People tell powerful stories

We help them speak.

Founded to support journalistic storytelling, we provide identity preserving treatments that help protect the privacy of people who cannot be seen on camera.

Face Replacements as a Disguise

We have developed a process to digitally disguise documentary contributors.

The disguise is a veil that provides anonymity while preserving subtle non-verbal emotion found only in first-person testimony .

Blurry Oval
Blurry Oval

Anonymization by blur places a visual barrier between the audience and the contributors.

Digital Veil
Digital Veil

Veils protect contributors and allow subtle nonverbal cues to pass through.

Most Recent Projects

Hong Kong's Fight For Freedom

Director Toby Paton provides insight into the 2019-2020 protests in Hong Kong, as he explores how the stakes escalated for all involved.

Programme Episode 1 Image

Hong Kong’s Fight for Freedom is two part series, that features veiling of four contributors in about 20 minute of interview footage. This project is the first use of digital veils in a TV Documentary, an achievement that shows our progress towards a widely accessible technology.

The programme is currently available from BBC in the UK and is set for a broader release soon.

Into The Deep

Into The Deep provides an incredible glimpse into the lives of secondary victims, the people affected by the fallout around a violent crime.

Into the deep one-sheet

Australian filmmaker Emma Sullivan was covering an amateur inventor when the unthinkable happened, he murdered another journalist. The film shows us the journey of his young teammates, and the director, as they realize their incredibly close relationships with a violent murderer.

painterly eyes

For Into The Deep, we explored an artistic style in the visual 'tell' and we included an painterly effect along with the soft halo.

Into the Deep is currently streaming on Netflix.

Automated Face Replacement (AFR)

Automation allows us to provide this a high-quality VFX treatment at a cost within reach of many documentary projects.

Notable Past Projects


FACELESS is an intimate portrayal of four young people struggling to protect their freedom and way of life under the shadow of new authoritarianism in Hong Kong.

This 82 minute feature documentary by director Jennifer Ngo, was picked up by Dogwoof (Blackfish, Free Solo, I Am Greta), and is now available for streaming on VICE.

Welcome to Chechnya

David France used the treatment to mask 24 contributors in his documentary Welcome to Chechnya which chronicles some of the state's human rights atrocities.

Welcome To Chechnya Airplane Scene

David called the treatment a deep truth because it faithfully conveys the testimony, allowing his contributors to speak the truth without the fear of being tortured for doing so.

This video provides a brief technical overview of Automated Face Replacements, the digial veil treatment we developed for Welcome To Chechnya.

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Synthetic Ethics

We strive for the highest level of integrity and have given great consideration to how we have implemented identity masking.

We have consulted with experts including MIT Open Documentary Lab, and the Co-Creation Studio. We have had the good fortune of informed guidance and thoughtful support throughout the development of our ethics-grounded strategies.

Here are just a few ways in which we maintain journalistic integrity:

  • Every show includes an on-screen notice about the digital disguises,
  • using the visual language of blurry ovals, we include a soft halo to show where the picture has been altered,
  • the contributors are aware they will be veiled and give approval on their treatment prior to release,
  • the volunteer face-doubles are aware how their images will be used to protect a contributor, and
  • there are no manipulations of the machine generated veils, guaranteeing an undirected, and measurably accurate sequence.

Journalists have a new tool to help protect the safety of their contributors.

In the News


Centering on the Individuals Behind the Hong Kong Protests: ‘These Are Human Decisions, Human Lives We’re Dealing With’

The Hollywood News

Jennifer Ngo’s documentary ‘Faceless’ – set to land at the Hot Docs festival

The Skinny

EIFF 2021: Faceless


Faceless’ : Young Hong Kongers Fight For Freedom

First Showing

Hong Kong Documentary 'Faceless'

Women and Hollywood

Hot Docs 2021 Women Directors: Meet Jennifer Ngo


Faceless 2021 at Edinburgh International Film Festival 2021

Screen Daily

‘Faceless’: Hot Docs Review

Asian Movie Pulse

Documentary Review: Faceless (2021) by Jennifer Ngo

Digital Veils Press

The New York Times

Deepfake Technology Enters the Documentary World

Documentary Magazine

Digital Disguise: 'Welcome to Chechnya''s Face Veil Is a Game Changer in Identity Protection

Associated Press

Using ‘face doubles,’ new HBO doc captures LGBTQ purge


How ‘Welcome To Chechnya’ Designed New Technology To Document Queer Persecution

Fast Company

How AI came to protect the LGBTQ subjects in HBO’s ‘Welcome to Chechnya

Associated Press

New documentary cloaks anonymous sources in ‘face doubles

More Articles


How deepfakes could actually do some good

By Rebecca Heilweil

Welcome To Chechnya follows an underground network trying to save the lives of Russia’s gay citizens

By Noel Murray (Grade: A-)

‘Welcome to Chechnya’ Review: David France’s Third LGBTQ Rights Film Is Devastatingly Brave

By Jude Dry (Grade: B+)

Review: When Chechnya came for its LGBTQ citizens, these brave activists stepped up

By Kevin Crust (Positive)

‘Welcome to Chechnya’ Review: A Vital Indictment of Mass Persecution

By Jeannette Catsoulis (Positive; NYT Critic’s Pick)

‘Welcome to Chechnya’ Review: A Vital Indictment of Mass Persecution

By Jeannette Catsoulis (Positive; NYT Critic’s Pick)

'Welcome To Chechnya' Chronicles Abuses Against Its LGBTQ Citizens

By Justin Chang

Welcome to Chechnya Review

By Monica Castillo (Rating: 3 ½ out of 4 Stars)

‘Welcome to Chechnya’ Review: Doc on LGBTQ Persecution Is Urgent Wake-Up Call

By David Fear (Rating: 3 ½ out of 5 stars)

HBO's chilling "Welcome to Chechnya" depicts the heroism of ordinary people caught in an LGBTQ purge

By Melanie McFarland (Positive)

Welcome to Chechnya Turns Its Cameras onto a Brutally Homophobic Regime

By K. Austin Collins (Positive)

‘Welcome to Chechnya’: Film Review

By Guy Lodge (Positive)
VARIETY (print)

‘Welcome to Chechnya’: Film Review

By Guy Lodge (Positive)

‘Welcome to Chechnya’ Film Review: LGBT Refugees Flee Violence in Gripping Documentary

By Alonso Duralde (Positive)

The People must be free to speak.


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