Digital transformation now exposes us to as much data in one day as someone in the 15th century would have seen in his or her entire life. That doesn’t happen without having a profound impact on society. Big data analytics and digital technologies are moving us into unchartered territory.

We’re in the early stages of understanding how we can use the digital revolution to improve the world and human lives, as well as how we deal with the myriad ethical issues such as data privacy. Used wisely, digital technology can ensure our future, but it will take our collective intellectual, emotional and practical strength as a species to achieve it.

There is no better stage than Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) to spark a global conversation about our digital future. That’s why SAP has collaborated with the festival to bring to the screen world premieres that explore the present and future effects of digital technology on humanity.

The following films will premiere as part of Our Digital Future presented by SAP at TIFF ‘16:

Black Code

Toronto-based documentary filmmaker and cinematographer Nicholas de Pencier (Four Wings and a Prayer, Watermark) examines the complex global impact that the internet has had on matters of free speech, privacy and activism.

The internet, built on a foundation of openness and trust, faces great strain as it grows beyond Silicon Valley and into the myriad cultures, governments and organizations around the globe. Every day, regimes twist the internet’s spirit of freedom into a vice that limits and controls. Every day, computers – the lifeblood of individuals, corporations and governments – are attacked and breached. Visions for our digital future depend on a digital foundation – the internet – that is secure and trustworthy; a place where economies, ideas, individuals and freedoms thrive.

Read more about Black Code and Our Digital Future story here: http://www.tiff.net/films/black-code/

Black Mirror

Black Mirror is a British television anthology series created by Charlie Brooker that features speculative fiction with dark and sometimes satirical themes that examine modern society, particularly with regard to the unanticipated consequences of new technologies. Receiving great acclaim for its first two seasons of chilling stories about technology, the show garnered a massive fan base across the pond. Now it returns on an international scale with a whole new set of terrors, and we’re pleased to present two of these episodes at the festival.

We are increasingly digital beings. Our lives play out, are even lived, online. What do love, work and friendship look like in our digital future? By exploring how technology can be twisted to reflect the darker side of human nature, Black Mirror challenges us to consider the sort of society we want to create. Usually drawing viewers in with unassuming, everyday human stories as the setup, each episode delivers an unnerving twist that compels us to evaluate the digital habits we’ve become so accustomed to.

Read more about Black Mirror and Our Digital Future story here: http://www.tiff.net/films/black-mirror-san-junipero-and-nosedive/

The Headhunter’s Calling
Dane Jensen (Gerard Butler) is a hard-driven Chicago-based headhunter, working at a cutthroat job placement firm. When Dane’s boss (Willem Dafoe) announces his retirement, he pits Dane against Lynn Vogel (Alison Brie), Dane’s equally driven, but polar opposite rival at the firm, in a battle for control over the company. As Dane gears up for the professional battle of his life, his 10-year-old son Ryan (Max Jenkins) is diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly, Dane is pulled between achieving his professional dream and spending time with his family, who need him now more than ever.

As we see with Dane in The Headhunter’s Calling, digital technology is making our lives more productive but not necessarily easier. With the draw of digital productivity tempting Dane to work, questions are raised over the promises and pressures of modern society, the effects of the indifferent technology driving it, and the wisdom of not forgetting what’s important in life.

Read more about The Headhunter’s Calling and Our Digital Future story here: http://www.tiff.net/films/the-headhunters-calling/

Lion

After a wrong train takes a five-year-old Indian boy thousands of kilometres from home and family, he survives many challenges before being adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty-five years later, armed with only the scantest of clues, he learns of a new technology called Google Earth, and sets out to find his lost family. This true story stars Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, and David Wenham.

We all have dreams. Some dream of fame and fortune, others of happiness and fulfilment. In a world where digital applications are the backdrop for the stories of our lives and our futures, technology can help us realize them in ways previously unimaginable. In Lion, Saroo dreams of reuniting with his long lost family, taking us on a journey to discover how human determination, coupled with digital marvels like Google Earth, can make those dreams come true.

Read more about Lion and Our Digital Future story here: http://www.tiff.net/films/lion/

Snowden

Academy Award–winning director Oliver Stone tackles one of the most important and fascinating true stories of the 21st century. This politically charged, pulse-pounding thriller reveals the incredible untold personal story of Edward Snowden, the polarizing figure who exposed shocking illegal surveillance activities by the NSA and became one of the most wanted men in the world — considered a hero by some, and a traitor by others. The film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Tom Wilkinson, Scott Eastwood, Logan Marshall-Green, Timothy Olyphant, Ben Schnetzer, Lakeith Lee Stanfield, Rhys Ifans, and Nicolas Cage.

Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks drove to the fore serious questions about data privacy and security. Three years on, and with a star-studded film telling his thrilling personal story, both sides continue trying to untangle the question “who is protecting whom?” Are governments sincerely trying to protect us by secretly collecting data, or are renegades like Snowden keeping us safe by exposing their schemes? No matter where you stand, there is no denying that big data is opening up new questions about surveillance, freedom, privacy and protection in our digital present and future.


Read more about Snowden and Our Digital Future story here: http://www.tiff.net/films/snowden/

5 Films About Technology

The characters in Peter Huang’s razor-sharp satire Five Films About Technology are as dependent as the rest of us on the devices that are supposed to make us smarter, better, and faster. But, as this hilarious series of scenarios reveals, all that tech may be making us the exact opposite of what we’ve been promised.

This clever short explores the comical side of our digital lives, with vignettes we can all relate to. Few of us today would dare give up our mobile devices – our lifelines to the digital world – despite the awkward moments they unwittingly lead us into.

Read more about 5 Films About Technology and Our Digital Future story here: http://www.tiff.net/films/5-films-about-technology/

Full details of Our Digital Future film series, including the film screenings and related events, can be found at http://discover.sap.com/our-digital-future, and the press release announcing the partnership can be read at http://news.sap.com/sap-presents-our-digital-future-film-series-at-tiff-2016/

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