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USA: Artisan Entertainment
UK: Artificial Eye
Cast: Kaleil Isaza Tuzman, Tom Herman, Bill Clinton, Maynard Jackson
Directors: Chris Hegedus, Jehane Noujaim
USA: 103 mins
UK: 107 mins
USA Rated: R for language
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong language
USA Release Date: 18 May 2001 (Limited Release - Los Angeles)
USA Release Date: 11 May 2001 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 7 September 2001
"The year 2000 was not kind to the young Internet industry. Tech stocks tanked. Fresh capital for dot-coms dried up. At least 130 online firms died and an estimated 40,000 dot-com workers lost jobs."- Jon Swartz, USA Today, 12/28/2000
As an ailing economy reduces high-flying Internet companies around the country to bankruptcy, acclaimed documentary team Chris Hegedus, D A Pennebaker and newcomer Jehane Noujaim take a behind-the-scenes look at the volatile start-up phenomenon, chronicling the turbulent development of govWorks.com, an award-winning Internet site that facilitates interaction between local government, citizens and businesses. Turning a familiar headline story into a high-pressure personal odyssey, STARTUP.COM follows the trials of partners Kaleil Isaza Tuzman and Tom Herman, best friends since childhood, as they progress from being rookies with only a business plan to assuming the leadership of a nationally recognized Internet company struggling to survive an inhospitable economy.
Picking up where today's headlines leave off, STARTUP.COM examines the current troubled state of the Internet revolution, in which inflated ideals and dreams of instant wealth have been supplanted by harsh economic realities and broken promises. Graced with sensitive storytelling and a dynamic, intimate cinema-verite style, the film also manages to personalize this crisis with intensely private views of the people involved. More than just an insider look at an industry in flux, STARTUP.COM becomes a deft exploration of friendship and the conflict between personal and business relationships.