Play Again Documentary – Catching Up with STAND Winner and Independent Filmmaker, Tonje Schei

Play Again - Homepage Last year, Norwegian filmmaker Tonje Schei received a $5,000 grant from KEEN as a result of being a runner-up in KEEN’s Hybrid.STAND contest.

The Hybrid.STAND contest was a KEEN initiative that awarded $150,000 to fund different innovative ideas centered on sustainability. There were three overall categories, Stand Up, Stand Out and Stand For, each having a grand prize of $25,000 and 5 runner-up prizes in the amount of $5,000.

Schei was awarded this grant for the production of her new documentary, Play Again, which is a character-driven documentary that follows a group of tech-savvy teenagers on their first wilderness adventure. Spending 5 to 15 hours a day behind screens, they are “the average American child”. Play Again unplugs these teens and takes them into the vast Oregon forest where there is no electricity, no cell phone coverage and no bathrooms. Through the voices of children and leading experts, Play Again investigates the consequences of a childhood removed from nature. The average American child spends more than 6 hours each day behind computer and televisions screens. According to Richard Louv, 90% of children’s time is now spent indoors.

One generation from now most people in the U.S. will have spent more time in the virtual world than in nature. New media technologies have improved our lives in countless ways and information now appears with just a click. But what are we missing? And how will this impact our children, our society, and eventually, our planet?

Funds from the KEEN grant kicked off the fundraising campaign for Play Again, and since then contributions have totaled over $91,000, which is almost 1/3 of the film’s budget and a decent amount raised for an independent documentary. Filming wrapped up in October and Schei and her crew are well in to post production. Although there is no formal release date set, the film should be done soon so check in here for the latest information.