×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

LargoAI Wins Inaugural San Sebastian Zinemaldia & Technology Startup Challenge

SAN SEBASTIAN  —  Swiss artificial intelligence and data analytics company LargoAI won Sunday’s first-ever San Sebastian Film Festival Zinemaldia & Technology Startup Challenge.

LargoAI’s software provides data-driven filmmaking strategies, similar to those used by major VOD platforms which aggregate and often horde their own user-driven data. From early in the screenwriting process through development and production, the software can help predict audience responses. Evaluated on a country-by-country basis, it can also be used in distribution planning.

“We are creating a tool that takes decision making beyond a human response to individual experiences and bases it on the performance of hundreds of films across many markets,” said Largo’s Javier Krause after accepting the award.

Addressing concerns that using data to make development and production decisions could be viewed as anti-artistic, Krause explained that, “Cinema never stops being a business, and the key is to make a movie that is profitable so that creators can continue filming and producing new art.”

“If we can provide one more element that helps them find success, I don’t see that as getting in the way of art,” he said.

The company won €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.

Other pitches came from Irish startup Volograms, which transforms video taken from various angles into volumetric holograms which can then be inserted into 3D production.

Spanish Shield by Brave is an AI age verification system which integrates into digital content distribution platforms and uses device cameras to limit age-restricted content.

AR software which allows for studio-level post-production inside a virtual setting, Flow Cut removes the need for equipment beyond a computer and VR headset.

And Scenso.tv is an already-running SVOD platform which uses blockchain to ensure that copyright holders of streamed content are compensated when their content is viewed.

Rapid-fire presentations followed the pitches from 2deo, the audiovisual laboratory of San Sebastian’s Tabakalera; Gosho, a 3D and VFX company; Tecnalia, a local tech company with more than 1,800 employees; Vitoria-based communications company Alegria Activity; Vicomtech, a local graphics, visual computing and multimedia research center; and San Sebastian TV producers Pausoka.

Dibulitoon, the Basque production company behind the upcoming 3D animated feature “Elcano & Magellan: The First Voyage Around the World” provided a VR presentation of their transmedia strategy for the film.

After a brief merienda, a Spanish not-yet lunch break, Deluxe Spain lead matte painter Lucía Peralta, a veteran of productions like “Game of Thrones” and “Aquaman,” gave an in-depth Masterclass on her artform.

Finally, jury head Vanessa Ruiz Larrea, communication director at Deluxe Spain, announced LargoAI as the day’s big winner.

“We were three jurors; one from research and technology, one from the business side and me from audiovisual sector,” she explained to Variety. “While all five projects were fantastic, when considering each point of view, this project best addressed issues in all three areas.”

“Platforms already have all this info, and we saw this as a democratization of that data,” she added.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Cardi B

    Cardi B Joins Vin Diesel in 'Fast & Furious 9'

    Cardi B has joined the cast of Universal’s “Fast & Furious 9” in an undisclosed role. It’s the rapper’s first movie part since her role as the stripper Diamond in STX’s drama “Hustlers.” Vin Diesel disclosed the casting Tuesday in a post on his Instagram account with a video that showed him and Cardi B [...]

  • James Wan

    Film News Roundup: James Wan's Horror Thriller 'Malignant' Gets August Release

    In today’s film news roundup, James Wan’s “Malignant” gets a late-summer release, a Rita Hayworth documentary is shooting and Women in Animation have announced diversity awards winners. RELEASE DATE Warner Bros. has set an Aug. 14 release date for James Wan’s horror thriller “Malignant.” Wan will direct the movie, based on a story by Wan [...]

  • Michael Shannon Benedict Cumberbatch Tuppence Middleton

    How Martin Scorsese Saved 'Current War' From Harvey Weinstein

    Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon finally gets to release his version of his long-in-the-making “The Current War.” The film, about the competition between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse, was originally set to be distributed by the Weinstein Company after Harvey Weinstein recut it, much to Gomez-Rejon’s chagrin. To make matters worse, Weinstein premiered the movie at the [...]

  • 42west logo

    42West Co-CEO Allan Mayer Hospitalized After Car Accident

    42West Co-CEO Allan Mayer is in the hospital due to injuries from an Oct. 17 car accident, Variety has confirmed. The public relations firm described the crash as “serious” and said that he had surgery on Oct. 20 to help repair multiple broken bones. “Allan and his family thank everyone for the outpouring of love and [...]

  • Iron Man Martin Scorsese Francis Ford

    Directors vs. Marvel: A Breakdown of the Criticism

    Despite being the highest-grossing film franchise of all time, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has not been getting any love from critically renowned auteurs, like Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola. The Marvel pile-on started at the beginning of October and has impassioned many supporters and detractors to give their two cents on whether or not [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content