Enterprise Documentary Fund Grantee

Users (working title)

Natalia Almada
Josh Penn and Elizabeth Lodge Stepp

With technology increasingly driving all aspects of our society, we are moving quickly toward becoming a “technopoly." Using a visual essay documentary form we will explore the unintended and often dehumanizing consequences of our society's embedded belief that technological progress will lead to the betterment of humanity. Is technological progress inevitable? Are we all increasingly isolated? Do we really have agency to direct its course? Is technology an expression of our humanity or is technology destroying our humanity? The film will be a critical and reflective meditation on these questions, using cinematic language that evokes the body and nature to counter the myth of technological progress.

Natalia AlmadaNatalia Almada, Director / Producer

"Recipient of the 2012 MacArthur ""Genius"" Award and of the 2009 Sundance Documentary Directing Award for her film “El General,” ""Todo lo demás"" (""Everything Else"") Almada's debut fiction feature starring Academy-award nominated Adriana Barraza premiered at the 2016 New York Film Festival. Almada’s 2011 film “El Velador” premiered at New Directors/New Films and the Cannes' Directors' Fortnight. Her previous credits include “All Water Has a Perfect Memory,” an experimental short film that premiered at Sundance in 2002 and received the best documentary short award at the Tribeca Film Festival; “Al Otro Lado,” her award-winning debut feature documentary about immigration, drug trafficking and corrido music. Almada’s films have screened at Documenta13, The Museum of Modern Art, The Guggenheim Museum and The 2008 Whitney Biennial. All three feature documentaries have broadcast on the award-winning series POV. Almada has received the Guggenheim, USA Artists, Alpert and MacDowell fellowships. She graduated with a Masters in Fine Arts in photography from the Rhode Island School of Design and currently lives in Mexico City and San Francisco.

Josh Penn and Elizabeth Lodge Stepp, Producers

Josh Penn and Elizabeth Lodge Stepp are producers with the Department of Motion Pictures.  They have produced numerous award-winning narrative and documentary films, including Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012, nominated for four Academy Awards), Western (Sundance 2015 Special Jury Prize Winner), Brimstone & Glory (2017 Top 5 Documentaries by National Board of Review), Terrence Malick’s Knight of Cups (2015) and Song to Song (2017), Patti Cake$ (2017), A Thousand Thoughts (Sundance 2018) and Monsters and Men (Sundance 2018 Special Jury Award for Outstanding First Feature) among others.