Kristen Stewart is on fire. The 26-year-old actor just premiered her directorial debut Come Swim at the Sundance film festival on Thursday. The film is inspired by an impressionist painting by Kristen herself, which is of a man in the shifting space between sleep and waking. Here’s the cool part: Kristen’s painting was used as a visual template for the style of the film. The team used artificial intelligence to apply the style to the realistic images and footage to get the same dreamy effect.
Working with Adobe research engineer Bhautik J Joshi and David Shapiro, the film’s producer, Come Swim was created using a technique called neural style transfer. The artificial intelligence was combined with human creativity to get the desired look and feel. The best part? This is a relatively new technique in filmmaking, and Kristen co-authored an academic paper with Bhautik and David, which has been published on a cache of non-peer reviewed research by Cornell University.
Kristen’s professional skillset is growing: she’s an actor, painter, writer, director, and now researcher too. The film is part of Refinery29‘s Shatterbox Anthology project, which focuses on female directors. Refinery29 calls it ‘a surrealist journey through the imagination’s wild currents, Come Swim conjures a stunningly kaleidoscopic portrait of one man’s emotional interior — unbounded darkness and desire’.
Watch a preview of Come Swim.