Elyas Masrour, "Project Lonelier Nights: Can shortfilm be used to increase technological literacy?"
For decades, science fiction filmmaking has fascinated us, entertained us, energized us, and warned us about our future. It has explored technology, society, politics, economics, and much, much more. Unfortunately, the typical blockbuster Hollywood feature is difficult to use as an educational tool due to its length. A typical-length film of 1 hour and 30 minutes could take up to three class meetings to simply view, let alone analyze or break down. Luckily, there’s a vibrant community of hobbyists, amateurs, and professionals making short films with much smaller lengths, but with similar grand thematic ambition. So, I asked the question: can we enhance the educational potential of short-form filmmaking by including classroom usage in the design process from conception to completion? As an engineering major, I decided to focus my educational short film project on technology and its consequences. I weaved an intricate story that touched upon the topics within technology that interested me the most:namely Corporate Consolidation, Data & Privacy, Artificial Intelligence, and the Metaverse. After writing, preparing, directing, and editing the film, I also wrote a classroom curriculum designed to increase speculative technological literacy in students.