Come Swim

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Come Swim
Come Swim poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed by Kristen Stewart
Produced by David Ethan Shapiro
Starring Josh Kaye
Music by St. Vincent
Cinematography John Guleserian
Edited by Jacob Secher Schulsinger
Distributed by Refinery 29
Release date
  • January 19, 2017 (2017-01-19) (Sundance)
Running time
17 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Come Swim is a 2017 American short film written and directed by Kristen Stewart. The short was produced by David Ethan Shapiro of Starlight Studios. Shapiro and Stewart worked on the film together for three years.[1]

It was shown in the 70th Anniversary Events section at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, [2][3] and was part of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.[4]


Josh Kaye is the entire acting cast of the film, Sydney Lopez provides voice-over. [5]


A paper published on the subject of a technique developed during production states the film is: "a poetic, impressionistic portrait of a heartbroken man underwater ... the film is grounded in a painting of a man rousing from sleep".[6] The Cannes Film Festival described the film as: "a diptych of one man's day; half Impressionist and half realist portraits",[7] the Swiss site of the festival has listed the film as Réalité Virtuelle.[8] Next projection identified the film as experimental. [9]

Film concept[edit]

The original concept for the film came from an image in the mind of Stewart of "...a person sleeping contently on the bottom of the ocean floor, and getting such satisfaction from that isolation."[10] For Stewart her film is for her primarily subjected to the experience of heartbrokeness (otherwise expressed by her as an "existential netherworld").[11]


In order to create the piece, Stewart, together with film producer David Ethan Shapiro and B. Joshi of Adobe Inc., innovated a technique described as neural style transfer; a technique detailed in a paper submitted on January 18, 2017 to Cornell University Library online, and subsequently classified at the library as Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition.[12][13]

Kristen Stewart partnered with Refinery29 in the production of the work,[14] the CEO of Starlight Studios, David Ethan Shapiro, was producer.[15] The film uses a score composed by the musician known as St. Vincent.[16]


Next projection identified the film as portraying in part something described as "nightmarish".[17] Robbie Collin from The Telegraph awarded it four stars out of five saying: "It’s an earnest, sombre, often unsubtle work – but it’s also disciplined, sharply coherent, and cine-literate in an old-fashioned surrealist way."[18] Matt Hoffman from Little White Lies (magazine) found minor issues with the script, but nevertheless praised the short: "Come Swim is a beautiful looking piece of work. With the help of cinematographer John Guleserian, Stewart has crafted a rapturous visual wonder that far outshines the deficiencies of the screenplay."[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Festival de Cannes, K.J. Stewart - Catalogue Festival de Cannes Accessed May 21, 2017
  2. ^ "The 2017 Official Selection". Cannes. April 13, 2017. Retrieved April 13, 2017. 
  3. ^ "2017 Cannes Film Festival Announces Lineup: Todd Haynes, Sofia Coppola, ‘Twin Peaks’ and More". IndieWire. April 13, 2017. Retrieved April 13, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Kristen Stewart ('Come Swim' Director) on Female Directors". The Hollywood Reporter. January 20, 2017. Retrieved April 15, 2017. 
  5. ^ M. Malkin - Article published by Eonline Accessed May 30, 2017
  6. ^ R. Hawksley, K. Stewart (January 20, 2017) - Article The Telegraph Accessed May 20, 2017
  7. ^ Festival de Cannes, K.J. Stewart - Details of film Festival de Cannes Accessed May 21, 2017
  8. ^ Canal+ Suisse, K.J Stewart - Site Canal+ Suisse Accessed May 20, 2017
  9. ^ C. Rottger - review Next projection May 28, 2017 Accessed May 30, 2017
  10. ^ G. Mumford (22 May 2017) - Article The Guardian Accessed 27th May, 2017
  11. ^ M. Stout (January 23, 2017) - Interview with Kristen Stewart refinery29 Accessed 27th, 2017
  12. ^ A. D' Alessandro, K.J. Stewart - Kristen Stewart on her directorial debut: Come Swim Deadline Hollywood, 2017, January 21 Consulted April 29, 2017
  13. ^ B. Joshi, K. Stewart, D. Shapiro - arXiv:1701.04928v1 Cornell University Library Retrieved April 29, 2017
  14. ^ K.J. Stewart, Refinery29 - Review of short film by Kristen J.Stewart Refinery29 Retrieved April 27, 2017
  15. ^ DE Shapiro, K.J. Stewart - Biographical Starlight studios Accessed May 21, 2017
  16. ^ Kyle Buchanan (January 20, 2017) - Article Vulture Accessed May 6, 2017
  17. ^ C. Rottger - review Next projection May 28, 2017 Accessed May 30, 2017
  18. ^
  19. ^

External links[edit]