The Remarkable Life Of Ibelin

Duration: 106m Director: Benjamin Ree

The Remarkable Life Of Ibelin

Winner: Directing Award; World Cinema Documentary & Audience Award; World Cinema Documentary, 2024 Sundance Film Festival

Mats Steen, a Norwegian gamer, died of a degenerative muscular disease at the age of 25. His parents mourned what they thought had been a lonely and isolated life, when they started receiving messages from online friends around the world.

Benjamin Ree (THE PAINTER AND THE THIEF) returns with a heartwarming and adventurous journey through the breadth of Mats Steen’s digital life and his profound impact on a community. Thoughtfully beginning with an overview of Mats’ life from the Steens’ perspective, Ree then uncovers and revives Mats’ vibrant cyberself. Narrated entries from Mats’ published blog introduce us to Ibelin, his charismatic World of Warcraft persona. Mats’ personality is revealed in a fuller dimension through reconstructed animated moments from his gameplay and interviews with people who knew him as Ibelin. Mats’ parents’ deepest remorse was the thought of their son never experiencing love and friendships, but Ree offers an endearing and innovative portrait of Mats’ abundant life through World of Warcraft, underscoring how community and soulful relationships can transcend the boundaries of the physical world.

—Stephanie Owens, Sundance Film Festival guide

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