Directed by Martha Shane and Ian Cheney
FEATURE DOCUMENTARY 81 Minutes World Premiere
Emojis (Japanese for “picture character”) have emerged as a way for billions to communicate. Their widespread use and ability to convey complex and subtle feelings could mean the world is on the cusp of discovering a new language. Directors Martha Shane and Ian Cheney take us deep into the world of picture characters, from the private non-profit international consortium that standardized emoji offerings and decides on the introduction of new ones, to the campaigns for new emojis such as those depicting menstruation and Argentinian mate, and to the very beginnings of emojis in Japan.

Picture Character follows the path of smiling poops and heart-eyed faces, tackles the development of skin tones, and tracks the evolution of the global digital language. Like a good use of a chin scratching emoji, the documentary is both thought-provoking and fun, and it will insure that viewers never look at another emoji, or think of language itself, the same way again.

—Sudeep Sharma
Comedy, Documentary, Technology
About the Director(s)
Ian Cheney is an Emmy®-nominated and Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker whose films include King Corn and The Most Unknown. Martha Shane is an Emmy®-winning filmmaker, director of After Tiller and producer of From This Day Forward.

Film Info
Cast & Credits
  • Composer:
    Simon Beins, Ben Fries
  • Producer:
    Jennifer 8. Lee, Ian Cheney, Martha Shane
  • Executive Producer:
    Fred Benenson, Peter Friedland
  • Cinematographer:
    Emily Topper, Ian Cheney, Lucy Martens
  • Associate Producer:
    Margaux Sax
  • Director:
    Martha Shane, Ian Cheney
  • Editor:
    Frederick Shanahan

  • Press Contact
    Emma Griffiths
    Emma Griffiths PR
    Brooklyn, New York 11215
    Phone: 917 806 0599
  • US Sales Contact
    Matthew Burke
    Submarine Entertainment
    New York, NY 10013
    Phone: 212 625 1410
  • International Sales Contact
    Matthew Burke
    Submarine Entertainment
    New York, NY 10013
    Phone: 212 625 1410