AI International Film Festival debut deemed a success

The top award went to Shaun Brown’s ‘Enveive’

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AI International Film Festival Executive Director Bert Holland, in the black cowboy hat second from the left in the back row, stands with the inaugural festival’s filmmaker winners. The festival debuted May 12-14 at the Metropolitan Theatre the Redstone 8 Cinemas. And Holland is planning the next festival for Nov. 12-14.
Courtesy of the AI International Film Festiva

The AI International Film Festival completed its inaugural premiere May 12-14 at the Metropolitan Theatres Redstone 8 Cinemas at Kimball Junction in Park City, and was deemed a success..

Film directors, producers, actors and crew from around the world participated in the festival, which is a nonprofit organization.

The event features a total of 43 films from 20 countries, and a pre-festival panel discussion titled “AI, GPT-4 and Human Future,” on May 11 at the University of Utah, according to Executive Director Bert Holland.

“(The discussion) saw prominent AI experts, faculty and filmmakers from five countries debating the impact of AI on society, and what filmmaking’s role is in shaping that narrative,” he said in a press release. “All the films showcased the festival’s mandate to explore the intersection of human experience, Artificial Intelligence and creativity.”

Of the 43 films, eight garnered awards, Holland announced. 

The Audience Choice winner was “Enveive” by Shaun Brown (USA), with runners up “Frequency” by Aleksander Szeser (Poland), and “Heimdall Land” by Xiangning Yan (China), he said.

Other awards were as follows:

  • Best International Feature — “Thaidi” by Marc Devaud (Switzerland)
  • Best Narrative Feature — “One 2 Zero” by Jonathan Hardy (USA)
  • Best Thriller — “Unicity” by Antonin Domage (France)
  • Best Comedy — “A Zombie Movie” by Cristobal Ross (Chile) 
  • Best Music Video — “Veronica Ruse” by Joe Cornelius (USA)

These films, and others from the film festival films are now available to stream through June 16 on Eventive TV for all platforms. The price is $3.50 for each block of films, with streaming passes available at for $25. 

The AI International Film Festival is the brain child of Holland, who founded the AI Project in 2017, with the goal of educating the public about how artificial intelligence impacts society.

In the winter of 2021, Holland started an AI film festival competition on the website.

“We were surprised at the quality and depth of thinking that was going into these films,” he said. “So we decided to give it a larger footprint.”

After seeking a venue, Holland and his crew decided to hold the festival at the Redstone 8 Cinema.

“The AI International Film Festival was made possible by the extraordinary efforts of its staff and volunteers, as well as the generosity of our sponsors, with special thanks to the Redstone 8 Cinemas, Red Rock Brewery, Sterling Steak and Lounge, to name a few,” Holland said. 

Throughout the next few months, Holland and his staff will be deep in planning panel discussions and film screenings that will lead to the next AI International Film Festival, which is scheduled for Nov. 12-14.

“One of the reasons why we want to do this festival twice a year is not only because technology is advancing so quickly, but also because society is evolving quickly,” he said. “I think we can expect machine intelligence will meet human levels quite soon. The idea that machines can complement humans and extend our capabilities and serve as resources for us is one side of the coin. On the other hand as machines become more intelligent and powerful, you have the issue that we need to make sure they are controlled and things don’t get out of whack by virtue of that power.”

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