Picture Character (2019)

  • 1h 21m
  • Ian Cheney
  • Martha Shane
  • United States, Germany, Japan, Argentina

Tuesday 16 June, 12:30pm
Tuesday 23rd June, 12:30pm
Tuesday 30 June, 12:30pm


“I just thought it was something that would make people happy.”
– Shigetaka Kurita, inventor of the emoji


Ian Cheney and Martha Shane take a deep dive past the smiling 💩💩💩 into the complex, conflict-prone 🤯, and often hilarious 😂😂😂 world of the creators, lovers and arbiters of emoji – the world’s newest pictorial language.

The rapid rise ↗ of emoji (Japanese for “picture character”) is a global phenomenon without precedent.

Their widespread use and ability to convey complex messages have not only cemented their place as an emerging digital language, but have also prompted difficult questions about the creation of a language.

Not least among these are issues of race, identity and inclusion. Approval of new emojis in the hands of a private company, the Unicode Consortium.

Shigetaka Kurita, the Japanese interface designer who invented emojis over 20 years ago, created 176 emojis. From their humble beginnings in Japan, they’ve spread – to mobile 📲 the 🌏 over.

There are now 2,823 emojis. 👏👏👏👏👏


Director

Ian Cheney

Director

Martha Shane

Language(s)

English, Japanese, Arabic, Spanish