March 11th, 2015
12:23 PM ET

CNN Films and CNN Digital Studios team to launch short docs series beginning today with 'The 414s'

At the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, CNN announced a new series of short films representing a collaboration between CNN Films and CNN Digital Studios.  These original short films directed by established and rising filmmakers will premiere exclusively across CNN’s digital platforms.  The first series of films begins today, March 11, with the 12-minute film, THE 414s: The Original Teenage Hackers, which may be viewed now via www.CNN.com, CNN’s mobile properties (including CNNgo) and CNN’s social footprint.  No authentication is required to view the film.

Whether called “snooping,” “raiding,” or “hacking” – what began as surreptitious activity for fun, eventually grew more deliberate when, in 1983, Milwaukee teenagers Neal Patrick, Gerald Wondra, and Timothy Winslow began experimenting with computer networking using a relatively new technology: personal computers.  The boys called themselves “the 414s,” an homage to the telephone area code associated with their hometown.

The three eventually hacked into at least a dozen commercial networked computer systems – including Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute and Security Pacific National Bank.  Inspired by that summer’s WarGames movie, the boys began to try even bigger targets.  When with their computer misadventures led them to crack the code to the computers at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, the FBI began to take notice.

With excellent pacing that highlights the appropriate tension that came with the notoriety and the legal peril that followed, “the 414s” inspired no fewer than six pieces of Congressional legislation that endure today.

RAISING RYLAND, directed by Sarah Feeley, will premiere next Wednesday, March 18.  It is a heart-wrenching film told from the perspective of Ryland’s parents, who, after coming face-to-face with their child’s pain and the startling statistic that the attempted suicide rate among transgender people is 41%, decide with the guidance of child development experts, to support and affirm the gender identity of their five-year old child.

In the film, told in part through a personal archive of home movies, Ryland’s parents discover he is profoundly deaf at 12 months, help him to access sound through cochlear implants, and set a goal to have him mainstreamed by Kindergarten. By his first day of Kindergarten, he has also made the transition to an affirmed boy.  The film shows Ryland’s parents’ deep love for their son and their fierce instinct to protect him.  Preview RAISING RYLAND here: http://cnn.it/1EmTTvF

For more information about upcoming short films – as well as articles and coverage related to the topics explored in these films, please visit: http://www.cnn.com/specials/videos/digital-shorts

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