June 24, 2024

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In a move that many people may describe as provocative, the Göteborg Film Festival has set Ingmar Bergman’s landmark arthouse drama Persona for an AI-assisted restoration. 

The Swedish festival has teamed with SF Studios, Gothenburg Film Studios, and The Ingmar Bergman Foundation to produce an AI-generated version of Persona, with Liv Ullmann replaced by Alma Pöysti (Fallen Leaves). 

Ullmann famously plays Elisabet Vogler in the pic, and with new AI technology, her face will be digitally replaced by Pöysti’s. Göteborg described the project as a “cinematic experiment,” giving the new film the title Another Persona

Once completed, the cinematic experiment will screen exclusively at the 2024 Göteborg Film Festival, with Liv Ullmann and Alma Pöysti in attendance. It will not be screened to an audience again. The screening will be followed by a discussion on acting and technology.

“The discussion about acting, masks, and authenticity that has made Persona a classic has been urgently reactivated by technological advancements. Not least, the strike in Hollywood has sparked an important debate on production possibilities and labor-market threats in relation to AI,” said Jonas Holmberg, outgoing Göteborg Film Festival Artistic Director. 

“We want to add an artistic and existential dimension to the discussion, and we want to do it by engaging with Ingmar Bergman’s incomparable film. Another Persona will be a uniquely thought-provoking and quite unsettling cinematic experience.” 

Jan Holmberg, Ingmar Bergman Foundation CEO, added: “As administers of Bergman’s artistry, we at The Ingmar Bergman Foundation and SF Studios think that Another Persona is a brilliant project. ‘Every intonation is a lie, every gesture a forgery,’ it is said in Bergman’s 1966 film. This becomes even more true now! In a time when we outsource ourselves to machines and at the same time seek our authentic selves.”

Pöysti is perhaps best known internationally for her leading role in Aki Kaurismäki’s latest Cannes competition title Fallen Leaves. She won the Dragon Award for Best Acting for her role in Four Little Adults at the last Göteborg Film Festival.

Another Persona will serve at the center of the festival’s focus sidebar, Another Intelligence, based on the rapid progression of AI.  

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