‘The 33’ Director Patricia Riggen Urges Female Filmmakers to Speak Up

     November 13, 2015


You might not expect a female director to be behind a movie about 33 men trapped in a 100-year-old gold and copper mine, but Patricia Riggen is at the helm of The 33. The movie is based on the true story of the 2010 Copiapó mining accident and covers what the miners experienced while trying to survive 200 stories beneath the surface for 69 days and also what was going on above ground and how pivotal their families were to their rescue.

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Riggen to discuss how she got involved in the project and also to see what advice she has for women in the industry. You can catch that and what she told me about the footage of the real 33 featured at the end of the movie in the video interview below.

The 33 makes its way into theaters on November 13th and stars Antonio BanderasLou Diamond PhillipsRodrigo SantoroJuliette Binoche, James Brolin, Bob Gunton, Gabriel ByrneMario Casas, Jacob Vargas, Juan Pablo Raba, Oscar Nuñez, Kate Del Castillo and Naomi Scott.


Here’s the official synopsis of The 33:

In 2010, the eyes of the world turned to Chile, where 33 miners had been buried alive by the catastrophic explosion and collapse of a 100-year-old gold and copper mine. Over the next 69 days, an international team worked night and day in a desperate attempt to rescue the trapped men as their families and friends, as well as millions of people globally, waited and watched anxiously for any sign of hope. But 200 stories beneath the surface, in the suffocating heat and with tensions rising, provisions—and time—were quickly running out.


A story of resilience, personal transformation and triumph of the human spirit, the film takes us to the Earth’s darkest depths, revealing the psyches of the men trapped in the mine, and depicting the courage of both the miners and their families who refused to give up.


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