AI deepfake Putin film sells big at Cannes

Russia's President Vladimir Putin talks to journalists during a state visit to Harbin, China, May 17. Yonhap

When Russian President Vladimir Putin was unavailable to star in his biopic, Polish director Patryk Vega turned to artificial intelligence.The groundbreaking film, whose trailer starts with the leader cowering on a floor in diapers, uses a deepfake of the ruler’s face transplanted onto the body of a real actor.”To come extremely close to the dictator, we needed Putin, not an actor with make-up,” Vega told AFP at the Cannes Film Festival, where he has been shopping the film to buyers.”I called Putin and asked him if he wanted to play in my movie… No, that was a joke.”

Vega — a 47-year-old director, who has made several hit Polish films — used AI to generate just the face, since he lacked enough high-resolution images for a full-body deepfake.The results are uncanny.The producers of the film, called simply “Putin,” say it has already been sold in 50 countries ahead of its premiere in September.The film follows the ruler’s life over six decades from the age of 10 when he is seen being beaten by his stepfather.”In the end I show his death. A happy end,” said Vega.The initial idea came to Vega during the first days of Russia’s 2022 invasion of neighboring Ukraine.”First, I wanted to do a movie about the Russian mafia. Then I decided to do it about the biggest gangster,” he said.He shrugged off any concerns about 슬롯게이밍 reprisals.”Putin should be afraid of me,” he said.

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