Robotics Institute Hits the Big Apple for Robot Film Festival-Faculty & Staff News - Carnegie Mellon University

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Robotics Institute Hits the Big Apple for Robot Film Festival

Robot FestivalThe Robot Film Festival in New York City July 16-17 boasts a number of firsts, perhaps none more surprising than both Spike Jonze and Matt Mason presenting films on the same screen.

Jonze is famous as the director of “Being John Malkovich,” while Mason is best known as the director of Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute. Jonze will screen his film short, a robot love story called “I’m here,” while Mason and his Manipulation Lab will be showing a music video, “Do What You Do.”

Mason is not the only Carnegie Mellon presence at the festival, which will be at the 3-Legged Dog theater in lower Manhattan. Heather Knight, a Ph.D. student in the Robotics Institute, organized the event. Reid Simmons, research professor of robotics, is a jury member and Marek Michalowski, a Ph.D. alum and visiting student at the Robotics Institute, is the festival’s video coordinator.

Ten films created by CMU students, faculty and staff are featured at the festival. Also, Golan Levin, associate professor of art, and Matt Gray, assistant professor of acting, will present a Robot Theater piece in which Roomba robots recreate a Samuel Beckett play. Knight said she hopes to eventually launch a Robot Film Festival in Pittsburgh.