(Voor Nederlands: klik op de Nederlandse vlag in de rechter bovenhoek. Als je Nederlands spreekt, zet de CC / ondertiteling uit op de video hierboven.)
During a slow weeknight thirty-somethings Ronnie and Britt are enjoying a quiet evening at home, deeply absorbed in their books. Britt on the couch and Ronnie behind his computer screen. Suddenly Ronnie gets a pop-up from his operating system with the request to renew his password, followed by a series of increasingly personal verification questions.
When the slightly naïve Ronnie gives up a tad too much personal information, he receives a fully customized invitation from his OS in return. After accepting the offer his OS takes over his computer, forcing Ronnie to do everything in his power to keep his dark desires a secret for his approaching girlfriend Britt.
THE BIGGER PICTURE
What kind of personal information is collected and stored by commercial internet parties? All the embarrassing questions we once asked Google, all the photos we ever uploaded to Facebook or Instagram, the documents we shared in Dropbox, the links we clicked, our buying behavior, interests, dreams, preferences and beliefs. Everything can be traced online, everything is known. But to who exactly? How far are these parties willing to go to collect our personal information? And what are they able to use all this personal information for in the (near) future?
The 2016 US elections have shown us how drastic the public can be manipulated by tuning into their preferences. But where will this all lead? And on what scale does it take place? With every online action and every click, our digital profile is completed further. We are being tracked, traced and mapped. And we consciously play along, by using free digital services and products that 'only' need some information to let us in.
But also unconsciously. New technological developments arrive in rapid succession. We buy more and more 'smart devices' for every room in our house, and we carry cameras, microphones, location scanners and heart rate monitors every moment of the day. Without even realising it, we are always within reach of digital parties with potentially bad intentions.
Everyone has the right to private desires, secrets and privacy of thoughts. But what if an omniscient Big Brother of the 21st century brings an end to all this? And why are we so naive to purposefully play along ourselves? Frightening questions that are often referred to as fantasy or crazy talk, but which truly keep us up some nights. With ZWART (Black) we want to make a humorous but dystopian short film that shows how we shield our deepest secrets and hidden desires from our loved ones. While 'they' behind the scenes already know what we are all about and what truly makes us tick...
Tommie Geraedts has been directing commercials and (promotional) short films at production company PostPanic for clients like T-mobile, Dell, the Stedelijk Museum and the van Gogh Museum: garnering millions of views on Facebook and YouTube. He also made a video clip for Max Cooper, receiving the much coveted 'staff pick' accolade on Vimeo, and won the 2014 'One Vision Talent Award' for his short film 'OutoFocus' (together with Judith Knubben). After a background in animation and design, he wants to develop himself making drama. This project is the perfect combination between the two. Portfolio: www.tomgeraedts.com
Since finishing their UCLA and ScriptAcademy screenwriting studies, Roy van Kessel and Arthur Menko have been developing a variety of short films and feature length screenplays. Focussing on inventive stories relevant to our times and social trends: encouraging reflection and discussion by bringing entertaining narratives to life,
Liene Berina started out as a sociological researcher but soon got excited about filmmaking during her studies in film&art school in Portugal. For the past 6 years she has been working as a producer at PostPanic. Passionate about audiovisual culture, innovation and communication, Liene loves to address contemporary issues via film.
ZWART is made possible by our beloved partners: platform De Ontmoeting, video streaming service Videoland and PanicProgram.
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(Teaser: Titel graphic used with permission of BPHOTON.)