Will Göteborg Film Festival produce and debut an AI-altered version of Ingmar Bergman’s ‘Persona’?

The Göteborg Film Festival has announced its plan to produce an AI-altered version of Ingmar Bergman’s iconic arthouse film, Persona. The festival is collaborating with SF Studios, Gothenburg Film Studios, and The Ingmar Bergman Foundation for this unique project, which involves replacing Liv Ullmann’s face with that of Alma Pöysti.

Ullmann portrays Elisabet Vogler in Persona, but with the help of new AI technology, her face will be digitally replaced by Pöysti’s. The festival has deemed this endeavor a “cinematic experiment” and has titled the new film Another Persona.

The AI-altered version of Persona will be exclusively screened at the 2024 Göteborg Film Festival. Liv Ullmann and Alma Pöysti will be present for the screening, which will be followed by a discussion on acting and technology.

Jonas Holmberg, the outgoing Artistic Director of the Göteborg Film Festival, shared his thoughts on the project, saying, “The discussion about acting, masks, and authenticity that has made Persona a classic has been urgently reactivated by technological advancements… we want to add an artistic and existential dimension to the discussion.”

Jan Holmberg, CEO of The Ingmar Bergman Foundation, also expressed his support for the project, stating, “As administrators of Bergman’s artistry, we think that Another Persona is a brilliant project… In a time when we outsource ourselves to machines and at the same time seek our authentic selves.”

Alma Pöysti, the actress chosen to replace Liv Ullmann in the AI-altered version, is known for her leading role in Aki Kaurismäki’s Fallen Leaves, which competed in Cannes. She also won the Dragon Award for Best Acting for her role in Four Little Adults at the previous Göteborg Film Festival.

Another Persona will be at the center of the festival’s focus sidebar, Another Intelligence, which aims to explore the rapid progression of AI.

The Göteborg Film Festival’s decision to produce an AI-altered version of Ingmar Bergman’s Persona may be seen as provocative by some. However, the festival hopes that this cinematic experiment will spark important discussions about acting, technology, and the future of filmmaking. With Liv Ullmann’s face digitally replaced by Alma Pöysti’s, Another Persona promises to be a thought-provoking and unsettling cinematic experience.

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