06-24 November 2019



Ian Cheney and Martha Shane

United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Austria, Argentina, Japan

2019 / 79’ / Hawaii Premiere / English


Emojis (Japanese for “picture character”) have emerged as a way for billions to communicate. With the advent of mobile phone technology creating a paradigm shift on how we communicate, emojis are a worldwide phenomenon, with some arguing that these little icons are on the verge of actually becoming their own language. But, who decides what new emojis become vetted and approved to be added into the morass occupied by smiling poops and heart-eyed faces?
Directors Martha Shane and Ian Cheney take us deep into the world of picture characters, from the private non-profit international consortium that standardized emoji offerings and decides on the introduction of new ones, to the campaigns for new emojis such as those depicting menstruation,  Argentinian mate (the tea, not an Aussie friend), a hijab, the development of skin tones, and to the very beginnings of emojis in Japan, where we meet the emoji godfather himself, Shigetaka Kurita. 
Like a good use of a chin scratching emoji, PICTURE CHARACTER is both thought-provoking and fun, and it will ensure that viewers never look at another emoji, or think of language itself, the same way again.

-Anderson Le

Friday 8 17:30 - 18:54Regal Dole Cannery 18
Monday 11 16:00 - 17:24Regal Dole Cannery 1
DirectorIan Cheney and Martha Shane.
CinematographerEmily Topper.

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