Darren Aronofsky teams up with Sebastian Schipper on Undeniable
by Birgit Heidsiek
- The New York filmmaker will produce the German director’s new drama, which brings the memoirs of Jessica Stern to the big screen
The new film by award-winning German writer-director Sebastian Schipper (Victoria [+see also:
interview: Sebastian Schipper
film profile]) will be produced by American producer-director Darren Aronofsky (Pi, Black Swan, Noah). In Undeniable, the German filmmaker will bring the memoirs of Jessica Stern to the big screen. In her book Denial, the American terrorism expert shares her experience of how it feels to become a victim of violence. She has been traumatised since the age of 15, when she and her younger sister were raped while their father was out of town on a business trip. When the girls reported the crime, the police were sceptical.
Thirty-five years later, Stern decided to do some research on the case, so she went back to her hometown and asked the police for the complete file. In her book, she takes the approach of raising people’s awareness of the seductive appeal, but also the societal costs, of denial – whether it relates to victims of clergy sexual abuse, sexual assault or the after-effects of war. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for her work on the horrors of trauma and denial.
Schipper penned the first draft of the script, but British writer Abi Morgan (Shame [+see also:
film profile], The Iron Lady [+see also:
film profile]) is going to write the screenplay for Undeniable. The screen adaptation will be produced by Aronofsky’s New York-based production company Protozoa Pictures. The American director was president of the jury at the 2015 Berlin International Film Festival, which awarded a Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to Sturla Brandth Grøvle, the director of photography on Victoria. Schipper shot this 140-minute feature film in one single take. One of the producers of Victoria is David Keitsch, with whom Schipper launched the new Berlin-based production company Missing Link Films in January 2016.