YOU are creative, AI is not

The role of AI in film and storytelling

At Cannes, we attended a lively panel discussion about the role of AI in film and storytelling. The AI buzz was all over Cannes, and this was just one example of how the industry looks upon AI: there is a general feeling of unease (or fear), and specialists are all trying hard to calm things down. Are we right to be afraid?

Emerging Filmmaker Discussion on the role of AI

This particular panel discussion was organized by Microsoft, which dedicated its whole pavilion (at the Majestic Barriere Beach) to AI. Their main message, “AI is not creative. You are,” set the tone. It was similar to what we generally heard from AI specialists: AI will integrate into the industry to support rather than replace human creativity.

The panel, featuring filmmakers Zhao Hao, Zoë Ramushu, Dave Clark, and Aminah Folli, each brought unique perspectives to the discussion on AI’s evolving role in filmmaking. They focused on the balance between technological assistance and human creativity, discussing key topics such as AI’s role in production efficiency, diversity, and the future of storytelling. This diverse range of viewpoints underscores the complexity of the issue and the need for a nuanced understanding of AI’s potential in the industry.

Excellerate and diversify the filmmaking process

With his extensive experience in actual filmmaking using AI, Dave Clark demonstrated some powerful examples of AI’s potential for accelerating the filmmaking process. He showcased AI-generated visualisations of early film concepts, illustrating the tangible benefits and creative possibilities that AI can bring to the industry.


While all panellists provided examples of using AI in the (pre-)production stages, Aminah Folli also predicted another powerful development of AI’s rise. She pointed out that AI tools will soon enable stories from non-Hollywood and third-world perspectives to emerge. This empowerment is significant for young filmmakers, giving voice to diverse stories.

Don't worry, be happy...

The panel concluded that while AI presents significant opportunities for enhancing efficiency, diversity, and accessibility in filmmaking, the role of human creativity remains irreplaceable. They see the future as a blend of traditional methods and AI-assisted techniques, ensuring proper acknowledgement of human input. Making AI a powerful assistant, not a replacement, and working in collaboration with human creativity will ensure that storytelling’s artistry and emotional depth endure. 

I’m unsure if all industry representatives were reassured but intrigued they certainly were.

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About The Author

Peter Goldman
Is film festival programming becoming a precarious job?Evolving Festival Dynamics: The Quest For Relevance


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