Winners of the First AI Film Festival – Showcasing the Latest Tools in AI Filmmaking



The winners of the first annual AI film festival Celebrate the artists making the impossible AI filmmaking.


Runway is one of the leading companies in the development of artificial intelligence tools and introduced the winners of their first annual AI film festival that took place this winter. Of the hundreds of submissions, judges picked ten finalists and released their work to the public. The main goal of this competition was to celebrate “the art and artists making the impossible at the forefront of AI filmmaking.” We were curious and analyzed how different techniques were integrated into the winning films: from AI-generated art to whole 3D scene scans. Let’s take a look at the amazing new technology now available to any creator.


Requirements were that videos were from 1 to 10 minutes long, and one of the main festival criteria was naturally to use neural networks in the work. There was no strict definition of which AI to use, or how to feature it in the film, so the variety of tools used in the winning videos is really impressive. The use of state-of-the-art technology counted as only 25% of a film’s success – judges also took into account the quality of the overall film composition, originality, and of course, the artistic message.

Using art generators as part of AI filmmaking

One of the shorts that impressed me most is “PLSTC” by Laen Sanches (we will embed it below). Basically, it’s just a rapidly edited sequence of hundreds of pictures, which illustrate different ocean inhabitants wrapped in plastic and unable to escape. The director took strong images, created by AI art generator Midjourney, upscaled them with help of the AI tool Topaz Labs, and put them together slightly animated. By precisely choosing the matching visuals, he achieved a very definite and coherent film atmosphere. Not a word is said, but the message is crystal clear, and it hurts. Dramatic classical music also helps evoke deep emotions, and the result is a small narrative wonder. It didn’t place for any of the prizes, but it is definitely worth watching.

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