The Human Game

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PEOPLE'S CHOICE PRIZE | Quantum Shorts 2022

About the Film: 

Director Dani Alava portrays a dystopian future with quantum machines.

Quantum technologies are advancing in areas such as computing, simulation, sensing and communications. While the quantum machines of today are different from Director Dani Alava’s portrayal, there have been calls in the community to consider ethics in the application of quantum technologies:


Please tell us about yourself and the team that made the film.

My name is Dani Alava, I am a filmmaker, video editor and 3D artist from Tenerife, Canary Islands, and the team is a group of film professionals all born here in the island.

How did you come up with the idea for your film?

After the pandemic, I wanted to direct a personal project. With Myriam Cruz, Art Director, Locations Director and Co-producer of The Human Game, we decided to participate in a local guerrilla short film contest, where we had to produce a noir short film in less than a week. I decided to use the noir genre in a futuristic context, so the outcome of the script would be dystopian and about the political and technological future of humankind.

What is the quantum inspiration?

There is a clear reference in the short film about a “Quantum Council” that makes all decisions concerning humankind. For me, it is obvious that our future is quantum, I have difficulties grasping all the science underneath it but I feel we are exponentially discovering new realms and dimensions of reality.

Please share with us an interesting detail about how you made the movie.

The most interesting fact about The Human Game is that it was made in less than a week. It was conceived as a fictional propaganda video with the aesthetic codes of a fashion film. For me, it is a short film that needs several viewings because there is a lot of symbolism in it. Maqueena, The Great Ruling Machine, governs the Earth and its emblem is the black triangle. It references Maslow’s Pyramid, as it supplies all human needs, as well as the Illuminati symbolism of a new world order. Eva represents the divine virtues of humanity: purity, innocence, compassion, humility, generosity, temperance and will. Santa Cruz de Tenerife, shown as the World Capital, is the third protagonist thanks to its architectural and sculptural richness.

What reaction do you hope for from viewers?

I hope that this short film makes us think about what kind of future we want as a species. Since it is obviously dystopian, at first it may seem like a wakeup call about our blind reliance on tech like in The Matrix or Terminator, but it is actually a depiction of the current state of politics worldwide.

What is your favourite science-inspired or sci-fi movie?

I could not choose only one favourite sci-fi movie, there are many of them that have inspired me as a creator. But I can tell that our dystopian lore was inspired by science fiction works by authors such as Orwell’s 1984, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, Phillip K. Dick’s Blade Runner and Stanislaw Lem’s The Congress. The latest film I have watched that is related to the multiverse is Everything Everywhere All at Once. Everybody should watch it.

What does being a Quantum Shorts finalist mean to you?

I am humbled and honored by the decision of the shortlisting panel. It is the first international festival that gave us this opportunity to be screened overseas and I love that it is focused on quantum physics! For a filmmaker, that a festival selects your work means the world, because it gives us confidence about our storytelling capabilities. Thank you for considering us, we really appreciate it.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about you or your film?

For anybody watching The Human Game and wanting to share their opinion or interpretation, please do so at my social media! I would love to hear them!



About the filmmaker(s): 

Dani Álava is a film director and video producer born in SC de Tenerife, 1991. Specialized in video editing and animation, he has been awarded internationally with shortfilms Caracola (2012), debut film, Dummies (2014) and The Idea Thief (2016) during his academic years. Back in Tenerife, he has written and directed Miroir Noir (2017), Four Fears (2017) and URI (2019), among others, shot and awarded on the islands. He has also directed music videos in his label CRAZY LAVA and edited commercials for production companies.


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