokry writes, the Emma portion of the documentary “will truly have you tearing up.” And the other two Instagram-famous subjects have their own share of issues, as you might expect from a teen girl branding her body for an online audience and a young man sharing his own illegal activities for the whole world to see.
Docs about social media and its effects on our culture and specific individuals, particularly kids, can be terrifying in what they reveal. They deal with issues of self-worth and celebrity with great concern for the future of a generation raised in the digital era, image-obsessed and ego-driven in the pursuit of acceptance and popularity.
Social Animals will continue to screen at film festivals and other events in the US before its release in mid-December if you’re eager to catch this one on the big screen or watch it with an audience. Otherwise, find it streaming online and through other digital outlets very soon.
Here’s the new final poster for Social Animals, which you should appropriately share on social media:
Watch the trailer for Social Animals here:
Here is the full press release for the announcement:
Compelling Feature Documentary Explores the Connections of Self-Worth, Acceptance & Celebrity, as Teenagers Engage in Instagram Culture
SOCIAL ANIMALS to Release on Digital / VOD December 11
Pasadena, CA – A daredevil photographer, an aspiring swimsuit model and a girl-next-door are all looking for the same things from their Instagram accounts – love, acceptance, and a sense of self-worth. But at what cost? Feature documentary SOCIAL ANIMALS uses an observational eye and stunning cinematography to parallel the digital and real worlds of today’s image-focused teenager. Directed by Jonathan Ignatius Green, SOCIAL ANIMALS will continue screening at festivals and events across the US and will launch on Digital and VOD platforms December 11, distributed by Gravitas Ventures.
Merging the storylines of three teenagers with a chorus of teen voices, SOCIAL ANIMALS examines how followers, likes, and comments determine success, self-worth, and community.
Kaylyn dreams of becoming a Victoria’s Secret model, but she’s not waiting for her big break to build an audience and start modeling. She’s doing that herself on Instagram, and with 500k followers and counting, it’s going quite well. But becoming a brand while becoming a woman while so many people are watching has its own set of challenges, especially when you’re only fifteen.
Humza grew up in the projects of Queens, New York with a world-view about the size of his neighborhood. But the camera of a second-hand iPhone 4 became his entrance into an underground community of NYC urban explorers that would change his life. With his natural photographic eye and the guts to scale the city’s highest buildings and bridges, Humza earned both public attention and a chorus of haters. Is losing his community worth what he’s gained?
Emma is your typical teenage girl navigating popularity, body image and attention from boys in the school hallways and on Instagram. But when school rumors turn into to aggressive DMs and comments she’ll be pulled into an emotional spiral. Eventually, she’ll leave her school and start a new Instagram account, but self-doubt follows her every step.
SOCIAL ANIMALS is the first feature-length film produced by Subconscious Films, the long-form content banner of Conscious Minds. Conscious Minds is a creative content studio developing and producing commercials and branded content for clients like Nike, Uber, Toyota, Chase, Levi’s, Coca-Cola, and Microsoft, to name a few.
As Director and Partner at Conscious Minds, Green has established himself as a thoughtful visual storyteller in both commercials and branded content. His passion for storytelling has also led to a number of award-winning short films which have been showcased on National Geographic, Vimeo Staff Picks, Slate Magazine, as well as international festivals Moscow, Barcelona, Cyprus and Cannes among others.
About Subconscious Films
Subconscious Films develops and produces scripted and unscripted feature films, series, short films, and VR experiences. Born out of creative content studio Conscious Minds, Subconscious Films is committed to telling culturally relevant stories that provoke reflection and conversation about today’s most pressing human questions.
About Jonathan Ignatius Green
With a diverse background in screenwriting, philosophy, advertising, and design, Jonathan brings his own cocktail of thinker/maker to every story he tells. A graduate of the American Film Institute Conservatory, Jonathan’s documentary, and scripted films have screened at various domestic and international festivals including Barcelona, Cyprus, and Cannes. SOCIAL ANIMALS, Green’s first feature documentary, premiered in competition at the 2018 SXSW film festival and is being released later this year by Gravitas Ventures. His short documentary THE BIRTH OF THE CAMERA PHONE premiered on the National Geographic short film showcase and was selected as a Vimeo Staff Pick. He also received a Webby Award for his two interactive short films journaling the struggle of children victimized by the African AIDS pandemic. Jonathan is a partner at Conscious Minds where he directs and produces commercials and branded content for clients including Nike, Uber, Snapchat and RedBull.