Independent film explores social media and lack of human interaction


Filmmaker Katherine Brooks realized she was spending far too much time on Facebook. That's what inspired her to reach out to the first 50 Facebook friends who responded, transforming her virtual relationships into a real-world life-changing adventure.

"I had 5,000 friends, yet it had been a month since I had a hug," said Brooks.

Brooks, who was a reality-TV director, left her work and set out on an 11,000-mile road trip across the country.

"The first 50 people who say yes, I am coming to your city and I am going to spend a day with you," Brooks says in the film.

Along the way, she met people who taught her unforgettable lessons.

"When you see someone who is on the cusp of leaving this world, it makes you realize how precious life is, and to not take it for granted," said Brooks.

Brooks' film "Face 2 Face" is premiering this weekend at the Dances With Films festival at Grauman's Chinese Theatre. That's another lifelong dream of hers fulfilled.

"When I first got here and I was living in my car, there was a premiere at Mann's Chinese, I was homeless, I was 15, and I said, 'One day I'm going to make it here. One day I'll have a film here,'" said Brooks.

It's a story of personal revelation that she says has context for everyone who uses social media and still feels alone, for those living in a world of phones and computer screens but devoid of face-to-face relationships and human touch.

"Social media is never going to take the place of a hug, or a face-to-face connection," said Brooks. "You can't really get to know people unless you're seeing them and hearing their voice. You just can't connect as much through a computer."

The Dances With Films festival began Thursday night and runs through June 7 at Grauman's Chinese Theatre.

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