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San Sebastián Film Festival Launches Inaugural Startup Competition

Five European companies are set to compete at this year’s inaugural San Sebastián Zinemaldia Startup Challenge, dedicated to recognizing entrepreneurs and new or emerging startups in the audiovisual industries.

After pitching on Sept. 22, one of the five will scoop prizes of €10,000 ($11,200) cash, a year’s free access to an incubation space within the Basque technology park network and potential investment funding of up to $560,000.

Irish startup Volograms has developed software that transforms video taken from various angles into volumetric holograms. These 3D models can then be inserted into VR and AR programs and experienced from any angle on many devices. Humbler applications include potential Snapchat or Facebook-style photo and video filters, while creators can use the software to update how consumers and brands interact, enhance virtual experiences at live events such as festivals and exhibits, and bring immersive storytelling to a new level.

Dissatisfied with click-in-a-box age confirmation, Shield by Brave is an artificial intelligence age verification system that can be integrated into digital content distribution platforms for any device with a camera attached. The software will anonymously analyze a user’s facial features to precisely establish the person’s age so that, when appropriate, it can block adult content.

Another Spanish entry, Flow Cut was developed by entrepreneurs Elbio Nielsen and Fernando Chiarri. An immersive video creation tool using AR technologies, the software is designed to allow users to convert any space into a professional studio with only a few handheld devices, forgoing a standard brick-and-mortar studio.

Designed with film and TV producers in mind, LargoAI provides data-driven filmmaking strategies similar to those employed by major platforms. From early in the screenwriting process through development and production, the software can help predict audience response. Evaluated on a country-by-country basis, the software can also be used in distribution planning.

In the digital content marketplace, there are few buttons hotter than copyright management. Scenso.tv in an SVOD service that uses proprietary blockchain protocols to identify, secure and distribute revenues to the appropriate rights holders. The blockchain was developed and is maintained by French company Polkatulk.

This year’s inaugural edition is backed by the Basque government through its Department of Economic Development and Infrastructure and Creative Europe-Media and its European Film Forum. Vicomtech, a local research center specializing in computer graphics, visual computing and multimedia technologies, is collaborating.

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