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Polar Star Films
Rosselló 320, Local 1
08025 Barcelona, Spain
+34 93 200 47 77

Google and the World Brain

Director: Ben Lewis
89/52 min, HD, 2013

The story of the most ambitious project ever conceived on the Internet. In 2002 Google began to scan millions of books in an effort to create a giant global library, containing every book in existence. They had an even greater purpose - to create a higher form of intelligence, something that HG Wells had predicted in his 1937 essay "World Brain". But over half the books Google scanned were in copyright, and authors across the world launched a campaign to stop Google, which climaxed in a New York courtroom in 2011. A film about the dreams, dilemmas and dangers of the Internet.

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A POLAR STAR FILMS and BLTV production
In co-production with ZDF/ARTE, BBC, TVE (Televisión Española), TVC (Televisió de Catalunya) with support from MEDIA Development and Distribution, EURODOC 2010 and ICEC (Spain) and with the collaboration of LICHTPUNT, SVT, NRK, DR2, VPRO, Knowledge Network and ERT.

Distribution: Off the Fence

Key Crew

Executive Producer: Carles Brugueras
Producer: Bettina Walter
Editor: Simon Barker
Director of Photography: Frank-Peter Lehmann
Music: Lucas Ariel Vallejos

Festivals & Awards

(a selection)

Sundance 2013 - World Documentary Competition
First Place - National Headliner Award for Documentary
Best Documentary - Rincon International Film Festival (Puerto Rico)
Rincón International Film Festival 2013 - Winner Best Documentary
37th Cleveland Film Festival - Standing Up Competition
RiverRun International Film Festival 2013 - Documentary Features Competition
56th San Francisco International Film Festival
DOXA Documentary Film Festival 2013
Documenta Madrid 2013 - International competition for feature documentary films
Docs Barcelona 2013 - Official Selection
Sheffield Doc/Fest 2013 - Special Jury Strand (in competition)
Design Film Festival 2013 - Singapore
Real Film Festival 2013 - Australia
Frontline Club Summer program - United Kingdom
Festival do Rio - Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival, Brasil
51st New York Film Festival - USA
Contemporary Science Film Festival 2013 - Russia
CPH:DOX - Denmark


Huffington Post - Lucas McNelly
"Endlessly fascinating and engaging... It's probably the best documentary you'll see all year.” 

Screen Daily - Anthony Kaufman
“…well-constructed [...] surprisingly effective”.

Indiewire - Julie Fischer
“‘Google and the World Brain’ is a masterful documentary. It will undoubtedly have an effect on anyone who sees it.”