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Official Selection


USA 2021
Duration: 04:51
Directed by: Eric Millikin
Animation: Eric Millikin
Technique: Artificial Intelligence
Music: Eric Millikin
Production/School: Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts
Dialogue language: N/A
Subtitles language: English

“The Birth of a Vampire Nation” is an experimental animated short film created using artificial intelligence and surrealist techniques. This video explores the use of fear in racial and gender politics as well as in popular media, taking inspiration from F. W. Murnau’s 1922 vampire film “Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror” and D. W. Griffith’s 1915 “The Birth of a Nation.” The video uses scenes from both films, redrawn using artificial intelligence trained on microscopic images of blood and telescopic images of distant stars. The scenes are assembled into a new narrative using a variation of surrealist “exquisite corpse” techniques, and set to a score composed of human heartbeats and radio waves from outer space.