Watch. Do. Share.

Get inspired and get involved with this film
from our Second Annual UnLonely Interactive FilmFest.

Watch. Do. Share.

Get inspired and get involved with this film from our Second Annual UnLonely Interactive FilmFest.

See this FilmReturn to Lobby

Follow the five steps below to get the most out of your UnLonely Film Festival experience!

Step 1: Watch the film.


A portrait of Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station agent William Cromartie who greets 4,000 Oakland commuters every day with a hug, a fist-bump, or a handshake. Transcending barriers so that we can better know and care about each other, this man of accomplishment and a winning philosophy feels he has the best job in the world.

About the Filmmaker

Ivan Cash is Bay Area-based award-winning interactive artist and film director exploring the intersection of art, design, film, and technology. His work sparks cultural conversations, celebrates human connection, and inspires strangers to interact.



Step 2: Explore these things after watching the film.

Click Here

Reflective Questions:

  • Is there someone in your day-to-day life that always has a smile or a greeting for you? Who do you respond warmly to whenever you see them?
  • Are there situations where you put yourself in a box/or in a corner and separate yourself from others? Why do those situations make you feel separate and what could make you feel more connected?
  • What attributes do you think BART identified as essential when they were originally posting for such a competitive position? Which of these attributes do you think you already have and which do you wish you had?


  • Write a letter of appreciation to a person who has a regular positive impact on your life. Whether it is your doorman, a neighbor, a local business owner, or someone else, write a letter, sign your name, and share your appreciation for the connection they make you feel in your life.
  • Create a diorama to represent a time when you felt “in a box.” Take an actual cardboard box or shoebox (or any other box you have on hand), and find a photograph of yourself or others that connect to that time in your life, and use them to wallpaper and decorate the box. If you don’t have any photos, you can draw an image and use that. You can also include small personal mementos from the time that will help to place you historically.
  • Do an experiment while you are walking around your neighborhood, or riding a bus or subway, by trying to go out of your way to say something friendly to the people who cross your path—it could be someone in a local store, or a bus driver, or a crossing guard. If you have positive back and forth exchanges, write the text (or gist) of those exchanges on a piece of paper and place that paper somewhere that you will see it every day, like on a refrigerator or mirror.

PS: Looking for even more ways to "creatively connect?"  Follow this link for a few other ideas.

Step 3: Join in the conversation about the film.


  1. bradbrad78

    I’m happy for William and that he has found such meaningfulness interacting with people. Things that are distressing however include: (1) this notion that people who experience loneliness and social isolation have done this to themselves ; have put themselves “in a box” rather than acknowledging that there are certain structures of society that have created boxes for others. Moreover, spending one’s life trying to resist being put into those boxes is exhausting and unfairly places the brunt and bulk of the burden on the people who are affected the most. It’s sorta blaming the person holding the pain rather than a perspective that encourages a broader look at the factors facilitating the experience of disconnection. Sure it might be said that the individual can engage in the work of healing without requiring other people to do something, but we shouldn’t make like all it takes is to “simply” (as William said at the end “it’s so easy”) get out of your box. There are people who stay out of boxes and are still hit deeply by the pain of having to fight to exist outside of that so called “box.” I mean consider the juxtaposition of saying people experience loneliness because they won’t get out of their box, that is something they aren’t doing and then pan to areas where people are living outside on the streets in tents- It was a strange juxtaposition. (2) Its important to sort of think of William’s privilege in which he “connects” with others. From his position of privilege i.e. working in the role that he does to interact with people, he is afforded a certain role that enables him to engage with others. That privilege is not afforded to every person and every person cannot make that happen. William stopping to talk with people may not send as many alarms off as the individual experiencing homelessness who also tries to stop and talk to people and give them a hug. You see- social position and location matters in this particular vignette. And his role helps to make it a little easier. I mean the guy who takes your ticket and can guide you or help you have a safer more enjoyable experience using BART- it’s not that hard to be nice to him if he’s nice to you. The interviews we needed to actually hear were of those to whom he said “Hi sweetie. Come on through.” Did they go home that night and say, hmmm the attendant made me feel connected today. That’s where I would like to see the conversation go-not just William’s sense of do-good. It is still worth saying, there are people who are in people-service industries and they give the best they have to others and create meaningful connections with others and still subjectively experience disconnection because they give and are often not afforded reciprocality. Look at William with wife and kid, social position and social location matter. That needs to be acknowledged.

  2. littlebrotherssfblog

    I am happy to have William at the West Oakland Bart Station. He is a gem and he has taken his passion to make the world better by connecting with everyone who goes through the gate. Just imagine all of the people he does connect with to make a difference and to make the world less lonely. William makes my day when I see him working.

  3. Debbie Marucci

    What a wonderful contribution to mankind ! William is an inspiration in finding ways to connect in such simple ways. Thank YOU!


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Step 4: Share this film with friends!

Because it really helps with awareness for The UnLonely Project 🙂


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