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Have you ever faked a restroom trip to check your email? Slept with your laptop? Or become so overwhelmed that you just unplugged from it all? In this funny, eye-opening, and inspiring film, Director Tiffany Shlain takes audiences on an exhilarating rollercoaster ride to discover what it means to be connected in the 21st century. From founding The Webby Awards to being a passionate advocate for The National Day of Unplugging, her love/hate relationship with technology serves as the springboard for a thrilling exploration of modern life…and our interconnected future. Equal parts documentary and memoir, the film unfolds during a year in which technology and science literally become a matter of life and death for the director. As Shlain’s father battles brain cancer and she confronts a high-risk pregnancy, her very understanding of connection is challenged. Using a brilliant mix of animation, archival footage, and home movies, Shlain reveals the surprising ties that link us not only to the people we love but also to the world at large. A personal film with universal relevance, CONNECTED explores how, after centuries of declaring our independence, it may be time for us to declare our interdependence instead.


Learn more about CONNECTED: 

See the Film

The Filmmakers

Tiffany Shlain Director/Writer/Editor

Emmy-nominated filmmaker and Webby Awards Founder Tiffany Shlain has received over 70 awards and distinctions for her films and work, including being named by NPR as having delivered one of the Best Commencement Speeches, Ever, and by Newsweek as “one of the women shaping the 21st Century.”

She has premiered four films at Sundance, including her acclaimed feature documentary CONNECTED: AN AUTOBLOGOGRAPHY ABOUT LOVE, DEATH & TECHNOLOGY, which The New York Times hailed as “high-tech Terry Gilliam,” and “Examining Everything From the Big Bang to Twitter.”  The US State Department has also selected three of Shlain’s films including CONNECTED to represent the U.S. at embassies around the world for their American Film Showcase. Her AOL Original series, The Future Starts Here was nominated for an Emmy in New Approaches: Arts, Lifestyle, Culture and has over 40 million views to date. Shlain’s films employ her signature style of fast-paced images, colorful animations, and daring and funny insights to encourage us all to think about where we’re headed in our increasingly connected world.

Tiffany is a world-renowned speaker and has been featured at institutions including Google, Harvard, NASA, and Fortune 500 companies.  Tiffany was the on-air Internet expert on ABC’s Good Morning America with Diane Sawyer, is a Henry Crown Fellow of The Aspen Institute, is an advisor to The Institute for the Future, and was invited to advise then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about the Internet and technology. She has contributed articles for Harvard Business Review, Documentary Magazine and was listed by Indiewire & FastCompany for her writing on Twitter. TED Conferences published her first book, Brain Power: From Neurons to Networks, which premiered simultaneously with the accompanying 10 min film and has been writing a quarterly newsletter called “Breakfast @ Tiffany's” since 1998. She runs an independent film studio + lab in San Francisco called The Moxie Institute.

Tiffany lives in Northern California with her husband and collaborator Ken Goldberg (an artist & professor of robotics at UC Berkeley) and their two children. Her films and work often wrestle with the good, the bad and the potential of technology. She and her family are on their 5th year unplugging each week for 24 hours as part of their “technology shabbats,” which she has written about, given talks about and explores in many of her films.

Festivals & Awards

Sundance Film Festival


Official Selection

Tribeca Film Festival


Disruptive Innovation Award


Examining everything from the Big Bang to twitter…a cinematic clickstream…incredibly engaging!”

-The New York Times

Ostensibly a film about technology, but it's really about human beings.”

-NPR Marketplace

It will change your thinking. ”

-Paste Magazine

An intensely personal exploration of what human connection means in our modern technology-obsessed world.”

-The Atlantic


CONNECTED was launched as a multi-platform project that includes an 80-minute feature film for festival and theatrical release and as part of a home screening discussion kit, a 52-minute version for television, a 10-minute version and curricula for K-12 and university educators, and a series of 2-minute viral pieces for the Internet. CONNECTED also has a “Connect the Dots” smartphone game which will engage people around the world in a virtual mapping of how issues are interconnected.

The tools that were developed in relation to the film help to further educate audiences about the issues that the film raises as well as connect them to other individuals and organizations interested in social change.

After watching the film, participants are directed to the website, where they will find discussion materials and tools to host home screenings, as well as action guides and other ways to connect:

– Users are able to enter an issue that most concerns them, and be offered a list of other issues showing how they are all related.

– By entering their zip code, participants will receive a list of local and global organizations to get involved.

– Participants are prompted to sign an online “Declaration of Interdependence,” which will add them to a mailing list that will provide them with a weekly email featuring one small thing they could do each week to help them think and act more interdependently.

– The website also offers visitors opportunities to extend the conversation online and volunteer and action guides for next steps on issues raised in the film.

– Organizations interested in partnering can be given a list of ways to get involved. An interdependence seal is available for partners to put on their sites as a declaration of their participation in this movement.

Outreach Resources

Connected Educational Edition

+ Educational Edition