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
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