Celling Your Soul
An examination of our love/hate relationships with our digital devices from the first digitally socialized generation, and what we can do about it.
Directed by Joni Siani
Editor: Enver Perez
Camera: Willmarie Huertas, Enver Perez, Antonio Harris, Jimmi Ji, Rick King
[Note: Community screenings of CELLING YOUR SOUL can be booked at Bullfrog Communities.]
"Very engaging and sparks great conversation among young people." Dr. Roberta Golinkoff, Prof. Education, University of Delaware
Note: A new 2020-21 Companion Workbook adapted for remote learning is now available for download..
CELLING YOUR SOUL is a powerful and informative examination of how our young people actually feel about connecting in the digital world and their love/hate relationship with technology. It provides empowering strategies for more fulfilling, balanced, and authentic human interaction within the digital landscape.
The film reveals the effects of "digital socialization" by taking viewers on a personal journey with a group of high school and college students who through a digital cleanse discover the power of authentic human connectivity, and that there is "No App" or piece of technology that can ever replace the benefits of human connection.
Grade Level: 6 - 12, College, Adults
US Release Date: 2017
Copyright Date: 2017
DVD ISBN: 1-941545-85-8
"I often profess the roots of many of the sustainability issues faced by humanity lie in a separation from the rest of nature...If a failure to identify with the rest of the natural world contributes to a disconnect between our choices and negative environmental and social consequences, what will be the results of isolating ourselves from each other? Use this timely documentary to spur discussions (face to face!) about the important, but often overlooked, impacts our electronics have on social development."
Joy Joann Scrogum, Emerging Technologies Resource Specialist, Co-coordinator of the Sustainable Electronics Initiative, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
"Shines a light on a controversial aspect of contemporary life. Highly recommended. ***1/2 stars."
"The cleanse is an eye-opener -- a chance to interact with others as real people, not just digital images...Illuminating and worthwhile."
Harold D. Shane, Library Journal
"Celling Your Soul succeeds in capturing the ways in which cell phones are pervading our lives. It is very engaging and sparks great conversation among young people."
Dr. Roberta Golinkoff, Professor of Education, University of Delaware, Author, Becoming Brilliant: What Science Tells us About Raising Successful Children
"[Offers] sound advice on how to monitor one's social media usage and how to judge what is the best application of technology...Appealingly genuine."
Geri Diorio, School Library Journal
"What starts for most as a struggle and full-blown resentment evolves into better sleep patterns, closer interactions with family and friends, and even eye contact with strangers...[The film is] a good teaching and learning tool."
Elaine Richman, Science Books and Films
"Very useful and engaging. Like fish in water, we have come to rely on anytime/anywhere access to information, content, and each other. This is especially true of young people growing up in today's digital environment. This film takes the fish out of water for a fresh perspective on its bowl - and the broader world around it."
Dr. Scott W. Campbell, Professor of Telecommunications, University of Michigan
"The group of older teens Celling Your Soul follows as they try the 'digital cleanse' are relatable and articulate; following their stories raises a lot of issues important to teens coming of age in the smart-phone era."
Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
"Recommended for young adult[s]...Might inspire teens to think about their reliance on social media and cellphones and go digital free for a week or longer."
Candace Smith, Booklist
"An honest and overdue evaluation of how our devices are shaping us...A heartwarming and eye opening understanding that people are more important than devices."
NYC Independent Film Festival
"Celling Your Soul has the potential to intimately connect with student viewers. The students featured provide a level of peer to peer support for the viewers and open a dialogue about the harms of being so closely connected to a cell phone. Through personal stories and revelations the viewer is left with the very provocative question: 'What benefits could a technology cleanse introduce to my life?'"
Tara Stamm, Dept of Sociology, Virginia Commonwealth University
"The point of the digital cleanse is that it affords participants the opportunity to take an introspective look at how they are socially, emotionally, and biologically affected by technology and reflect on their experience...Celling Your Soul is positive and inclusive."
Jay Gillespie, Wicked Local
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2 versions on the same DVD: 48 mins and 26 mins
Short film "Where Are They Now?"
SDH captions for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
Host a Community Screening
Film Guide & Challenge
2020-21 Companion Workbook
Awards and Festivals
Best Documentary, Boston International Kids Film Festival
Best Documentary, The Director's Chair Film Festival
Best Documentary, Docs Without Borders Film
Silver Award, Spotlight Documentary Film Awards
American Psychological Association Film Festival
Western Psychological Association Film Festival
Real to Reel International Film Festival
Stockholm Independent Film Festival
Central Florida Film Festival
New Hampshire Film Festival
New Haven Documentary Film Festival
New York City Independent Film Festival
Miami Independent Film Festival
Docs Without Borders Film Festival
Oktober Film Festival
VOB Film Festival
Media and Society
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