When: July 19, 2018
Where: E Street Cinema, Washington, DC
This past July, Online SOS founder and executive director Liz Lee attended an exclusive screening of NETIZENS, a groundbreaking documentary exposing the impact of online harassment. NETIZENS tells the stories of women whose lives have been drastically changed by digital abuse and the actions they’ve taken to recover and thrive on their own terms. The documentary was directed and produced by award-winning filmmaker Cynthia Lowen, who also wrote and co-produced the Emmy-nominated documentary BULLY in 2011.
Lee and her fellow audience members were deeply moved by the film. “It made us laugh, it made us cry,” Lee stated. “As someone who silently spent years dealing with online threats and stalking on my own, I understood the pain and toll it takes on your life and well-being. I’m so grateful to Cynthia for making this film,” she added.
The screening was co-hosted by Wallace Global Fund and Women’s Media Center. WMC President Julie Burton and Wallace Global Fund Executive Director Ellen Dorsey both offered powerful introductions to the film. “Once you’ve seen it, you can’t unsee it and you have to be motivated to act,” Dorsey said. “We have so much work to do,” she added. Soraya Chemaly, journalist and WMC Speech Project Director, facilitated a post-film Q&A with both the makers and subjects of NETIZENS, including Lowen herself.
In addition to its Tribeca Film Festival premiere in April, NETIZENS appeared at Hot Docs International Documentary Festival in Toronto later that same month. The film made its West Coast debut at the Castro Theater as part of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival on July 27.
Anyone interested in learning more about the dangers of online harassment and the search for nuanced solutions is highly encouraged to request a screening.