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Tribeca Festival Will Screen “Sora Shorts” – Five Films Generated by AI

Tribeca Festival Will Screen “Sora Shorts” – Five Films Generated by AI

Tribeca announced a “one of a kind” program this year – a special section, “Sora Shorts”, that will showcase only AI-generated films. Five chosen filmmakers got early access to OpenAI’s Sora in order to create dedicated work. This way, one of the world’s biggest film and video festivals embraces the advances of artificial intelligence and offers a platform for discussion. More details are below.

It’s not the first time a film event has included work completed (full or partially) by AI. We even wrote about an entire AI Film Festival, organized annually by Runway. However, this is indeed a screen debut for Sora and also an unprecedented move for such a major festival. To host this section, Tribeca teamed up with OpenAI, one of the biggest AI-developing companies at the moment.

What is Sora?

OpenAI’s Sora is an AI text-to-video generator capable of creating clips of up to one minute based solely on users’ text descriptions. The first demonstration of this tool provided a lot of buzz and heavy discussion among both industry professionals and amateurs. The level of consistency and photorealism ignited excitement and fear at the same time. Since then, different issues have been coming along, including the ethical question about what videos Sora was trained on.

Sora is still in closed Beta and not available to the general public. Occasionally, OpenAI showcases some of the curated results created by chosen filmmakers and creatives who had early access.

Sora Shorts: what is it about?

Together with OpenAI, Tribeca commissioned five filmmakers for their special program, “Sora Shorts,” and granted them access to OpenAI’s video generator. Participants include Bonnie Discepolo, Ellie Foumbi, Reza Sixo Safai, Michaela Ternasky-Holland, and Nikyatu Jusu, who won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize with her debut horror feature “Nanny” in 2022. (You can read more about each of the creators for Sora Shorts here).

A film still from “Nanny” by Nikyatu Jusu, 2022

Sora Shorts will take place on June 15. After the 20-minute screening, filmmakers will participate in a panel discussion alongside Brad Lightcap, the COO of OpenAI.

The idea behind it

New Tribeca’s festival program is said to be driven by the spirit of exploration. Thus, chosen filmmakers only got a few weeks to come up with their AI films.

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. Sometimes these stories come to us as a feature film, an immersive experience, a piece of art, or even an AI-generated short film. I can’t wait to see what this group of fiercely creative Tribeca alumni come up with.

Co-founder and CEO of Tribeca Enterprises Jane Rosenthal, a statement to the press

Tribeca is 22 years old and known for constantly developing different formats and divisions. A couple of years ago, for instance, the festival added a dedicated video games category. (That’s why they also dropped the word “Film” from their original name). So, no wonder they will be the first to treat AI-generated movies as a special form of art.

Would you watch Sora Shorts?

However, I’m curious how the festival audience will react. AI video generators have been among the most discussed topics in our articles and reviews this year. (The latest one is dedicated to Google’s Veo, which strives to become Sora’s competitor). The generative tech development puts a lot of industry professionals on the fence about how to go on with their careers. Not to mention the massive backlash to the rather intense speed with which these tools grow and advance, and which results in the lack of regulations.

Tribeca Festival takes place in New York City, June 5-16.

What are your thoughts? Would you go and watch Sora Shorts, created by chosen filmmakers? If you were to attend the panel discussion afterward, what would you ask the creators? Let’s talk in the comments below!

Image source: generated by Midjourney with an integrated still from a Sora-generated clip.

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