James Graham's new short film People You May Know is released today
James Graham’s new short film People You May Know on the growing influence of big data and algorithms on our day-to-day lives, starring Lydia West and Arthur Darvill, is released today via ft.com/drama and the FT’s YouTube channel.
“Future schoolchildren, studying the great pandemic of 2020, are going to be able to draw their own map of person to person contact.
We have it all, it’s all stored: every human interaction, every footstep, every message.”
FT Assistant Editor Janine Gibson said: “Our goal for FT Film is to continue to innovate and develop compelling stories. In collaborating with the arts world, journalists can learn new ways of communicating the real-world impact behind the facts we uncover. The results, as shown by this film, can be truly powerful.”
Sonia Friedman said: “Drama, like journalism, exists to ask important questions of the contemporary world and one of those questions is our relationship to data. The advantages of our information age have rarely been as overt as in this extraordinary year, but as James Graham’s potent and unsettling theatrical short film People You May Know makes clear, they are not without disconcerting and complicated trade-offs. James is a writer with the keenest of moral compasses, and his astute dramatic eye – along with pinpoint performances by Lydia West and Arthur Darvill – brings a flush of feeling to the Financial Times’ rigorous journalistic enquiry.”
Martin Tisné, Managing Director, Luminate, said: “The collective nature of data means people are more impacted by other people’s data than by data about them. As the film perfectly demonstrates: the energy readings on my thermostat, the video feed from my door bell, even my satnav routes - these impact all of us. In the era of machine learning, individual denial of consent is close to meaningless. The Covid pandemic has accelerated this datafication. Our societies urgently need collective as well as individual data rights to chart a new course for the digital future we want to see.”