The Montreal Independent Film Festival has something for everyone. Cinephiles of all stripes can gather to watch some of the most impressive indie films in a wide variety of genres. Evil Professor, directed by Dr. Susan Lim, offers fans of science fiction and speculative fiction the chance to delve in the mind-bending world of future technologies and to ask what it really means to be human and to find companionship in life.
Evil Professor is a musical animated short that is part of a larger musical project called Alan the Musical. The project tells the story of a young undergraduate student and her relationship with a plush toy named Alan that is powered by artificial intelligence. The musical explores the possibility of relationships between humans and AI, which is something that Dr. Susan Lim will be a big component of life in the future.
The shorts that make up Alan the Musical have been featured at numerous film festivals, and brought home ten wins from the 2021 Cannes International Film Festival. The visuals, sounds, and ideas that power Evil Professor and the rest of the Alan project are as enticing as they are universal. Come explore the world of ideas behind Evil Professor and the visionary director behind the project.
This animated short asks viewers to examine their relationship with reality, sentience, and supposedly “inanimate” objects like robots and artificial intelligences. It asks what a person would do if their professor was revealed to be a person from the past, nothing more or less than a simulated being based on what was once a “real” human. Could you trust such a person? Would you fear them?
As robots and AI become increasingly a part of everyday life, the questions that drive Evil Professor will become more & more necessary for everyone to consider. The short film really digs into the emotional core of such questions. It’s less a matter of how AI gets incorporated into life and more a question of how people will react when it inevitably does.
Whether you’re a fan of science fiction, robots, or just deep thinking in general, Evil Professor is well worth a watch. It will make you question your relationship to the technology that’s currently in your life, and with any luck, it will help to prepare you for whatever is coming in the near future.
Dr. Susan Lim
The ideas behind Evil Professor and the rest of the Alan the Musical project aren’t supplied by armchair scientists. The short’s director, Dr. Susan Lim is a surgeon & scientist in addition to being a playwright, lyricist, and creative powerhouse. She is the co-founder of Lim Fantasy and has spent years digging into the ideas that her animated & musical projects now present to audiences.
Dr. Lim has said she hopes her work opens up ideas of companionship. She wants the future of technology to be one that addresses the loneliness epidemics that plagues millions around the world. She will continue to work promoting her project and the ideas surrounding it well into the pandemic-recovering world in 2021.