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French movie wins AI prize at Bucheon film fest

July 8, 2024 - 17:41 By Kim Da-sol
From left: The Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival jury member Shin Chul, Finance and Culture Committee Chairperson Jang Hae-young, Organizing Committee Chair Chung Ji-young, director Bae Jun-won, jury members Ferdi Alici and Sten-Kristian Saluveer pose for a photo during an award ceremony held at Bucheon Arts Center on Sunday. (BIFAN)

The Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFAN), Asia's largest genre film festival, awarded the Best AI Film to French film “Where Do Grandmas Go When They Get Lost?” in its newly established AI Film section.

The winners were selected based on the creative use of AI, cinematic and audio artistry and originality, BIFAN said. The award ceremony took place at Bucheon Arts Center on Sunday.

Directed by Leo, “Where Do Grandmas Go When They Get Lost?” centers on life’s question about grandmothers who have "disappeared" from our lives, from a child’s bizarre and poignant point of view. Director Cannone could not attend the ceremony for personal reasons, BIFAN said.

“Where Do Grandmas Go When They Get Lost?”

Korean filmmaker Bae Jun-won’s “Snowfall” snatched two awards -- best technical achievement and the audience award.

“Snowfall” revolves around a girl named Soyo who has been waiting for Yuko -- a friend who won't be able to return home because of heavy snowfall. Asking questions about loss and reason, the movie was produced solely with AI technology, except for the script.

For the first time this year, BIFAN has added an AI Film competition category under Bucheon Choice.

A jury made up of the AI film industry, AI technology experts and filmmakers reviewed the 15 movies in the competition.

“2024 BIFAN took a bold step toward supporting the future of artistic and cinematic creation as a first film festival in Korea, as one of the pioneers among global film festivals to host an AI film competition,” said jury member Sten-Kristian Saluveer in a statement.

“We were astounded by the high quality of the programming of the competition, the narrative coherence, the emotional impact and the technical quality of the films we saw in this pioneering competition program, especially understanding that AI technology is taking first steps,” he said.

Among the AI films in competition was “One More Pumpkin” by Korean director Kwon Han-seul, which won the best picture award at the 1st Dubai International AI Film Festival in March. Using AI, Kwon completed the film in just five days.

Screening 225 short and feature films from around the world, the 28th BIFAN runs from July 4 to 14.