LANCE HENRIKSEN-STARRER “THE ARTIFICE GIRL” LANDS ACQUISITION
XYZ Films has acquired the AI Sci-Fi film following its SXSW debut with plans for an immediate theatrical and digital release this spring
Los Angeles, CA (March 14, 2023) – It was announced today that XYZ Films has acquired North American rights to Franklin Ritch’s critically acclaimed sci-fi film THE ARTIFICE GIRL, following its US premiere at South by Southwest Film Festival. The film stars Tatum Matthews (THE WALTONS: HOMECOMING), Lance Henriksen (ALIENS), Sinda Nichols, David Girard, and Ritch.
THE ARTIFICE GIRL world premiered at Fantasia Festival and had its U.S. premiere at SXSW on March 11, 2023, with additional upcoming screenings on March 15 at the Violet Crown Cinema in Austin, TX.
The story follows a small team of special agents who discover a revolutionary computer program that uses a digital child to catch online 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, 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,” said producers Aaron B. Koontz and Ashleigh Snead.
“Franklin Ritch is 100% his own filmmaker 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,” said James Emanuel Shapiro, XYZ’s EVP of US Distribution.
Written and directed by Franklin Ritch, the film was produced by Aaron B. Koontz and Ashleigh Snead (THE PALE DOOR), executive produced by Peter Kuplowsky, and co-produced by Cameron Burns and Alex Euting. The deal was negotiated by James Emanuel Shapiro and Alex Williams on behalf of XYZ Films, and by Aaron B. Koontz and Ashleigh Snead on behalf of the filmmakers.
Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, XYZ has had a standout run of releases, with six movies reaching #1 on Netflix (including recent productions STOWAWAY starring Anna Kendrick and Toni Collette and SYNCHRONIC starring Anthony Mackie and Jamie Dornan) and several titles reaching #1 on TVOD charts (including films THE SILENCING and ALONE).
XYZ’s current projects include The Winter Kills with Kiefer Sutherland, Seven Veils starring Amanda Seyfried and directed by Atom Egoyan, BlackBerry from director Matt Johnson, which recently premiered in competition at Berlinale and will be released by IFC Films later this year, and The Wasp starring Naomie Harris and Natalie Dormer. Its current slate also includes Nic Cassavetes’ God Is a Bullet starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Maika Monroe and Jamie Foxx, Nocebo directed by Lorcan Finnegan with Eva Green and Mark Strong, and Accused from BAFTA-nominated Boiling Point director Phillip Barantini. XYZ is in post-production on the Netflix Original Havoc, directed by Gareth Evans and starring Tom Hardy and Forrest Whitaker.