Max Eigenmann and David Hayman will lead the cast of Paris Zarcilla’s debut feature Raging Grace, which will shoot in the UK this November for AMC Networks’ genre streaming platform Shudder.
Verdict actress Eigenmann will star as an undocumented Filipina immigrant who lands a job as a careworker for a seemingly terminal old man (played by Hayman). She thinks she is securing a better life for her and her daughter, until a dark discovery threatens to destroy everything she has strived for and holds dear.
The film is produced by independent UK-Vietnamese producer Chi Thai through her UK firm Last Conker, alongside Filipina producer Darlene Malimas, and Shudder, which is providing full financing.
Raging Grace will be released as a Shudder Original Film in 2022, in North America, the UK and Ireland, and Australia and New Zealand.
“Growing up Southeast Asian in London, I was taught to assimilate, to excel but not to stick out, to aspire to whiteness and white approval, to be the model minority, a good immigrant, to not rock the boat,” said Zarcilla, who describes the film as “the first British-Filipino feature in British cinema history”.
“Writing this film terrified me because it goes against everything my Asian parents taught me about assimilation. To make this film is to approach a place of trauma and horror. That is what it is to approach the master’s house. Raging Grace is a cathartic spectacle that explores the trauma of being an undocumented worker, but most importantly, a celebration of Filipino culture and our place in this world. Here’s to dismantling the master’s house and thanks for AMC Networks and Shudder for giving me the platform to do it.”
“Raging Grace is a rare and exciting alignment of all my personal and professional principles and values as producer, a working mother and a refugee,” added Thai. “My hope is for this film to be the spark that triggers an uprising of British East and Southeast Asian filmmaking on a global stage. Instrumental in making this happen has been AMC Networks and Shudder who have empowered us to share our vision without compromise.”
“With a bold, urgent portrait of race and power, Raging Grace will take an old, dark house and make it new again,” said Shudder’s Emily Gotto, vp of acquisitions, and Sam Zimmerman, vp of programming.
UK filmmaker Zarcilla’s previous credits include short film Pommel, set in the world of competitive gymnastics and Bifa-nominated in 2018, and TV drama The Century Egg which he wrote and directed for Singapore’s Refinery Media. He is currently developing TV series Inspector Low, based on Neil Humphreys’ book, for the UK’s 108 Media.
Thai’s credits across film and TV include Matt Kay’s Netflix short documentary Little Miss Sumo and animated short The Promise, which she also directed, for the BBC. She has also been a finalist in the prestigious Cannes Lions awards, for creativity across branded communication, on three occasions.
Her upcoming slate includes a series adaptation of Patrick McDonnell’s picture book Me…Jane, about primatologist Jane Goodall.