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General Magic

  • Chemistry Creative 305 Ten Eyck Street Brooklyn, NY, 11206 United States (map)

General Magic / Directed by Sarah Kerruish, Matt Maude / 1hr 32m / Doc & Tech / USA

About this Event


The side of Silicon Valley you never see, General Magic, the multi-award winning documentary, is a tale of how a great vision, a grave betrayal and an epic failure changed the world.

Spun out from Apple in 1990 to create the ‘next big thing’, General Magic shipped the first handheld wireless personal communicator in 1994.

From the first smartphones to social media, e-commerce and even emoji, the ideas that now dominate the tech industry and our day-to-day lives were born at General Magic.

But this was before the Web, before 3G, before Google, before everyone had a mobile phone in their pocket. The world was not ready in 1994 to hold the world in its hands. And though General Magic died, those concepts and the people who pioneered them went on to change almost everything.

Combining rare archive footage with contemporary stories of the Magicians today, this documentary tracks the progress of anytime, anywhere communication from a thing of sci-fi fiction in 1994 to a reality in our pockets today. This is the story of one of history’s most talented teams and what happens when those who dream big fail, fail again, fail better and ultimately succeed.

Director Biography - Sarah Kerruish, Matt Maude


In 1993, Sarah worked with a documentary crew filming the team at General Magic. As a former Magician herself, Sarah’s unparalleled access to the subjects in our film allows her the greatest insight and intimacy to the heart of our story. Her previous films have garnered a Peabody Award and an Emmy nomination. In 2017, she made a short film about the last week of the Obama White House.


Matt is an award-winning filmmaker, 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 features, commercials and shorts. He is a member of a UK’s regional screen agencies ‘Super 8’ - one of eight young filmmakers to watch. In 2017, he joined Sarah in creating a film about the last week of the Obama White House. ‘General Magic’ is his first documentary feature film.