(52 min) Norway/USA
Director: Tonje Hessen Schei
Producer: Meg Merrill
One generation from now most people in the US will have spent more time in the virtual world than in nature. New media technologies have improved our lives in countless ways. Information now appears with a click. Overseas friends are part of our daily lives. And even grandma loves Wii. But what are we missing when we are behind screens? And how will this impact our children, our society, and eventually, our planet? At a time when children play more behind screens than outside, Play Again explores the changing balance between the virtual and natural worlds. Is our connection to nature disappearing down the digital rabbit hole? This moving and humorous documentary follows six teenagers who, like the “average American child,” spend five to fifteen hours a day behind screens. Play Again unplugs these teens and takes them on their first wilderness adventure––no electricity, no cell phone coverage, no virtual reality. Through the voices of children and leading experts including journalist Richard Louv, sociologist Juliet Schor, environmental writer Bill McKibben, educators Diane Levin and Nancy Carlsson-Paige, neuroscientist Gary Small, parks advocate Charles Jordan, and geneticist David Suzuki, Play Again investigates the consequences of a childhood removed from nature and encourages action for a sustainable future.
Tonje Hessen Schei is a Norwegian filmmaker who has been working with independent documentary film since 1996. She is the director and producer of the award-winning documentary Independent Intervention. She worked for Electronic News Group on All Power to The People! Other productions include Texas and the Death Penalty. In Norway Tonje worked for NRK, the Norwegian National Broadcasting Network. She has a master’s in film from the University of Trondheim in Norway and a BA in film production from the University of Texas in Austin. Tonje is the cofounder of Ground Productions, an independent international documentary production company based in Portland and Norway. Tonje is a member of IDA, International Documentary Association, EDN, European Documentary Network and OMPA, Oregon Media Producers Association.