Patricia Riggen to Direct “The 33,” on the Chilean Miners’ Story

Patricia Riggen, director of Girl in Progress (available on DVD this week), has just been announced as the director of The 33, the amazing true story of the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped half a mile below ground for almost 70 days. The producer is Mike Medavoy (Black Swan, Shutter Island), who spent ten years living in Chile and has great affection for its people and culture. And he’s already sold on Riggen. “Patricia has the heart and sensibility to bring this story to life in a way that accurately reflects what the miners and their families endured,” he said in a recent statement.

The script is far from exploitative. It was actually written in collaboration with the miners themselves, and the producers (including execs Carlos E. Lavín and Leopoldo Enriquez) promise the film will include details that have never been made public. Medavoy and Riggen are actually in Chile now, meeting with the underground heroes.

“Since their rescue a little less than two years ago,” Riggen said in a statement of her own, “the real story of their incredible survival has gone untold. In their darkest hour, they struggled to maintain their unity. The collapse brought out the best and the worst in them. Ultimately, the human spirit triumphed and all of them came out alive.”

Filming is scheduled for early 2013, with a tentative release date for the fall of that same year. Photo: ©2012 Angela María Ortíz S.