Past and present come together in “Fellini Forward”, the short directed by Maximilian Niemann. It comes accompanied by a documentary that shows how artificial intelligence manages to build the spirit of one of the greatest creators of the 20th century. The film will be screened on June 7 at the Cannes Film Festival and two weeks later at the New York Film Festival.
For this project, UNIT9 specialists developed artificial intelligence tools that made it possible to recover the imprint of Fellini, who in 1984 made an artistic collaboration with Campari, the iconic Italian drink that today brings his art to the present in the framework of his Campari Red Diaries series.
“My uncle Federico was original in his way of representing life using dreamlike elements as a means of communication “, sentenced Francesca Fabbri Fellini, niece of the filmmaker, who participated in the production providing information from the Italian director, in addition to having introduced some of his colleagues and related stories lived with him. “I think a project like this is a perfect way to honor his legacy. Although he was heavily inspired by his past, he always had his sights set on the future. A similar approach was adopted in this project; has its roots in heritage, but at the same time it is futuristic by incorporating artificial intelligence“, expressed with the certainty that appealing to innovative technologies such as those of machine learning is a good tribute to Fellini.
Artificial intelligence can help us break our own molds to create new stories, declared Marcus du Sautoy
Francesca was also involved in specific issues such as casting, costumes and writing the script for the short. Among the director’s collaborators who participated in the production of “Fellini Forward” are Blasco Giurato, camera operator in “Los clowns” (1970); the set designer Dante Ferretti, with whom Fellini worked on Orchestra Rehearsal (1978), The City of Women (1980) and Ginger and Fred (1986), among other films; and Luigi Piccolo, director of a renowned Italian tailor shop that preserves restored costumes from Italian productions.
Each of them was instructed to define what could be considered “fellinesco” and that served as material for a short that traces life and recovers Fellini’s dreams. Zackary Canepari and Drea Cooper, directors of the documentary that records the experience, invited artificial intelligence experts, Marcus du Sautoy and Emily Spratt, and historian Hava Aldouby to present their views on the role that artificial intelligence can play in the cinema and other creative spaces.
Du Sautoy compared artificial intelligence to the telescope. “We should consider artificial intelligence as an extraordinary collaborator; it is a new tool, like when Galileo got a telescope and was able to see further into the universe like never before. Artificial intelligence is a tool that allows us to analyze data on a scale that humans cannot match “, assured.
And he explained that in this project the key was to take the films of the Italian director and analyze them frame by frame. “The use of this tool in the creative industry is an extremely exciting development and will help us find the ideas that we are missing today. Artificial intelligence can help us break our own molds to create new stories, “he concluded.