2019 Sundance Docs in Focus: THE GREAT HACK

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

THE GREAT HACK
Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim present a disturbing investigation into data and privacy in the modern digital age.

Festival Section:
Documentary Premieres

Sundance Program Description:

Have you ever filled out an online survey? Do you wonder why you receive ads for products that you happened to research the day before? Be afraid. Be very afraid. Data has surpassed oil as the world’s most valuable asset, and it is being weaponized to wage cultural and political wars. We’re in a battle for control over our most intimate personal details. THE GREAT HACK uncovers the dark world of data exploitation through the compelling personal journeys of players on different sides of the explosive Cambridge Analytica/Facebook data breach that rocked the world.

Academy Award nominees Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim (THE SQUARE (2013), CONTROL ROOM (2004), STARTUP.COM (2001)) return to the Sundance Film Festival with this deeply layered, ethically complex, disturbing and riveting documentary. THE GREAT HACK compels us to question the genesis of the information we consume daily and challenges us to think about what we give up when we tap that phone or keyboard and share ourselves in the digital age.

Some Background:
Director/Producer/Screenwriter:

  • Karim Amer
    Past Sundance docs:

    THE SQUARE

    Amer was nominated for an Oscar and an Emmy for THE SQUARE, which won an audience award at Sundance.

Director:

  • Jehane Noujaim
    Past Sundance docs:

    THE SQUARE
    CONTROL ROOM
    STARTUP.COM

    Noujaim won two Emmys and was nominated for an Oscar for THE SQUARE. She was a TED Prize winner in 2006.

Producers:

  • Geralyn White Dreyfous
    Recent past Sundance docs:

    306 HOLLYWOOD (2018)
    GENERATION WEALTH (2018)
    BISBEE ’17 (2018)
    OF FATHERS AND SONS (2018)
    OUR NEW PRESIDENT (2018)
    WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR (2018)
    BENDING THE ARC (2017)
    STEP (2017)

    The Oscar and Emmy-winning co-founder of both Impact Partners and Gamechanger Films also executive produced fellow 2019 Sundance titles ALWAYS IN SEASON, in the US Documentary Competition and SHOOTING THE MAFIA in the World Cinema Documentary Competition. She previously executive produced the 2018 VR experience THE SUN LADIES VR and has served as a creative advisor for Sundance’s Catalyst Forum.

  • Judy Korin
    Past Sundance docs:

    BENDING THE ARC

    Seesaw Studios’ Korin has received four Emmy nominations for directing and graphic design/titles.

Co-Producers:

  • Tracy Nguyen-Chung

    Nguyen-Chung is partner and creative director of marketing/public relations agency After Bruce. She was the lead publicist for the Oscar campaign for THE SQUARE.

  • Elizabeth Woodward

    This is Woodward’s first Sundance credit. She previously associate produced the DOC NYC-debuting AFTERWARD.

Associate Producers:

  • Christopher de la Torre
    Past Sundance docs:

    THE SQUARE

    de la Torre picked up an Emmy for editing THE SQUARE.

  • Claire Read

    This is Read’s first Sundance credit. She has a background producing for VICE Media.

  • Bits Sola

    Sola also makes her Sundance debut with this project.

Executive Producers:

  • Nina Fialkow
    Past Sundance docs:

    OUR NEW PRESIDENT
    BENDING THE ARC
    ICARUS (2017)

    Nina Fialkow is an Emmy-winning producer who previously worked at WGBH and whose areas of philanthropic interest include the arts and education.

  • Lyn Lear
    Past Sundance docs:

    CESAR’S LAST FAST (2014)

    Lear also executive produced fellow 2019 Sundance title WHERE’S MY ROY COHN? in the US Documentary Competition. She is a philanthropist and social and environmental activist who also serves on the Sundance Institute Board of Trustees. Lear’s husband is legendary television producer Norman Lear.

  • Mike Lerner
    Past Sundance docs:

    THE RUSSIAN WOODPECKER (2013)
    PUSSY RIOT: A PUNK PRAYER (2013)
    HELL AND BACK AGAIN (2011)
    THE SQUARE
    AFGHAN STAR (2009)

    Lerner was Oscar-nominated for HELL AND BACK AGAIN and Emmy-nominated for THE SQUARE. His previous films have won audience and special jury prizes, as well as audience, directing, cinematography, and grand jury awards at Sundance.

Editor/Screenwriter:

  • Erin Barnett

    This is Barnett’s first Sundance credit.

Editor:

  • Carlos Rojas
    Past Sundance docs

    SEMBENE! (2015)

Screenwriter:

Consulting Editor:

  • Sloane Klevin

    This is the first Sundance project for the Emmy-winning Klevin.

Associate Editors:

  • Andrés Arias
    Past Sundance docs:

    GIVE ME FUTURE (2017)
    CARTEL LAND (2015)

  • Daniel Claridge

    This is also Claridge’s first Sundance credit.

Why You Should Watch:
Through access to key players, Amer and Noujaim provide a privileged behind-the-scenes view of the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook scandal as its full ramifications begin to be realized. Viewers not able to see the doc at Sundance will have a chance to watch when Netflix releases it.

More Info:

For Sundance screening dates and times, click the film title in the first paragraph.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Sundance

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