Handsome 16-year-old Austyn Tester dreams of parlaying his moderate social media following into fame, as a way to escape his life in Tennessee and become a star. Garnering enough attention online to get management, he finds out firsthand how difficult it is to remain connected with his followers. Following Austyn, talent managers, and other influencers, filmmaker Liza Mandelup delves into the world of video blogging, from emotionally fraught IRL meet-and-greets to behind-the-scenes discussions of “authenticity,” and shows what happens to the talent in the fleeting industry of social media.
- U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Emerging Filmmaker - Sundance FF
- Special Mention (Youth Jury Award) - Sheffield Doc/Fest
- Austyn Tester
- Donovan Tester
- Michael Weist
- Bryce Hall
- Mikey Barone
- Julian Jara
- Jovani Jara
- Noah Collier
- Alex O'Flinn
- Palmbomen II
- AUTLOOK FILMSALES
It's an engaging, amusing and occasionally jaw-dropping portrait of a world that could hardly be more foreign to most documentary fans.
Jawline explores what's unique about social media stardom without overemphasizing its novelty, so the film works as a dissection of modern digital celebrity, but also a classic story about beautiful young people struggling to get famous.
JAWLINE prods the contradictions of the authenticity-industrial complex.
Liza Mandelup started out in photography before moving into filmmaking, making her debut with a short film, TWINHEADS (2015). Her other shorts include FANGIRL (2016), SUNDOWN (2016), and SHOWPONY (2018). She has directed commercials for brands that include Chanel, Dove, and Adidas and collaborated with online platforms that include Vogue, Dazed, I-D, and Nowness. Says Mandelup of her process, “For me, I explore my idea while filming, I need to look at the idea through a lens to fully understand where I’m going with it. I’m looking for the story as much as I am creating it.”
Her latest documentary JAWLINE (2019) won the Sundance FF’s U.S. Doc Special Jury Award for Emerging Filmmaker.