Fall 2022 Doc Night Screening – #KidsOnTech – Oct. 10

Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival Blog

Fall 2022 Doc Night Screening – #KidsOnTech – Oct. 10

SDFF, Trim Tab Media and Rialto Cinemas® Fall Doc Night film series continues Oct. 10 with a screening of  #KidsOnTech (2022), followed by a discussion of the filmmaking process by director Paul Zehr and editor Eric Ivey. Doc Night is a monthly screening series featuring award-winning documentaries on diverse topics from the environment to social justice to art and music. All screenings and filmmaker discussions will be available in person and online. Afterwards, in-person attendees will gather at Fern Bar with the local filmmaking community for drinks, discussion and networking.

#KidsOnTech looks at the relationship between children and technology in the wake of the pandemic, examining the impact technology has had on children’s developing minds and bodies, and asking how best to move forward and prepare children for life in a digital world. The film includes intimate conversations with parents, teachers, neuroscientists, tech executives, child psychologists, and kids of every age from around the world.


The pandemic and resulting two years of lockdown in the U.S. meant dependence reliance on technology across the population, but forced children, in particular, to rely on technology more than ever. #KidsOnTechexamines the impact of screen and screen culture on children’s developing bodies and brains, and investigates how to better prepare children for the digital world. The doc travels from India to the U.S., France to China, and Mexico to Japan to explore what children need in order to truly excel in a tech-dominated future. As a part of their investigation, the filmmakers talk  a Google designer, a German brain scientist, and New York Timesjournalist, Matt Richtel, whose story on a Silicon Valley school created an international media frenzy. Is tech somehow inherently evil? Should we shield our children from tech at all costs? Certainly not, nor could we if we tried. #KidsOnTech‘s approach is one of empathic concern for everyone caught up in tech’s advance and offers a reminder of basic child development to show how children’s growth and maturity can be fostered so that they might thrive, not only in tech environments, but in the world itself.

Most parents were relieved to have Zoom classrooms, but children around the world are now emerging more obsessed than before with tech devices. According to #KidsOnTech, there is growing consensus in scientific circles that heavy use of screen-based technology can profoundly compromise healthy brain development in young children. And yet, in the world today, it is nearly impossible for parents and children not to depend on these devices in multiple ways.

What to do? Given the absence of simple answers, #KidsOnTech seeks to step beyond the hyperbolic media coverage spelling doom and gloom for kids to understand what these polarizing debate obscure through intimate conversations with parents, teachers, neuroscientists, tech executives, child psychologists, and kids of every age from around the world about technology. This film’s objective is to help start these important conversations with parents and teachers, to remind them of the importance of outdoor play, physical engagement with others, abd even boredom. The film explores strategies for protecting and preparing children for a rapidly changing world. Even so, the jury is still out whether tech is helping our children grow into healthier, more creative and technically proficient adults; or, paradoxically, hindering the very capacities they’ll need to navigate an evermore technologically demanding future.


The Doc Night screening of #KidsOnTech and a post-screening discussion director Paul Zehr and editor Eric Ivey will take place at Rialto Cinemas® on October 10 at 7 p.m., followed by casual drinks and snacks at Fern Bar.

Doc Night is a co-presentation of Trim Tab, Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival, and Rialto Cinemas®. Doc Night’s Fall/Winter season will continue with Not Without Us on Nov. 14, and Dear Santa on Dec. 12.


Not Without Us

An all too timely document of the grassroots struggle for significant climate action. In the months leading up to COP21 in Paris, Not Without Us chronicles the work and voices of activists from around the world as they make their voices heard.

with Kontent Films director Mark Decena

Dear Santa

Each year, hundreds of thousands of letters to Santa arrive at post offices around the country. Through Operation Santa, the United States Postal Service enables the public to safely adopt these letters and make children’s dreams come true.

with director Dana Nachman and cinematographer Mike Abela

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