Official Selections
Phony Poster

Phony

Runtime: 1:31:45
Festival: 2021
Genre: Documentary Drama

You and I see a nice French girl being manipulated into getting naked, but a struggling filmmaker sees more. He sees an opportunity to make a documentary about the way people lie to each other, both in relationships and online. And he sees an opportunity to see more people naked. He convinces the womanizing actor friend who shot the sex tape to team up with him and catalogue their joint exploits to seduce and manipulate women on the internet.

Despite the grey (50 shades of it) morality of the endeavor, the actor hesitantly goes along, finding more motivation when he falls for one of their marks, a young woman with her own keen interests in filmmaking. In a gambit to transfer these interests to himself, the actor fills his new female friend in on the parameters of his project, and she’s predictably less than thrilled. But like the boys, she too sees an opportunity, in her case, to subtract the porn from this project and leave only the revenge.

So after leveraging her way into the editing room, this new force of creation and destruction cleverly seizes control of the project, returning to the women who have been unwittingly exploited by it thus far and recruiting their aid in turning the cameras around to deconstruct not only their pursuers, but also the sexist system that has empowered their entitled behavior. Or something like that.

Despite the dubious nature of the project, every single person (as well as the bars and restaurants shown) have signed off on the use of their footage, and now emphatically support the movie and it’s murky message.