Startups are using AI to create avatars that allow relatives to talk with their loved ones after they have died. An exploration of a profound human desire and the consequences of turning the dream of immortality into a product.
"I wanted to see if he was okay," explains Christi, one of the users of Project December. With this innovative software, users can communicate with a virtual version of the deceased through a chatbot that simulates the dead person’s conversation patterns. Hers was an attempt to check on her first love. Others may simply miss someone, seek permission to move on, or want to rid themselves of guilt.
Little is known about the effects that this kind of generative AI might have on our brains, hearts, and wallets. The filmmakers, Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck (THE CLEANERS, 2018 Sundance Film Festival), do not claim to have the answers, but instead bring up various emotional and moral complexities we should be aware of. Eternal You poses important questions about algorithmic immortality, and the need to take a closer look at our future 'digital remains.' —AT [source sundance catalogue 2024]
2024 Sundance Film Festival announces 91 projects selected for the Feature Films, Episodic, and New Frontier Lineup for 40th edition, including Nora Fingscheidt's third feature fiction THE OUTRUN.
After living life on the edge in London, Rona attempts to come to terms with her troubled past. She returns to the wild beauty of Scotland’s Orkney Islands — where she grew up — hoping to heal. Adapted from the bestselling memoir by Amy Liptrot.
Nora Fingscheidt’s (GD2017 OHNE DIESE WELT | WITHOUT THIS WORLD) poignant adaptation of Amy Liptrot’s fearless memoir details the author’s liberation from drug and alcohol addiction, a triumph forged on the enchanted, wind-battered coasts of her childhood home. THE OUTRUN traces Rona’s false starts and setbacks on the road to recovery through harrowing flashbacks to her downward spiral in London and her reckoning with reality in a strict rehab program. But Fingscheidt is more concerned with Rona’s final destination — deliverance from personal demons through transcendent communion with nature. Grounded in local lore and rich with Liptrot’s journalistic digressions on the land and its life-forms, THE OUTRUN artfully ties Rona’s healing to her growing environmental stewardship. Four-time Academy Award nominee Saoirse Ronan gives a heartbreaking, humane performance that moves from woozy self-annihilation to serene calm.—MC [source sundance catalogue 2024]
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