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Allentown Film Festival Unveils
The Augie AI Film Challenge

ALLENTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA, April 15, 2024 — The Allentown Film Festival, a showcase of diverse filmmaking talent from the Lehigh Valley and beyond, collaborated with Aug X Labs to launch the Augie Challenge, a series of short films created by the Augie generative AI software. Festival organizers video recorded interviews with US Congresswoman Susan Wild, Allentown Mayor Matt Tuerk, TV personality Carson Kressley, and other prominent Pennsylvanians. Those videos were imported into the Augie system which listened to their stories and enhanced them by adding stock footage and AI-generated images.

“When we learned of Aug X's groundbreaking Augie editing software, we thought: the Allentown Film Festival celebrates human filmmakers and the art of cinema, not AI,” admits Festival Director Alan Younkin. “But then we realized that new technology often helps artists, whether it be sharper tools to carve stone or more-permanent oil paints. The results of the Augie Challenge are amazing. We were pleased to show how Augie AI can heighten our ability to share our experiences and our humanity.”

In 2024, the festival grew from 16 to 24 screening blocks, with submissions soaring to 777 films, up from 600 in 2023. The number of feature-length films increased, and the total films screened rose from 161 to 171.

This year’s festival introduced a Spanish screening block at the Allentown Art Museum, reflecting the rich cultural tapestry of our community. Returning favorite screening blocks included Behaving Badly, Women Take Control, Arthouse Horror Thrillers, and Surreal Shorts. The festival was thrilled to screen as World Premieres Carson Kressley: Born in Allentown, Restoring the Horse, a short about the renewal of the Baum School’s Da Vinci Horse, and Brandon Lay’s ABCs Always Be Smiling. Says Lay: “I was so proud to be a part of the inaugural festival, and I was excited to be a part of the festival again this year!”

The Festival Director states, “We were particularly pleased to see returning filmmakers who have honed their craft, presenting works that reflect their growth and dedication to the art of film.”

The festival screenings were held at the Civic Theatre’s historic Art Deco Nineteenth Street Theatre, the boutique Theatre514, the Allentown Art Museum, and Miller Symphony Hall.

For more information, please visit the Allentown Film Festival website or contact

Allentown Film Festival details @AllentownFilm

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