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Tribeca Festival Will Screen AI-generated Films Made With Sora

In this post:

  • Tribeca Festival will debut AI-generated films on June 15, becoming the first to stage AI short films.
  • Five films to play at the festival were created by Tribeca Alumni with OpenAI’s Sora.
  • Critics oppose AI-generated films screening at the festival just after OpenAI’s deals with production houses.

The Tribeca Festival will debut short films made with artificial intelligence technology. The festival announced that the films were created using OpenAI’s video creation tool. 

Five short films made with OpenAI’s Sora, a text-to-video tool will feature at the Tribeca Festival. This will be the first time that the festival will be showcasing films made with Sora and the first festival in the world to feature AI-made short films. Sora can make one-minute-long video clips from text prompts.

Tribeca Alumni Made the Films

The AI-generated short films are getting a prime spot in one of the most prestigious film festivals and will be screened on June 15. Another significant factor is that the films are made by directors who are a part of the Tribeca Alumni.

Also read: What’s Youtube’s Stand on Openai’s Sora and ChatGPT Training?

The films are directed by Reza Sixo Safai, Bonnie Disceplo, Michaela Ternasky-Holland, Ellie Foumbu, and Nikyatu Jusu. Jane Rosenthal, co-founder and CEO of Tribeca Enterprises, said that,

“Tribeca is rooted in the foundational belief that storytelling inspires change. Humans need stories to thrive and make sense of our wonderful and broken world.”

She said that these stories come in different shapes, it could be a feature film or a piece of art. Rosenthal also included the term AI-generated short film in her explanation of stories, and expressed her eagerness to see what the creators come up with. “There will be a conversation with filmmakers after the show,” Rosenthal added.

OpenAI Says It Wants To Improve Sora for Creatives

According to known reports, OpenAI’s video creation tool is capable of making only 60 second films. The company had shared the technology with filmmakers previously, as a short film by Paul Trillo, The Golden Record, was also made using Sora. 

Tribeca Festival will Screen AI-generated films made with Sora
Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal preview 2023 Tribeca Festival. Source.

Brad Lightcap, COO of OpenAI, said that they are waiting for the films, and the company wants to learn how it can make Sora better for creatives. He also said, that,

“It’s great to see how these filmmakers are extending their creativity with Sora, and we are honored for their works to debut at the Tribeca Festival.”

As a part of the OpenAI and Tribeca Festival partnership, a program was formulated to educate selected filmmakers about Sora. The tool has not yet been launched publicly and is in its testing phases. 

Tribeca Festival said that the filmmakers were required to work under the guidelines laid out by agreements negotiated with different rights organizations like the DGA, SAG-AFTRA, and WGA. They also made it clear that creators had to follow the terms, whether the film fell under the scope of these unions or not.

Critics Voice Different Opinions

At the moment, Sora is capable of creating one minute long video clips according to reports, but it is not known if the technology has advanced further as it is prone to rapid advancements. Length of the films to be featured is also not known yet,  as filmmakers can stitch together different scenes to create lengthy films. But how good the technology is at replicate characters from previous prompts is yet to be seen.

Also read: SAG-AFTRA and Record Labels Reach Deal for Artist Protection Against AI

The new AI-generated films are coming after OpenAI made deals with media companies like News Corp, The Atlantic, Reddit, and Vox Media. OpenAI also made deals with record labels like Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Group. The deals with record labels were also approved by SAG-AFTRA and covers a span of five years.

Last year, artists organized a month-long strike to advocate for their rights, specifically protesting against the use of AI. The strike ended after a deal between SAG-AFTRA and major studios. The deal secured compensation for creators as the music industry was badly affected by AI-generated music tracks.

Critics are voicing their opinions on the current Tribeca Festival’s debut of AI films. In a recent article in Engadget, Lawrence Bonk questioned Rosenthal’s excitement, asking,

“Who better to chronicle our wonderful and broken world than some lines of code owned by a company that just dissolved its dedicated safety team to let CEO Sam Altman and other board members self-police everything?”

A user, Regular Razzmatazz, wrote on Reddit that he considered Tribeca a supporter of artistic ingenuity, but providing a platform for AI is counterintuitive. Another user went as far as saying that SAG-AFTRA should tell its members not to attend the festival featuring AI films. Meanwhile, HM9719 wrote, “This is going to take attention away from the human-made films playing at the festival.”


Cryptopolitan reporting by Aamir Sheikh

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