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Sarah Silverman is bringing her advocacy to the screen.
The comedian, actress and writer, along with longtime manager Amy Zvi and Sons of Rigor Films’ Douglas Choi, has joined directors Scott Ruderman and Rachael Dyer’s feature documentary, Pay or Die, as an executive producer. As its title suggests, the doc tackles what its filmmakers describe as a health care crisis in America, told through the personal stories of those with Type 1 diabetes who, because of soaring insulin costs, are living on the edge of survival.
Now in the final stages of filming, the project examines the challenges of living with a chronic disease in the U.S. and, per its producers, “positions the insulin problem as the tip of the iceberg for the larger health care and drug pricing issues Americans face.” According to the doc’s GoFundMe page, it not only follows ordinary Americans who are forced to take extreme measures just to stay alive but also goes behind closed doors to meet experts, advocates and stakeholders to better understand all of the issues at play.
“Sarah is such a passionate advocate for health care reform,” said Ruderman and Dyer in a joint statement, praising Silverman’s participation. “Her willingness to use her public platform to help ring the alarm about how millions of Americans are suffering unnecessarily in this country as a result of a broken health care system — not just those with diabetes but those with asthma, cancer, mental illness and countless other conditions — makes her an extraordinary partner on this project.”
Ruderman, for his part, brings considerable experience to the project, both professionally (as the cinematographer on (Un)Well, Taste the Nation and Chasing Ghislaine) and personally, having been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 19. Dyer, also a producer on Netflix’s (Un)Well and the Clintons’ Gutsy Women, previously covered breaking news for outlets including the BBC. Pay or Die marks the pair’s feature directorial debut.
“I believe Rachael and Scott might just shame our shameless government enough to move the needle,” offered Silverman, who has never shied away from heavier subjects, whether it be through her comedy or her former, Emmy-nominated Hulu series I Love You, America. “I’m grateful for the chance to help get eyes on this crucial documentary.”
Salty Features’ Yael Melamede is also attached as a producer, along with Ruderman and Dyer, while Sarah Lucas, Russell Long, Zak Kilberg and Iz Web of Social Construct are attached as executive producers. Toby Shimin (Baby God) and William Rogers are editing. The team is eyeing a release date later this year.
Silverman is repped by UTA, Thruline Entertainment and Ziffren Law; Sons of Rigor is repped by Donaldson Callif Perez.
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