Tiffany Shlain

Last updated
Tiffany Shlain
2020CroppedHeadshotShlain.png
Born (1970-04-08) April 8, 1970 (age 51)
US
Alma mater University of California, Berkeley
Occupation Filmmaker, author
Spouse(s) Ken Goldberg
Children2
Relatives Leonard Shlain
Website tiffanyshlain.com

Tiffany Shlain (born April 8, 1970) [1] is an American filmmaker and author. Described by the public radio program On Being as "an internet pioneer," [2] Shlain is the founder of the Webby Awards and the co-founder of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. [3]

Contents

Early life and education

Shlain was raised in Mill Valley, California, the daughter of Leonard Shlain, a surgeon, author, and inventor, and Carol Lewis Jaffe, a psychologist. In high school, Shlain co-wrote a proposal called Uniting Nations in Telecommunications & Software (UNITAS), which envisioned students all over the world communicating over personal computers and via modems before the advent of the web. From this proposal, she was invited to be a student ambassador through the People to People program, and traveled to the Soviet Union in 1988. [4] [5]

While a student at UC Berkeley, Shlain produced and directed Hunter & Pandora, an experimental film which won the university's Eisner Award, the highest award in art. In 1992, she earned a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies, and was selected as a valedictory speaker for her graduating class. [6]

Shlain studied organizational change at the Harvard Business School Executive Education program and film production at New York University's Sight & Sound program. She is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute(Class of 2007). [7] [8]

Career

In 1996, Shlain founded the Webby Awards, [9] an annual event which the New York Times described as the "Oscars of the Web." [10] In 1998, she co-founded The International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. [11] The Webbys had hosts that included Alan Cumming, and appearances by Al Gore, Prince, and Thomas Friedman. [12] [13] Shlain appeared on Good Morning America as the program's on-air internet expert from 2000 – 2003. [14]

In 2002, Shlain directed, produced and co-wrote Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, a documentary about reproductive rights in America. The film premiered at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival [15] and was used nationally by Planned Parenthood to mark the 30-year anniversary of Roe v. Wade . [16]

In 2005, Shlain sold the Webby Awards and founded the San Francisco film studio, the Moxie Institute. [17] Shlain's next documentary, The Tribe, [18] co-written with her husband, Ken Goldberg, explored American Jewish identity through the history of the Barbie doll. The Tribe, which also premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, won 18 awards [19] and was the first documentary short to become #1 on iTunes. [20]

In 2011, her first feature documentary, Connected: An Autoblogography About Love, Death & Technology, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. [21] The film ran in theaters and on television, and was subsequently released on digital platforms. [6] [22] The winner of 17 awards [23] including the Tribeca Film Festival's Disruptive Innovation Award, [24]

In 2011, she introduced the concept of "Cloud Filmmaking" with a series of shorts produced through cloud-based collaborative filmmaking. The first film in the series, A Declaration of Interdependence, was released Sept 2011; the second film, Engage, debuted in early 2012. [25] Later that year, both a 10-minute film and a TED Book, called Brain Power: From Neurons to Networks were released. [26] Brain Power premiered in November 2012 at The California Academy of Sciences. [27] It was selected by the US State Department as a part of the 2013 American Film Showcase and was screened at embassies in the Middle East in November 2013. [28] Shlain discussed cloud filmmaking as the keynote speaker at the Tribeca Film Festival's 2013 Interactive Day where she delivered her "Cloud Filmmaking Manifesto." [29]

In 2013, Shlain co-founded the nonprofit Let it Ripple: Mobile Films for Global Change, and continued making cloud films. The next film in the series was The Science of Character. To premiere the film, Shlain and her co-workers founded Character Day, where schools and organizations around the world would premiere the film and discuss ideas around character development on the same day in a simultaneous online video conversation. For the second annual Character Day, they premiered The Adaptable Mind, which explores skills needed in the 21st century, and The Making of a Mensch, about the science of character through the Jewish teachings of Mussar, interpreted through a modern-day lens. In 2019, the sixth and final Character Day included over 200,000 groups in 125 countries and all 50 states, drawing over 4 million participants. [30]

Shlain created two seasons of the AOL series The Future Starts Here, [31] which includes episodes entitled Technology Shabbats, Motherhood Remix, 10 Stages of The Creative Process, [32] The Future of Our Species, Why We Love Robots, co-directed with her husband Ken Goldberg, and A Case for Optimism. [33] The series, which began airing on AOL in 2013 was nominated for an Emmy Award in the News & Documentary for New Approaches: Arts, Lifestyle & Culture in 2014, and has since been viewed more than 40 million times. [34]

Shlain lectures[ where? ] on filmmaking, the Internet's influence on society, and the future, and has spoken at TEDWomen and TEDMED. [35] She delivered the keynote address for UC Berkeley's commencement ceremony in May 2010; [35] the speech was included on NPR's list of "The Best Commencement Speeches, Ever." [36]

Shlain directed a film on women and power that was released through Refinery29's "Shatterbox Anthology". [37] Released on October 27, 2016, it is called 50/50: Rethinking the Past, Present, and Future of Women + Power, and explores the 10,000-year history of women. In addition, on May 10, 2017, in support of 50/50 Day: Gender Equality, 11,000 events took place around the world, all linked by the internet. [38] These gatherings of people screened the film, [39] listened to noteworthy activists and celebrities. [38] [40]

In 2019, Shlain's book, 24/6: Giving Up Screens One Day a Week to Get More Time, Creativity, and Connection was published by Simon & Schuster. [41] [42] In 2020, the book was awarded the Marshall McLuhan Award for Outstanding Book in the Field of Media Ecology. [43]

Personal life

Shlain lives in Marin County, Northern California, with husband, artist and Professor of Robotics at U.C. Berkeley, Ken Goldberg, with whom she frequently collaborates on art installations and other projects. They have two daughters. [44] [45]

Shlain has a brother, Dr. Jordan Shlain; a sister, artist Kimberly Brooks; and brother-in-law, Albert Brooks. Her sister-in-law is Adele Goldberg. Following her father's death, Shlain and her siblings worked together to edit the manuscript of his final book, Leonardo's Brain: Understanding Da Vinci's Creative Genius.[2] [3] [15]

Filmography

YearTitleCredit
2021Pause [46] Producer, host
2021Dear Student [47] Director
2020Dear Voter [48] Director
2019Dear Parent [49] Director
2018Unstoppable [50] Director
2018Why I Pledge 5050Director, co-writer, editor
201730,000 Days [51] Director, co-writer, editor
201650/50: Rethinking the Past, Present, and Future of Women + PowerDirector, co-writer, editor
2015The Adaptable MindDirector, co-writer, editor
2015The Making of a Mensch [52] Director, co-writer, editor
2014The Future of Our SpeciesDirector, co-writer
2014Creative BondageDirector, co-writer
2014ParentechnologyDirector, co-writer
2014TransboomDirector, co-writer
2014The Photosynthesis of Social MediaDirector, co-writer
2014Robots, Botox & Google GlassDirector, co-writer
2014Punk Rock DiplomacyDirector, co-writer
2014A Case for DreamingDirector, co-writer
2014The Science of CharacterDirector, co-writer
2013Technology ShabbatsDirector, co-writer
2013Motherhood RemixedDirector, co-writer
2013Tech EtiquetteDirector, co-writer
2013Why We Love RobotsDirector, co-writer
2013Participatory RevolutionDirector, co-writer
2013The Creative Process in 10 ActsDirector, co-writer
2013Idea PornDirector, co-writer
2013A Case for OptimismDirector, co-writer
2013The Future Starts Here' (series)Director, co-writer
2013Facing the FutureDirector, co-writer
2012Brain Power: From Neurons to NetworksDirector, co-writer
2012 EngageDirector, co-writer
2011Connected: An Autobiogography about Love, Death & Technology [53] Director, producer, co-writer
2011Yelp: With Apologies to Allen Ginsberg's "Howl"Director, co-writer
2011A Declaration of InterdependenceDirector, co-writer
2006The TribeDirector, producer, co-writer
2003Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of HappinessDirector, co-writer
1992Hunter & Pandora [54] Director, Writer

Related Research Articles

Webby Awards Award for online content

The Webby Awards are awards for excellence on the Internet presented annually by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, a judging body composed of over two thousand industry experts and technology innovators. Categories include websites, advertising and media, online film and video, mobile sites and apps, and social.

Jehane Noujaim

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Leonard Shlain was an American surgeon, author, and inventor. He was chairperson of laparoscopic surgery at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, and was an associate professor of surgery at University of California, San Francisco.

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<i>The Tribe</i> (2005 film)

The Tribe is a short documentary film directed by Tiffany Shlain and narrated by Peter Coyote. Weaving together archival footage, graphics and animation, it tells the history of both the Barbie doll and the Jewish people from Biblical times to the present.

The 1997 Webby Awards were the first of the annual Webby Awards, and also the first-ever nationally televised awards ceremony devoted to the Internet. 700 people attended the event on March 6, 1997, at Bimbo's Night Club in San Francisco, California

The 1998 Webby Awards were held on March 6, 1998, at the San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts, and were the first event ever to be broadcast live via the Web in 3D. The "People's Voice" awards, chosen by online poll, received 100,000 cumulative votes that year.

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<i>Connected: An Autoblogography About Love, Death & Technology</i>

Connected: An Autoblogography About Love, Death, & Technology is an autobiographical documentary film directed by Tiffany Shlain, dedicated to her father. The film unfolds during a year in which technology and science literally become a matter of life and death for the director. As Tiffany's father Dr. Leonard Shlain, MD battles brain cancer and she confronts a high-risk pregnancy, her very understanding of connection is challenged. Using a mix of animation, archival footage, and home movies, Shlain attempts to reveal the ties that link us not only to the people we love but also to the world at large. Connected explores how, after centuries of declaring our independence, it may be time for us to declare our interdependence instead.

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Technology Shabbat or Tech Shabbat is a term coined in 2010 by Tiffany Shlain and Ken Goldberg to describe a day of rest or cessation from the use of all technology with screens: smartphones, personal computers, tablets and television. Shlain introduced the concept, modeled on the traditional Jewish Shabbat, in a series of articles and films after participating in The National Day of Unplugging, an event sponsored by nonprofit think tank Reboot.

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