where the social network film is about the ascension of online forums, catfish shows just how these networking facilities can get very weird.
based around nev schulman who is filmed by his brother ariel and friend henry in documentary/hand-held-camera style, the story begins with abby pierce, an eight-year-old child prodigy artist in rural michigan, sending him a painting of one of his photographs. they strike up a friendship via facebook.
nev’s network extends to abby’s family and specifically her sister who he falls for. they begin a long-distance relationship but cracks begin to show in her story and the story follows his attempts at meeting her in person.
i won’t reveal the twist (though you can find out for yourself on wiki). questions have been raised as to whether it’s a hoax but john defore of the hollywood reporter called catfish "jaw-dropping" and "crowd-pleasing" after seeing it at the 2010 sundance film festival.