General Magic

Sarah Kerruish, Matt Maude | 2018 | 92 min | UK/USA
  • 1997: Birth of the Camera Phone 1997: Birth of the Camera Phone
  • 1997: Birth of the Camera Phone 1997: Birth of the Camera Phone


Manhasset Cinemas Sat, Nov 10, 2018 1:30 PM
Film Info
Type of Film/Event:Documentary
Films with Q&A
Release Year:2018
Running Time:92 minutes
Premiere Status:Long Island Premiere
Production Country:UK
Original Language:English
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Sarah Kerruish
Matt Maude
Extra Search Properties
Date Search:Sat. 11/10
Venue:Bow Tie - Manhasset
Connect With The Film


What are you reading this on? An iPhone? An Android? If you aren’t holding one right now, chances are it’s nearby. And they might have an Apple or a Google logo on the back, but the truth is, your phone wouldn’t exist if not for a company you’ve probably never heard of: General Magic.

In 1990, a new company called General Magic spun out from Apple. It took Silicon Valley by storm as rumors spread of its secret, “next big thing” project. Four years later, the company shipped its first product: a handheld, wireless personal computer—what was essentially a smartphone, even down to the emojis - all the way back in 1994. But the mid-’90s tech landscape wasn’t ready for an innovation so far ahead of its time—after all, the average consumer didn’t even have email and certainly was not prepared for 21st-century, anytime-anywhere communication. The product flopped, and General Magic shuttered.

Now, nearly 25 years later, the full extent of General Magic’s vision and influence comes into focus through Matt Maude and Sarah Kerruish’s exhilarating documentary. Combining a trove of archival footage with interviews with many of the company’s “magicians,” who have gone on to become tech pioneers, influencers, and inventors of everything from the iPhone to eBay, General Magic is a joyful celebration of failure and the importance of dreaming big—even if you’re a decade or two ahead of your time.

Q&A (via Skype) with Director Matt Maude after the screening

MATT MAUDE is an award winning director, writer and producer. After starring in the UK ITV soap Crossroads during his teenage years, Matt moved to working behind the camera, directing and producing adverts, documentary television series, promos, music videos and shorts. As a screenplay writer and fiction director, Matt won the Kirin First Press Award for direction and the Epic Award for Best Screenplay. ‘General Magic’ is his first documentary feature film. It is the winner of the Best Documentary Prize at the LA Film Awards and the Montana International Film Festival.

Included Shorts

1997: Birth of the Camera Phone (4min) 2017 | USA | 4min More