The Artifice Girl

The Artifice Girl

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Competition Feature

The Artifice Girl

Directed by: Franklin Ritch

USA, 2023, 93m

East Coast Premiere

Shot in Jacksonville, Florida, Franklin Ritch’s remarkably poignant debut feature The Artifice Girl is a masterful exercise in “what if,” as a rogue tech wizard suffers a punishing interrogation about an elaborate AI program he created to lure online child predators and stop human trafficking. This profound science-fiction film raises ethical questions as to the use of artificial intelligence, autonomy, and the parallels between technology and childhood. What are the rights and wrongs of how AI can be used? Could it ever develop emotions? Would it someday have the capacity to grant or withhold consent? What happens when it survives the humans who first devised it, or even the human race itself? Produced by Aaron Koontz (Camera Obscura, FFF 2017) and co-starring Lance Henriksen (Aliens), The Artifice Girl makes us question ourselves and our sense of morality by pushing the horizons of our mind beyond the limits of society. Guilt and hidden longings emerge as the film explores the applications of science and the price of good intentions.