Milwaukee Film is thrilled to announce that Michael Vollmann, our 2013 Filmmaker in Residence, will be premiering his new film, The 414s: The Original Teenage Hackers, at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah next month!
The short documentary traces the story of the 414s—a group of Milwaukee teenagers who, in 1983, broke into dozens of high-profile computer systems, resulting in a media frenzy that terrified a nation previously ignorant to the capabilities of computer interconnectivity. By unearthing a little-known story that is increasingly pertinent in 2014—when hacking makes the news nearly daily—the film considers the power young people have to use cutting edge technology to revolutionize the world.
Vollmann directed and shot the film, which was completed with the help of the prize package he received as the winner of the Cream City Cinema Jury Award at the 2013 Milwaukee Film Festival for his short film Before You. The film also credits as producer Chris James Thompson, another past recipient of our Filmmaker in Residence award (The Jeffrey Dahmer Files, 2012).
“The post-production assistance I received as part of my Filmmaker in Residence award really helped us achieve our vision for the film,” explained Vollmann, “and to get into Sundance is pretty incredible too!”
And that’s no understatement–being accepted to Sundance is a significant honor in the world of independent filmmaking. The festival is recognized as a leader in discovering new voices. Along with sales agents, critics, and distributors, film festivals from around the globe send programmers to Sundance to find films (and ours is no exception!).
We are excited to recognize Vollmann and Thompson’s achievement. The two of them are central to our city’s up-and-coming community of filmmakers and this accomplishment speaks to the quality of work being made in Milwaukee.
We look forward to seeing the film in Park City and (hopefully!) to helping it find its way to a screen in Milwaukee in the near future.