Institute History

  • 2012 Sundance Film Festival


An algorithmically generated edit that offers fascinating insights into genre filmmaking, Eve Sussman/Rufus Corporation’s experimental film noir, whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir, demonstrates the editing decision-making process in real time in a film filled with mystery and intrigue that never plays the same way twice.

Rufus Corporation designed a kind of filmmaking robot—a custom, programmed computer dubbed the “Serendipity Machine” that uses key words to select seamlessly from 3,000 film clips shot in central Asia, 80 voice-overs, and 150 pieces of music to create an ethereal narrative that follows a geophysicist named Holz (Jeff Wood). Holz is stuck in a 1970s-looking metropolis called City-A, whose citizenry are subject to various unusual restrictions. Through voice-over dialogues, wire-tapped telephone conversations, and snippets of Holz’s job interview with his employer, a mysterious woman referred to simply as Dispatch, it becomes evident that Holz is controlled by the factory and city where he works, just as his fate is dictated by the machine editing the film.

— Shari Frilot

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]