by Danielle Martell
Ear phones on, devices in hands, heads down, selfies clicking, and now, anxiety on the rise. How is the modern parent to balance the good of technology with the concerns facing a generation of children who have never known life without it? Fresh Independence Productions has recently addressed this complex and critical, cultural phenomena through a documentary entitled “Selfless,” directed by Kim Laureen, and produced by Megan Nicole.
As a Director, Laureen brings much experience to the table in raising kids in modern times. Having raised eight children herself, she understands the difficulties parents are up against. Together, she and Megan address the challenging technological concerns facing culture today. In an interview, Laureen explains that she and Megan saw the rise of children engaged with screens and disengaged with others. They researched the statistics which expose that depression and anxiety are in epidemic proportions in direct correlation to screen time. Though they were keenly aware that this is changing people, instead of focusing on the doom and gloom, they set out to produce a film that would offer hope and make a difference.
In the background of production, they asked themselves the question, “If a girl lived in a forest and had no mirrors or social media, how would she see herself?” They then found a natural fit in Kuki Warburton who lived off the grid in England. The Warburton family welcomed them in and there they found a family utilizing advanced forms of technology without being slaves to it. Technology worked for them but it did not rule their lives. Laureen and Nicole also found examples in other children who were utilizing social media but in ways that were not self-indulgent. It was from there that the story of Selfless found its structure. The title developed from a twist on the word “selfie.” The word “selfless” intentionally encourages a positive move toward meaningful technological engagement.
While the film is guided by a Christian worldview, the documentary has not been overtly encased in scripture. This was intentional so the film could be applicable to a wide-ranging audience. Laureen understands that many people, Christian and non-Christian alike, share the technology perspective the film provokes and she hopes everyone can benefit from the content. The cinematography is beautiful, the story engaging, and the philosophical depth is exceptionally relevant. It speaks clearly to a generation eager to hear a meaningful way to take up a screen, appreciate its quality, and then put it down without throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
In 2019, the film received five awards including Best Director and Official Selection at the International Christian Film & Music Festival. Selfless is a must-see for all invested in this critically relevant topic.
To see the official trailer, visit: https://freshindependence.com.
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