Evoking passionate reactions and controversial reviews Catfish is the American documentary providing unprecedented insight into the dysfunctional relationships formed within social networking forums.
New York based brothers Nev and Ariel Schulman, along with close friend Henry Joost set out to compile footage for a short film centered around an eight-year-old girl from Michigan called Abby Pierce. The film starts when Abby contacts Nev to express her admiration for his photography, mailing him a picture she has painted of an image he had published in the New York Times. The events that follow this initial correspondence go further than the boys could have ever imagined.
Speaking about the emotional journey the three encountered whilst filming the documentary, Nev commented “I never thought we were going to make a movie with this experience, I never expected the footage to get turned into a story that people would see but I think that it’s because I was so candid and open, willing to reveal the most personal moments, that the film is successful and sends a message. People are able to associate with it and come away changed. It’s an honour to be at the centre of something that is influencing people in such a positive way.”
Creating a serious buzz at this year’s Sundance film festival, Catfish is scheduled for release in the UK on 17 December. Nev, Ariel and Henry chatted to i-D Online ahead of the screening at the London Film Festival about the effects the film has had on their friendship.