Backflip by Nikita Diakur

A digital avatar learns to move, walk and talk. Inspirational quotes from the internet drive him forward and his creators capture the process in an improvised documentary.


Director: Nikita Diakur

Produced by Nikita Diakur and co-produced by Miyu Productions


Foley and Field recording, Sound Design, Music Mix, Final Mix (Stereo + 5.1)

I decided to cope with my failed athleticism by learning to backflip via a copy of myself. The avatar doesn’t feel any pain and would keep on going, no matter what.

My avatar learns with the help of machine learning. The avatar observes videos of humans and then tries to imitate their movements. It also learns from its mistakes and improves on them, just like us.

I find it both magical and scary — magical because the A.I. resembles us so much, scary because the technology seems to have no ceiling. This short documentary is about ambition. It’s about fear and lack thereof. It’s about control versus uncertainty, rationality versus emotion and the desire to excel. It’s about technology, its acceleration and the acceptance of failure. It’s about letting go.




Further reading and currently available to watch at

Nikita discussing the sound of Backflip at the Dolby Institute panel at Aspen Film Fest.