(LONG BEACH ISLAND, NJ) -- Seldom does a documentary film pack the punch we've come to expect from a dramatic thriller, but Another Body brilliantly blurs those lines as it follows a real-life college student whose identity has been stolen for the creation of deepfake pornography. Lighthouse International Film Society presents a screening of Another Body on Thursday, October 26, 2023 at Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts & Sciences. The screening begins at 7:30pm.
Produced and directed by Sophie Compton and Reuben Hamlyn—who are not only its creators but also international advocates for helping bring this cruel, malicious practice to an end—the project’s development was aided by a courageous young woman who stepped forward to share her story.
“Taylor,” a 22-year old college student, gets an email from a friend with a link. The link takes her to a porn site where she finds herself—or more accurately, her social media profile photo—digitally altered and added to six, hard-core sex videos. She is devastated. When she calls the police to report it she’s told there’s nothing they can do. And besides, what she’s seeing online isn’t even a crime.
Determined to uncover who did this and why, Taylor, along with a number of young women in her college community, take the investigation into their own hands, eventually tracking down a society of men terrorizing women; be they celebrities, colleagues, or as it turns out, friends.
“We knew we wanted to tell a story about this technology,” says co-director Compton, “but since so few women have spoken publicly about the damage and stigma associated with being a victim of deepfake manipulation, we wondered if we’d ever find someone ready to do this.”
Their research led them to the darkest corners of the internet, where they found countless hard-core videos posted with the faces of innocent, unsuspecting women.
“Since we began this project in 2017, we have seen deepfake porn grow exponentially,” says co-director Hamlyn. “These videos can be life-shattering, as most victims don’t know and can’t trace their anonymous perpetrators.”
In a fascinating twist of filmmaking, so as not to cause the re-victimization of those who have suffered, actors were cast to lend their images and voices for digital alteration.
But why you may ask are these sites allowed to continue posting this content? “Deepfake porn remains legal in 48 states in the US, and is unregulated across the globe, says Hamlyn.
According to the filmmakers, deepfake sex postings are doubling every six months. Researchers predict there will be 5.2 million online by 2024. The non-consensual victimization of women accounts for 90% of all deepfake postings.
For more information about what’s being done by the filmmakers and others to bring an end to this scourge, search #MyImageMyChoice and change.org.
Lighthouse International Film Society's screening of Another Body takes place Thursday, October 26th at Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts & Sciences (120 Long Beach Blvd) in Loveladies, New Jersey. Tickets are $12 online/$14 door. Free for LIFSociety members. Tickets are available for purchase online. Screening begins at 7:30pm.
The Lighthouse International Film Society is the film festival's sister organization, bringing you cutting-edge, award-winning films and great events to enjoy all year long. Mark your calendars, buy your pass for the 16th Annual Lighthouse International Film Festival- June 5-9, 2024.