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Award-winning sci-fier “THE ARTIFICE GIRL,” with Lance Henriksen, lands distribution

Tuesday, March 14, 2023 | News


One of the best genre features in recent memory is now set to reach beyond the festival circuit.

XYZ Films has announced its acquisition of THE ARTIFICE GIRL, which just had its U.S. premiere at the SXSW Film Festival and won the Best International Feature prize at last year’s Fantasia International Film Festival. Set for theatrical and digital release later this year, it was written and directed by Franklin Ritch, who also co-stars alongside Tatum Matthews, Sinda Nichols, David Girard and, in the best role he’s had in years, Lance Henriksen. The synopsis: “The story follows a small team of special agents who discover a revolutionary computer program that uses a digital child to catch on-line predators. After teaming up with the program’s troubled developer, they soon find that the AI’s inevitable advancement is far more rapid and incalculable than they could have imagined, posing unforeseen challenges and unsettling consequences for the future of technology and mankind.”

“When we read Franklin’s script,” say producers Aaron B. Koontz and Ashleigh Snead, “we knew it had the potential to be special and have had the unique privilege to develop his bold ideas into a film we are all proud of. To release this with an amazing partner like XYZ, who specializes in supporting exciting new voices in genre, is a perfect way to introduce his timely and thought-provoking story to the world.”

“Franklin Ritch is 100 percent his own filmmaker,” says XYZ’s EVP of U.S. Distribution James Emanuel Shapiro, “but it was so easy to watch ARTIFICE GIRL for the first time and be reminded of debut sci-fi films like THX-1138, MOON, EX MACHINA or TIMECRIMES. He is the real deal and it’s an incredible privilege to handle his first film.”

Michael Gingold
Michael Gingold (RUE MORGUE's Head Writer) has been covering the world of horror cinema for over three decades, and in addition to his work for RUE MORGUE, he has been a longtime writer and editor for FANGORIA magazine and its website. He has also written for BIRTH.MOVIES.DEATH, SCREAM,, TIME OUT, DELIRIUM, MOVIEMAKER and others. He is the author of the AD NAUSEAM books (1984 Publishing) and THE FRIGHTFEST GUIDE TO MONSTER MOVIES (FAB Press), and he has contributed documentaries, featurettes and liner notes to numerous Blu-rays, including the award-winning feature-length doc TWISTED TALE: THE UNMAKING OF "SPOOKIES" (Vinegar Syndrome).