#chicagoGirl: The Social Network Takes on a Dictator

Joe Piscatella

USA, Syria, 2013 / 74 min / Original English and Arabic version with French subtitles / Documentary

From her childhood bedroom in the Chicago suburbs, an American teenage girl uses social media to run the revolution in Syria.

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 the most effective way to fight a dictator is: social media or AK-47s.

Wed 04/03 09:00 Cinémathèque FR* Scolaire

FR* : Original English and Arabic version with French subtitles

Registration for the school screenings 12-18 years for the general public (in possession of the FESTIVAL PASS) :

“A heartbreaking documentary about a devoted but relatively innocent 19-year-old Chicago student, Alaa Basatneh, who uses her laptop and YouTube to expose the atmosphere of fear that surrounds Syria’s brutal leaders.” - Seattle Times

“While hardly a complete picture of the situation or even an especially complex one, "#chicagoGirl" embodies the idealistic spirit of its subject. […] "#chicagoGirl" makes a distinct point by virtue of its existence: That mainstream reports on Syria haven't sufficiently exposed the extent of the destruction taking place there ». - Eric Kohn,, 27/11/2013

  • Doc U Award (best film as voted on by a youth jury), International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) 2013;
  • Award for Peace and Justice in Cinema 2014, from the Cinema for Peace Foundation, Berlin;
  • Golden butterfly in Student’s Choice Category, at Amnesty International’s Movies that Matter 2014, The Hague;
  • Emigration Museum of Gdynia Award 2014, Poland
  • Gryphon Award, Generation Documentary, Giffoni Film Festival 2014, Italy
  • #ChicagoGirl and Ala’a Basatneh are recognized by Amnesty International as one of their 10 Human Rights Heroes of 2014
Cast & Credits
Joe Piscatella
Joe Piscatella / in Syria : Bassel Shahade
Joe Piscatella, Mark Rinehart
Joe Piscatella

Joe Piscatella has co-written numerous films and tv movies, amongst others Disney’s UNDERDOG, OZZY & DRIX for Warner Bros. and STARK RAVING MAD for NBC. He has also written television pilots for 20th Century Fox and Touchstone Television and worked on animation films for Dreamworks Animation and Sony Animation. "#chicagoGirl" is his directorial debut.