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Stranger Than Science-Fiction: Steven Shainberg Senses the “Rupture”

Before 50 Shades of Grey was made fashionable by mainstream auds, Secretary was a sizzler cubicle space title that made Steven Shainberg a sought after indie helmer. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Rupture will be his comeback of sorts, as he hasn’t lensed a film in almost a decade. To be fair, he did produced some projects, including Our Brand is Crisis for his docu-filmmaker wife Rachel Boynton, but his highly imaginative Fur was completely maimed during its theatrical run. Producer Andrew Lazar who broke out with 1996’s Bound (worthy pair in his filmography include Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and the underrated 2009 comedy, I Love You Phillip Morris) and recently broke the bank with American Sniper is producing the project along with Christina Weiss Lurie (frequent Sundance accepted docu-producer), AMBI’s Andrea Iervolino and Lady Monika Bacardi (The Humbling, James Franco’s currently being filmed In Dubious Battle). Being called a sci-fi adventure thriller, this will be pitched in Cannes next month, look for a possible female lead name to drop around that time.

Gist: Based on a story by Shainberg and Brian Nelson, this is about a single mother struggling to raise her son alone, abducted by a mysterious organization. While trying to escape, she uncovers an extraordinary secret about herself.

Worth Noting: Nelson’s screen credits to date include: Hard Candy (2005), 30 Days of Night (2007) and Devil (2011).

Do We Care?: Taking a page out of Jeff Nichols’ book, there is plenty of room for auteur-minded, commercial film items of this sort.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury 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 was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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