Synopsis: DOWNLOADED focuses on the advent of digital media sharing, including the rise of game-changing company Napster and its controversial online pioneers Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker. The digital revolution ultimately created a technology paradigm shift and upended both the music industry and music artists, and changed the world. The film features insights from such well-known artists and figures within the music industry as: The Beastie Boys’ Mike D; Noel Gallagher; Henry Rollins; former Sony Music Chairman Don Ienner; former record producer and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell; Sire Records co-founder Seymour Stein; Grateful Dead lyricist, poet, essayist and “cyberlibertarian” activist JP Barlow; Hilary Rosen, former CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America; Harvard law professor and political activist Lawrence Lessig, and other industry executives, government officials and leaders in the world of civil and digital rights.
Part of VH1’s Emmy Award Winning franchise, “Downloaded” premiered at SXSW with appearances by several of the film’s subjects, including Napster founders Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker; DJ Spooky; musician and activist Chuck D; musician and John Perry Barlow, co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Since its release, critics and writers alike have praised DOWNLOADED. The New York Times called the doc “Fascinating” while Wired called it “So relevant to today’s tech Industry It’s unnerving.” Peter Debruge from Variety praised the documentary by saying, “Blending fresh interviews with Fanning, Sean Parker and they key players with terrific archival footage and a wide range of insights from artists, investors, and future minded thinkers, Winter helpfully puts the Napster story in the bigger context of the late ‘90s file sharing revolution.” Entertainment Weekly’s Owen Gliberman gave DOWNLOADED an “A-“ writing…”incisive.. Alex Winter’s documentary is so valuable, it tells the story of Natpster in all its avid complexity…”
Last year for the first time, AOL acquired, DOWNLOADED as a feature film to stream for free on their video platform, AOL On. DOWNLOADED was available for free streaming and was also made available on the AOL On app on mobile devices and TV (Roku, Xbox), as well as AOL brand channels including Moviefone, Cambio, and Mandatory.
VH1 produced DOWNLOADED for its Emmy Award-winning film series VH1 rockDocs, whose films have included the Emmy Award winning ANVIL! THE STORY OF ANVIL, THE US VS. JOHN LENNON, SOUL POWER, MARLEY and more.
DOWNLOADED is written, directed and executive produced by Alex Winter and executive produced by Maggie Malina. Consulting producer is Thom Zimny; music is composed by DJ Spooky; editor is Jacob Craycroft and the director of photography is Anghel Decca. Executive Producers for VH1 are Brad Abramson, Warren Cohen, Rick Krim, Bill Flanagan, Shelly Tatro, and Jeff Olde.