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"#ChicagoGirl: The Social Network Takes On A Dictator "


#ChicagoGirl documents 19-year-old student Ala'a Basatneh as she helps coordinate the Syrian revolution from a suburb of Chicago armed with all imaginable social media.

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Synopsis: From her childhood bedroom in the Chicago suburbs, an American teenage girl uses social media to coordinate the revolution in Syria. Armed with Facebook, Twitter, Skype and camera phones, she helps her social network "on the ground" in Syria brave snipers and shelling in the streets to show the world the human rights atrocities of a dictator. But just because the world can see the violence doesn’t mean the world can help. As the revolution rages on, everyone in the network must decide what is the most effective way to fight a dictator: social media or AK-47s.We see her friends mostly through their own footage, which gives a terrifying impression of brutal violence, death and devastated streets. The story of the young Syrians is accompanied by commentary from a range of experts in the fields of Syria, war, journalism and social media.



What influence is the Internet having on the phenomenon of revolution? Why is a camera more effective than an AK-47? And why did the regimes in Egypt and Tunisia fall within a matter of days, while the Syrian regime is still holding out?


"#ChicagoGirl is about more than the new tools of revolution. It’s about the people who are now enabled by the new tools to make a difference in the world." --Joe Piscatella. Check out resources here.

DIRECTOR | Joe Piscatella

JOE PISCATELLA has written for numerous television, film, radio, and print projects, including numerous feature scripts and television pilots for 20th Century Fox, Spyglass, Starz, and Touchstone Television. His credits include Disney's Underdog, Ozzy & Drix for Warner Bros., and Stark Raving Mad for NBC. Joe has been a contributor to NPR's All Things Considered and the Tacoma News Tribune. He has also done production rewrites on acclaimed animated movies for Dreamworks Animation and Sony Animation. Joe began his writing career as a speechwriter in Washington, DC, writing jokes for such clients as executives at Johns Hopkins Medical Center and high-ranking personnel in the US Air Force. In addition, he has worked with Ted Koppel at ABC Nightline News.