The Artifice Girl – Director Franklin Ritch

THE ARTIFICE GIRL focuses on a team of special agents as they delve into the orgin of a revolutionary new computer program that baits and traps shockingly high percentage of online child predators. After teaming up with the program’s troubled developer, they soon find that the AI is rapidly advancing beyond its original purpose. THE ARTIFICE GIRL is directed and written by Franklin Ritch in his feature film debut. The film stars Tatum Matthews (The Waltons: Homecoming), David Girard (short “Teardrop Goodbye with Mandatory Directorial Commentary by Remy Von Trout”), Sinda Nichols (That Abandoned Place, “Bubblegum Crisis”), Franklin Ritch and Lance Henriksen (Aliens, The Quick and the Dead). Director, screenwriter, editor and actor Franklin Ritch joins us for a conversation on how he came to write the script for The Artifice Girl, his thoughts on the very complicated choices that will need to be addressed with the ascendancy of Artificial Intelligence in our lives, working with a cast of relative unknown actors, and how habits of compassion and kindness could be a by-product of everyday AI.


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About the filmmaker – 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. Collaborating with Emmy-winning cinematographer, Britt McTammany, 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.


95% on RottenTomatoes

“The action is in the dialogue, which presents a series of invigorating arguments about where the ethical lines are when it comes to creating and then exploiting an intelligent computer program.” – Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times

“The Artifice Girl is a thought-provoking sci-fi thriller shedding a compassionate and emotional light on ethical issues.” – Molly Henery, The Blogging Banshee

“It’s a complex and captivating sci fi fable… but told with touching intimacy.” – Richard Whittaker, Austin Chronicle

“A stroke of science-fiction genius, Franklin Ritch’s The Artifice Girl is a commanding analysis of the murky waters that AI development presents.” – Kat Hughes, THN

“If you thought the ethics of what’s being done at Boston Dynamics and ILM were unsettling before, wait until The Artifice Girl creeps into your brain.” – Andrew Todd, Story Issues

“[S]ets a new template for speculative fiction on screen… the fact that this is Ritch’s debut feature is absolutely astonishing” – J Hurtado, ScreenAnarchy