Short film director Andrew Fitzgerald visited South City Campus to screen his most recent work “I Know You From Somewhere” for teachers and students.
Described as a dark comedy, “I Know You From Somewhere” premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and deals primarily with the world of online social justice and sensationalism — specifically how the accused moves on after becoming a source of ridicule for comment sections and media talking heads.
The film stars Katherene (Angela Trimbur), a young, social media-friendly woman skeptical of those who feel obliged to overtly express themselves. Her friend Olivia (Cleopatra Coleman) exemplifies this as she obsesses over taking pictures of both herself and her food.
Through a dating site, Katherene meets an imperfect yet sustainable boyfriend, Daniel (Colin Woodell). The pair are happy until she discovers Daniel having an affair with Olivia. Katherene then invites both of them to dinner and confronts them. Someone then films the outburst, and the audio paints her as a terrible racist.
Katherene becomes an internet sensation and is subjected to personal harassment, moving the tone of the movie to a serious note as it examines the nature of online justice: what started on the web begins to affect her in real life.
Fitzgerald, who has worked as an editor on “Portlandia,” “Nathan for You,” and “Comedy Bang! Bang!” also participated in a question-and-answer session with the audience.
When discussing the theme of his film, Fitzgerald references Jon Ronson’s book “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed,” which also deals with the culture of online shaming. Ronson compares current social media trends to colonial America, where puritanical views often led to censure and ostracization.
While “I Know You From Somewhere” raises awareness of a disturbing trend in the digital age, Fitzgerald says there are no easy answers, and doubts that political correctness is to blame.
“It just gets worse,” he adds. “It’s difficult because you can’t make blanket statements about things.”
Although he plans to return to editing, Fitzgerald hopes to make a feature length film or to make more short films once he can afford it. Fitzgerald self-funded “I Know You From Somewhere” on a relatively small budget of $70,000.
“So what I do is just I’ll be on a show editing for six months just saving every single penny,” he says. “Then I’ll have a time, or time off in between shows, to put all that money into my own work.”
Fitzgerald says he has no major regrets with his film, but did learn a valuable lesson that he can apply to future projects.
“Spending too much on parking,” he says with a laugh.
Visit the Sundance website for more information about screenings and other events.