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Inventor David Hanson is on a relentless quest to bring compassion and consciousness to Sophia, the most recognized humanoid robot in the world. As capitalist expectations threaten his lifelong vision, and with Sophia’s future in the balance, SOPHIA poses pressing questions around AI, the idea of engineering empathy, and what it means to be human.

The Filmmakers

Jon Kasbe Director

Jon Kasbe is an Emmy Award-winning Australian-Indian director and cinematographer. His debut feature, "When Lambs Become Lions," was a 2017 Sundance Documentary Fund recipient, won Best Editing at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, and was nominated for two 2019 IDA Awards in Best Cinematography and Best Editing. The film was released theatrically across the United States by Oscilloscope Laboratories and is now available worldwide on VOD. His short films have screened at festivals worldwide and been recognized by SXSW, Hot Docs, Webbys, Vimeo Staff Picks, Camerimage Film Festival, Zurich Film Festival, Sheffield Film Festival, and National Geographic. In 2018 he was selected for DOC NYC's inaugural 40 Under 40 list. He is currently developing a new film in Concordia Studios Artist-in-Residence.

Crystal Moselle Director

New York based director Crystal Moselle is a storyteller of both documentary and fiction films. She is best known for her Sundance, Grand Jury Prize award winning documentary, “The Wolfpack” which was later distributed by Magnolia Pictures. Crystal discovered the Angulo brothers who were the subjects of the documentary on the streets of New York. In the past she worked on short form projects with publications such as The New York Times, Vice and Nowness. After the success of Wolfpack she met a group of female skateboarders on the train, who would become her main collaborators and subjects on three projects. The first was a narrative short “That One Day” which she produced in collaboration with Miu Miu and saw its premiere at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival. Shorlty after that they expanded the film into a feature, which Crystal co-wrote and directed named after the infamous group "Skate Kitchen", which premiered at Sundance 2018 and was later distributed by Magnolia to critical acclaim. In the same year, Crystal was nominated for the Breakthrough Director Award at the Gotham Awards for her direction of the film. The third collaboration is the upcoming HBO series “Betty”.

Festivals & Awards

Tribeca Film Festival


Inventor David Hanson is grappling with a lot. As the lead figure in perfecting and developing “Sophia” - the most realistic humanoid robot in the world - he persistently juggles his days between fielding questions & inquiries from investors and troubleshooting issues with his team. With his manic energy, Hanson travels to conferences and forums speaking in support of “Sophia” as a compassionate and socially-useful A.I., but his infectious ambition and optimism can only go so far. As David makes his case to shareholders, he also tries to be present for his wife, his son and his ailing mother - all while feeling the stark pressure of how others view “Sophia’s” capitalistic opportunities.

Directors Jon Kasbe (When Lambs Become Lions, Tribeca 2018) and Crystal Moselle (The Wolfpack, Tribeca 2015) craft an impressive character portrait not just of Hanson but of “Sophia” as well - her A.I. self gaining more personality and awareness as the narrative progresses. The editing and pacing at work here is swift and masterfully deliberate, and each verite scene is constructed and presented with great zeal and energy. With Sophia, Kasbe & Moselle deliver inspiring, kinetic and soulful storytelling: an uplifting film about what it means to be & feel human as well as a probing character study of a self-ascribed outcast pursuing a sense of connectedness.--Jose Rodriguez

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