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Press Release

Silicon Valley Premiere of THE HUMAN FACE OF BIG DATA Film to Feature Industry Panel Discussion on "Data for Good"

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwired - Feb 8, 2016) - The sold-out, invitation-only Silicon Valley premiere of The Human Face of Big Data, scheduled to take place at the Montgomery Theater on February 9, will include a special discussion with the filmmakers and industry thought leaders on the use of data for good.

THE HUMAN FACE OF BIG DATA is a gripping new one-hour documentary that examines the promises and perils of this unstoppable force that is now invisibly sweeping through our lives and is expected to have an impact on humanity and civilization 1,000 times greater than the Internet itself. The Silicon Valley screening is being held in advance of the film's premiere nationally on PBS Wednesday, February 24, 2016, at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. The film also will be broadcast internationally in 25 countries and 10 languages later this year.

The award-winning film is a unique multi-platform media collaboration between Rick Smolan, a visionary in the field of photography and publishing whose book was the basis of the film, and his brother, Sandy, an award-winning filmmaker of more than 60 features, documentaries and top network TV series. They teamed up to go beyond numbers and algorithms to reveal the human face of big data and demonstrate its profound impact on our lives and society.

The film features compelling human stories, captivating visuals and in-depth interviews with dozens of pioneering scientists, entrepreneurs, futurists and experts to illustrate powerful new data-driven tools, which have the potential to improve our daily lives and address some of humanity's biggest challenges, including health, hunger, pollution, security and disaster response.

At the conclusion of the Silicon Valley screening, the Smolan brothers will be joined by several industry thought leaders for a special panel discussion about using big data for good. The distinguished panelists include:

  • Vint Cerf, vice president and chief Internet evangelist, Google
  • Linda Avey, biologist and co-founder of and Curious, Inc.
  • Quentin Clark, chief business officer, SAP
  • Michael Malone, author and journalist, as moderator

"Our goal with this project was to spark a global conversation about the human aspects of big data -- and how it is changing our lives for better and worse," said director Sandy Smolan. "It's a conversation we are delighted to contribute to here in Silicon Valley and beyond. We are particularly thrilled the film now will be reaching a global audience, starting with the national television premiere on PBS."

The Silicon Valley premiere event is co-hosted by Churchill Club, The Computer History Museum, CuriosityStream, The Tech Museum and KQED, with SAP as the presenting corporate sponsor.

As a founding member of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, SAP's support for the film is part of its commitment to help people understand the crucial role of data to monitor and achieve the UN's 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. SAP signed on to host over 100 private screenings of this documentary around the world in 10 different languages. "It is our hope that all of the screenings, including the Silicon Valley premiere, will stimulate wider and ongoing thoughtful conversation on the impacts of Big Data, and the opportunities it creates," said Quentin Clark, chief business officer at SAP and a member of the Global Managing Board of SAP SE. "Further, we hope to encourage other Silicon Valley firms and tech companies from around the world to join us in our effort to use data to address some of the world's most pressing issues."

Churchill Club CEO Karen Tucker added, "There is no better time than now to ignite conversation around the impact of big data in our daily lives and where it's all headed. We are happy to be able to join with our esteemed colleagues in Silicon Valley to provide a platform for this documentary to be seen and a venue for this important industry discussion to take place."

The Human Face of Big Data Project was made possible by EMC with support from Cisco, SAP, VMware and FedEx.

About the Producers:

Sandy Smolan, director of The Human Face of Big Data is an award-winning filmmaker whose work spans features, documentaries, television, commercials and virtual reality films. His critically acclaimed debut feature film, "Rachel River," was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and took awards for Best Cinematography and a Special Jury Prize for Acting. His VR film, "The Click Effect," the first New York Times Op Doc Virtual Reality film, premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and was produced in partnership with The McArthur Foundation, The New York Times, Vrse and Annapurna Pictures. As a television director, his credits include the acclaimed pilot for the series "Middle Ages," as well as more than 50 network series, including "Brothers and Sisters" and "Ally McBeal." He directed the award-winning documentary "12 Stones" and was the recipient of a 2015 James Beard Award.

Rick Smolan
Rick Smolan, Executive Producer of The Human Face of Big Data, is CEO of Against All Odds Productions and a New York Times best-selling author with more than five million copies of his books in print. A former Time, Life, and National Geographic photographer, Smolan is best known as the co-creator of the "Day in the Life" and "America 24/7" series. His global photography projects, which feature the work of hundreds of the world's leading photographers and combine creative storytelling with state-of-the-art technology, are regularly featured on the covers of prestigious publications around the globe including Fortune, Time, and GEOFortune magazine describes Against All Odds as "One of the 25 Coolest Companies in America.

In 2014 the Oscar winning producers of "The Kings Speech" released TRACKS, a feature film starring Mia Wasikowska ("Alice in Wonderland") as Robyn and Adam Driver ("Star Wars") as Rick, based on Smolan's National Geographic cover story featuring 27-year-old Robyn Davidson's 1700 mile nine-month camel trek across the Australian outback. "INSIDE TRACKS: Alone Across the Outback" Smolan's smart phone enabled coffee table book weaves together Davidson's original journey, her story's road to the silver screen and a delightful interactive component, enabling readers to point their smart devices at Smolan's original photographs and see that scene as it was brought to life in the film. Smolan has spoken at TED, The World Economic Forum in Davos, The Ford Foundation, The Wired Health Conference, TEDMED, Techonomy, DLD in Munich, IdeaCity in Canada, INK in India, The Strata Conference, etc. More than a million people have watched Smolan's "Natasha's Story" talk on (

About Churchill Club
Churchill Club is Silicon Valley's premier business and technology forum. The 7,500-member, 30-year-old, 501(c)(3) non-profit has earned its international reputation for dynamic, in-the-news programs where global business and thought leaders meet to discuss and debate, inform and educate, forecast and evaluate. The organization presents about 30 programs annually in support of its mission to encourage innovation, economic growth, and societal benefit, with an emphasis on actionable takeaways and insights.

Media Contacts:
For information about the Silicon Valley screening of the film and interviews, members of the media should contact Betty Taylor for the Churchill Club: 408-981-7551;

For additional information about the film, for photos and more, contact Roslan & Campion PR: Eileen Campion, Roslan & Campion PR, 212-966-4600;

For information about the PBS debut of the film visit PBS PressRoom at

Betty Taylor
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