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BlackBerry (2023)

Opens on May 12

Director: Matt Johnson Run Time: 122 min. Release Year: 2023

Starring: Cary Elwes, Glenn Howerton, Jay Baruchel, Michael Ironside, Rich Sommer

Country: Canada
Language: English

About the film:

Official Selection, 2023 Berlin International Film Festival
Official Selection, 2023 SXSW Film Festival

“Frantic, irreverent and endearingly scrappy… making geek history more entertaining than it has any right to be.”

—Peter Debruge, Variety

Two mismatched entrepreneurs – egghead innovator Mike Lazaridis and cut-throat businessman Jim Balsillie – joined forces in an endeavour that was to become a worldwide hit in little more than a decade. The device that one of them invented and the other sold was the BlackBerry, an addictive mobile phone that changed the way the world worked, played and communicated. But just as BlackBerry was rising to new peaks, it also started losing its way through the fog of Smartphone wars, management indecision and outside distractions, eventually leading to the breakdown of one of the most successful ventures in the history of the tech and business worlds.

Adapted from Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff’s book “Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of BlackBerry”, the film BlackBerry (2023) is a whirlwind ride through a ruthlessly competitive Silicon Valley at breakneck speeds. For his role as Jim, Glenn Howerton received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Performance.

About the filmmaker:

Matt Johnson is a Canadian actor and filmmaker best known for his independent feature films. His directorial debut, the found-footage thriller The Dirties (2013), won Best Narrative Feature at the Slamdance Film Festival, and his follow-up Operation Avalanche (2016) premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. He also created, wrote, and starred in the low-budget cult comedy web series Nirvanna the Band the Show from 2007 to 2009, which was re-mastered and screened at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2016. Johnson also appeared as an actor in films including Anne at 13,000 ft (2019) which screened in the 2020 Berlinale Forum, and in his latest feature BlackBerry (2023) which competed for the Golden Bear at the 2023 Berlin International Film Festival. He lectures in the film department of York University alongside his producing partner Matthew Miller.

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