Zinemaldia Startup Challenge at San Sabastián Internation Film Festival

Ten projects based on the metaverse, AI, machine learning and augmented reality, among others, to compete in the Zinema Startup Challenge

Ten technology projects, five Spanish and five European, will compete in the Zinemaldia Startup Challenge, the competition for entrepreneurs and recently created startups whose development is based on technologies applicable to the audiovisual field.

The Spanish projects will participate in a specific competition forming part of ‘Spanish Screenings: Financing & Tech’, one of the four initiatives of ‘Spanish Screenings XXL. An international market for Spanish audiovisual production’.

The five finalists for the Spanish competition are Uttopion, a project which, through the metaverse, creates an interactive virtual environment offering users a unique and participatory experience with visual content, and from any device; Union Avatars, which provides users and companies with the tools to manage their digital identities through avatars; VRMulticam, which unifies immersive audiovisual technologies and broadcasts in a single service, offering a unique experience to the viewer; and WitScript which, thanks to machine learning, creates optimised processes for sound professionals, significantly minimizing the time associated with voice-over QA/QC for audio-books and audiovisual and multimedia content in general. Finally, an entrepreneurial team from the Basque Country will present Bonzo Studios , offering an integrated motion control system, high speed camera and LED Wall for making productions of high quality and complexity with a tight budget and in a short timeframe. ­

With respect to European projects, the selected projects are Anymate Me (Germany), enabling the creation of synthetic AI-generated videos in real-time using simple text input, as well as the production of synthetic videos based on text-to-sign language; Dreambird (UK) which, applying different technologies, develops a global platform aiming to provide a meeting point for creators and their audience, where the latter can provide creative and financial support to projects at all stages; Drylab Media Tech (UK) which, with technology in the cloud, gives the teams involved in the production access to filmed material from any device at any stage of production; HyperRate.io (Germany), a mobile application enabling creators to connect to the heart rate of their audience to create links between them and identify and offer clips with greater emotional impact on their terminals; and Marionette (Denmark) which, based on AI, captures motion in real time so that 3D animation professionals can create the movement of their characters with high quality and at a lower cost.

The participants will have the opportunity of one year’s free access to an incubation space at one of the BICs (Business Innovation Centers) in the Basque Technology Park Network. An independent jury will select the winning projects, one Spanish and one European, each of which will receive 10,000 euros. An additional 3,000 euros will go to the best selected project presented by a single entrepreneur or an entrepreneurial team. The winning and finalist projects will also have the possibility of access to funding of up to 500,000 euros to develop their project in the Basque Country.

A number of awarded projects in the first four editions are now successfully developing their business strategy. Largo AI (2019) has clients in more than 20 countries, Filmchain (2020) has also launched its product in several territories, while Kinetix (2021) is now operating with its Beta version and has closed an important funding round. Finally, Motmo.pro (2022) is now on the market and also recently raised an investment round.

It will also include a round table on AI. Zinemaldia & Technology is a strategic commitment of the San Sebastian Festival in its aim to position itself as a reference space for reflection on technological innovation in the audiovisual sector.

The San Sebastian Festival will also host, for the second year, the Creative Investors’ Conference as part of ‘Spanish Screenings: Financing & Tech’, the contents of which will be announced in the coming weeks.

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