In 2008 Yaniv “Nev” Schulman, a young New York photographer, received an unusual gift in the mail: a painting based on one of his photographs that had been published in a national magazine. Even more unusual was the artist: a precocious eight-year old girl named Abby Pierce. The painting was amazingly good for one so young. Intrigued, Nev began an email correspondence with Abby. More photographs and paintings were exchanged.
Nev happened to share an office with two filmmakers: his older brother Ariel “Rel” Schulman and Henry Joost. They decided that Nev’s relationship with Abby would make a great documentary. Having gained Nev’s somewhat reluctant agreement, they began filming.
Nev’s correspondence with Abby expanded to include her mother Angela and her older half-sister Megan Faccio. Facebook exchanges and even telephone calls followed. Nev’s conversations with Megan became increasingly intense; he became convinced that he was falling in love with her.
But then he realized that some of what Megan had told him was false. In fact, the more he examined it, the more things started to look like a web of lies. Ariel and Henry convinced him to go to Abby’s home town in Michigan to find out the truth.
The truth was even stranger than he imagined, but things don’t turn out quite as ugly as one might expect. In fact, there’s even what might be considered a happy ending.