Now in its 10th year, FilmGate is bringing the latest in interactive filmmaking to Miami

By Riley Kaminer

The worlds of film and technology have been firmly intertwined since the dawn of modern cinema. Advancements in technology have consistently propelled the film industry forward, from the introduction of sound and color to the digital revolution in editing and special effects. Conversely, the needs and challenges of filmmaking have often driven technological innovation, creating a symbiotic relationship between the two fields.

Artificial intelligence is upping the ante. Machine learning algorithms can assist in the editing process by automatically sorting through hours of footage to identify key scenes, thereby reducing manual labor. AI-driven software is also employed in visual effects to create more realistic simulations, such as intricate weather patterns or crowd movements. And predictive analytics powered by AI can assist studios in making data-driven decisions about a film’s potential success, influencing everything from marketing strategies to distribution plans.

“I see tech – including AI – as a tool,” Diliana Alexander, Executive Director of the FilmGate Interactive Media Festival, told Refresh Miami. “If it makes your creativity better, I’m all for it.”

Alexander acknowledged that we have to be careful about how to leverage technology, asserting that “we don’t want it to come at a detriment to the experience; we must be humane with it.” In her opinion, it shouldn’t take away from the creative process. Jobs may be lost in the short term – companies and employees alike may have to pivot to adapt to the rapidly changing world. 

In this context, it is more important than ever to get a window into the tech possibilities that will reshape the filmic medium. And from November 29th to December 2nd, Miamians will have a front-row seat to the future of filmmaking at the 10th annual FilmGate Interactive Media Festival.

The event includes a wide range of activities, from interactive games to “dome” experiences at the Frost Science Museum’s planetarium to VR films. In all, this year’s FilmGate will showcase 35 projects from Florida and around the world, including Taiwan, France, Germany, Canada, and the Netherlands – plus 10 University of Miami projects.

The goal? To highlight and showcase how emerging technology can empower new ways of artistic and media expression. The theme of this edition of FilmGate is “REGENERATE X.”

“In an era where the echoes of past upheavals reverberate loudly, REGENERATE X emerges as a call for collective reinvention – whether through ecological rejuvenation, audacious reimagining of aesthetic paradigms in arts and culture, or resilience and resurgence post COVID,” Alexander shared.

A host of tech companies will be participating in this year’s FilmGate, including Microsoft, Snap, Magic Leap, Meta, Qualcomm, and Adobe – just to name a few. This includes tech executives giving their insights into topics such as “Transforming Education with Immersive Technology,” and hosting workshops about leveraging the latest in AI.

Tickets range from free to $220 for VIP access. Learn more by visiting their website.

WHAT: The 10th annual FilmGate Interactive Media Festival.

WHEN: November 29th to December 2nd

WHO: Cinephiles and technologists alike.

WHERE: UM and Downtown

All photos are from last year’s FilmGate event.


Riley Kaminer