EXCLUSIVE: Utopia has acquired the North American rights to The Emoji Story, a feature documentary from Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker Ian Cheney (King Corn, The Most Unknown) and Emmy-winning filmmaker Martha Shane (After Tiller, From This Day Forward). The docu dives deep into the creation and ever-evolving world of emoji. The Emoji Story is set to hit VOD on December 22.
It is more than likely that you come across a heart emoji, smiley emoji or even a poop emoji at least once during your daily digital conversations. The emoji, which translates to “picture character” in Japanese, has changed the way we communicate and is essentially a universal language that nearly everyone understands. The rapid rise of emoji is a global phenomenon without precedent.
Although it has become the world’s foremost digital language, it has prompted difficult questions about the creation of a language and digital communication’s fraught ties to identity and inclusion. The Emoji Story, which debuted at Tribeca in 2019 under the title Picture Character, shines a light on the private consortium that approves new emoji offerings and the individuals fighting to make the language more representative of its billions of users.
“We love how this film provides insight into the creation of the emoji; how it has forever changed our means of communication; and the ways that the evolution of emoji characters mimics our social point of view,” said Danielle DiaGiacamo, Head of Content for Utopia.
“We’re always talking about the importance of representation on the Big Screen of Hollywood, while The Emoji Story movingly explains the power of representation on the Small Screen — on mobile devices that billions of people hold in their hands every single day,” adds producer Jennifer 8. Lee (The Search for General Tso, The Price, Chasing Coral). “This is all the more important because we are witnessing the first generation of children who will learn to ‘read and write’ emoji before they can read and write their native languages.”
Watch the trailer below.