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Splitsville: Sarah Adina Smith Enlists Rami Malek for “Buster’s Mal Heart”

It’s been a long time coming for Short Term 12 supporting player Rami Malek, but the momentum built around television’s highly successful “Mr.Robot” has landed him the coveted lead role in Sarah Adina Smith‘s sophomore film. THR reports that actor leads a cast comprised of Kate Lyn Sheil, DJ Qualls, Toby Huss, Lin Shaye, Lance Barber, Mark Kelly, Bruce Bundy and Teresa Yenque in Smith’s Buster’s Mal Heart — production is being set up in Montana and should commence filming shortly. Jonako Donley and Snowfort Films’ Travis Stevens (We Are Still Here) are producing. Gamechanger’s Mynette Louie, Julie Parker Benello, Dan Cogan, Geralyn Dreyfous, and Wendy Ettinger are executive producing.

Gist: This follows an eccentric mountain man (Malek) on the run from authorities who survives the winter by breaking into empty vacation homes. He’s haunted by a recurring dream of being lost at sea only to discover that the dream is real: He is one man in two bodies. This is the story of how he split in two.

Worth Noting: Other items on Smith’s plate include a future micro-budgeted pic called Unloved (executive produced by Mark Duplass) and a short segment in the horror feature anthology Holidays – which includes pieces from Kevin Smith, and Nick McCarthy.

Do We Care?: We’re fans. In his Fantasia Film Fest review, our Nicholas Bell was called The Midnight Swim “an intriguing debut that uses familiar tropes with a bit more innovation than other fare similarly dressed“. Smith definitely has the goods and this mystery sounds completely out of left field.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include 1976 (Manuela Martelli), Godland (Hlynur Pálmason), Corsage (Marie Kreutzer), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen).

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