Chatting with local director about his film ‘The Artifice Girl’

Franklin Ritch is an independent filmmaker, writing, directing, and editing with a passion for unique ideas and sharp storytelling. Since high school, Franklin has developed a vast filmography of short films, web series, and features. Franklin’s early short, BEDRIDDEN (Fantastic Fest, 2018), kicked off a marathon of short film productions that included STILL LIFE (Sleeping Giant Fest 2019), POWERFUL (SERFF 2019), THE 27 DEATHS (Fantastic Fest 2021), and many more. In 2022, Franklin premiered his debut feature film, THE ARTIFICE GIRL (XYZ), starring sci-fi legend Lance Henriksen, at Fantasia International Film Festival, where it won the Golden Audience Award for Best International Feature and later took top prize at its European premiere in Trieste, Italy. Franklin has since been named one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by Filmmaker Magazine, and his work continues to be recognized and revered in outlets such as Screen Anarchy, Movie Maker Magazine, and The Film Stage. THE ARTIFICE GIRL had its US premiere at SXSW in March and currently holds a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. Franklin is now developing an ambitious follow - up feature film, with several more screenplays and a rumored TV series.

The Artifice Girl examines the increasingly top-of-mind subject of artificial intelligence, following a team of special agents who discover a computer program that uses a digital AI-generated child to bait and catch online predators. After meeting with the program’s developer, Gareth, (played by Ritch) the agents soon find that the AI’s advancement is far more rapid and incalcuable than they ever could have imagine... posing unsettling consequences for the future of mankind.