Lara Heller launches Synth and wants to make a movie in Brighton
British-Iranian actress Lara Heller has played the starring role in many movies. Now she has turned her hand to producing – as well as acting – with her new film Synth. The film explores artificial intelligence and how it is evolving. Jamie Walker spoke to her about the film and her desire to film another movie in her hometown of Brighton.
Tell us about your last year and what you’ve filmed?
I shot a movie called Throwback Holiday with Tri Destined Studios.
It’s a feel good movie about time travel that we shot in Los Angeles.
The chance of a “do over” is always a fun concept to play with.
We’ve also wrapped on a movie called Dally and Spanky that is another feel good movie about a pony and a small Jack Russell dog.
That was a blast and they were wonderful stars to team up with.
Then we have Synth, which is another project that I’ve just finished that explores artificial intelligence.
Tell me a bit about Synth. Why is artificial intelligence a subject you wanted to delve into?
The artificial intelligence gap is narrowing by the day.
Synth is inspired by Hanson Robotics creations.
This Hong Kong based company develops human like robots with artificial intelligence.
Their creation Sophia, based off Audrey Hepburn’s face, is the first AI in the world to receive citizenship.
Could we get to a point where AI rights are equal to human rights?
This was the springboard for Synth.
Our film explores the commercialization of AI.
We look at how humans and robots alike use self-awareness, manipulation, empathy and sexuality to communicate.
Our goal is to test an audience’s sympathies and challenge our preconceptions.
Coexistence has always struck an uncomfortable cord for us all- if Sophia has citizenship is she entitled to the same rights as the citizens in that country?
These are some of the areas we wanted to explore.
Tell us about your role in the film?
I play the role of a scientist called Anza.