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Film
SPOTLIGHT DOCUMENTARY

GENERAL MAGIC

Directed by Matt Maude and Sarah Kerruish
FEATURE DOCUMENTARY 92 Minutes World Premiere
FILM GUIDE GENERAL MAGIC
In 1990, a new company called General Magic spun out from Apple. It took Silicon Valley by storm as rumors spread of its secret, “next big thing” project. Four years later, the company shipped its first product: a handheld, wireless personal computer—what was essentially a smartphone, even down to the emojis, all the way back in 1994. But the mid-’90s tech landscape wasn’t ready for an innovation so far ahead of its time—after all, the average consumer didn’t even have email and certainly was not prepared for 21st-century, anytime-anywhere communication. The product flopped, and General Magic shuttered.

Now, nearly 25 years later, the full extent of General Magic’s vision and influence comes into focus through Matt Maude and Sarah Kerruish’s exhilarating documentary. Combining a trove of archival footage with interviews with many of the company’s “magicians,” who have gone on to become tech pioneers, influencers, and inventors of everything from the iPhone to eBay, General Magic is a joyful celebration of failure and the importance of dreaming big—even if you’re a decade or two ahead of your time.

—Cara Cusumano
Documentary, First Time Filmmaker
About the Director(s)
Sarah Kerruish is a Peabody Award-winning, Emmy®-nominated documentary director and writer and the CEO of Spellbound Productions. A former magician, Kerruish gained unparalleled access to her subjects, making General Magic an intimately insightful film. Matt Maude is an award-winning director, producer, and writer, who Screen Yorkshire named one of the U.K. film industry’s “Super 8” filmmakers to watch.

Film Info
Cast & Credits
  • Director:
    Matt Maude, Sarah Kerruish
  • Producer:
    Matt Maude, Sarah Kerruish
  • Screenwriter:
    Matt Maude, Sarah Kerruish, Jonathan Keys
  • Cinematographer:
    Matt Maude, Jay Maude
  • Editor:
    Anna Meller, Claire Ferguson
  • Composer:
    Benji Merrison
  • Executive Producer:
    Michael Stern, Reynold D'Silva, John Giannandrea
  • Co-Producer:
    Ceridwen Tallett, Dee Gardetti
  • Cast:
    Tony Fadell, Marc Porat, Andy Hertzfeld, Megan Smith, Joanna Hoffman, Kevin Lynch

Contacts

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