The Rebuilding

: Fiction
GENRE: Drama
STATUS: Development


In the divided America of 2050, the daughter of a charismatic government leader reluctantly embarks on a mission to find the doctor responsible for his untimely death. 


In 2050, America has split into two: the old and new, which are separated by an underground tunnel, kept locked on the New World side. At 28, Lizz Gehr has lived in near-total isolation in a beautiful penthouse.  As the only daughter of the New World legend Paul Gehr, her existence was carved out for her by him to keep her safe. It’s the only place she’s ever really known.

Out of the blue, Commander Jonathan Richter, Head of Internal Security for the New World, appears to inform her of a mission she’s uniquely suited for. Ignoring her protests, he whisks her away to Headquarters. There she’s exposed to the New World version of the differences between the two Americas, learns what really happened to her father, and that she’s being sent into the New World to bring back the Jewish doctor (Aviva Kerr) responsible for his demise. The New World leaders would like Dr. Kerr to be their honored guest at the Forgiveness Ceremony, which is the first step in her father’s dream of rebuilding America.

Lizz balks. She has no training. This isn’t her fight. She just wants to return home. And she’s promised: Once your mission is complete, you’re free to do as you wish.

So she and her appointed New World guard, Karin (32), cross over. On the other side, they meet a motley crew of feisty, fierce characters who are, understandably, immediately suspicious. As survivors who’ve lived in austerity since the split, they’re wary of anyone that could pose a threat to their hard-won freedoms. And once they discover who Lizz is – and that she and Karin are there for their beloved Avi – even more walls go up.

Yet they willingly speak of how things were before – abortions banned, book burnings, racial, gender, and sexual identity patches, rampant discrimination, and camps for the inferior – to name but a few of the abuses endured. Lizz is shocked and confused – this is contrary to everything she’d been told back home. Still bit by bit, her genuineness bridges the gap between her and them.

She and Karin also run into members of the resistance faction, who run covert ops for the New World. They lead Lizz and Karin to their prize prisoner, none other than Avi herself. And when Lizz meets her – and realizes that she was actually a close friend of her dad’s – they bond instantly.

In a shocking move – aided by Karin – some in the resistance group entrap Lizz and Avi, and force them to return for the Forgiveness Ceremony. Once there, Richter tells Lizz that she will be a mere puppet for the regime from now on, and confined to her penthouse when they don’t need her. Worse, she witnesses a caged Avi being assaulted and insulted at the ceremony. Finally it hits her: it’s all been one big lie.

She escapes her gilded cage, joins Karin, and together they set Avi free, and head for the tunnel. Fortunately, they make it to the Old World safely. Then Richter shows up with a veritable army to reclaim Karin. As a New World guard, she’s theirs until her death. Because Lizz and Karin have really fallen for one another, when Karin leaves with Richter, it hits Lizz hard. Avi reminds her that life is full of surprises, which comforts Lizz.

At that point Lizz realizes she’s come full circle, that she’s no longer the sheltered girl she used to be. Now her father’s dream of rebuilding America has become her own. And together with Avi and the others she’s met, she’ll fight the good fight and stop at nothing until that dream comes true.


I was born in Havana, Cuba and came to the United States (Miami, to be exact) at the age of five. Since then, I’ve lived in various states (CA, CO, NM, HI, NY, OR, WA, and more), and even for eleven years in Europe (France, Italy, also briefly in Germany). Thanks to my extensive travels, I speak eight languages, which makes it relatively easy to shoot anywhere in the world. Being a child of a revolution, I was taught to adapt quickly and just as importantly, to seek beauty everywhere. These gifts were instilled in me as a child, and I carry them wherever I go.

As a filmmaker, I’m particularly fascinated by stories that delve deeply into the human condition, exploring the choices the characters ultimately choose to make. Rather than offering up passive tales, I engage audiences with questions – what if this happened to me; how would I react in this situation, etc. – daring them to go along for the ride as they watch each film.

My last film – THE HUMAN SOLUTION – was shot in London, UK. Post was in California and Oregon. It was a 2021 ReFrame stamp recipient. I fully intend to provide equal opportunities for all going forward, both in front of and behind the camera. THE HUMAN SOLUTION is my 2nd feature, and currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

Now after years of fighting for recognition and equal rights, the clock in America has turned back 50 years… possibly even more. And this is only the beginning of the chaos that our country is directly headed for. As shocking and terrifying as this may sound, it’s time to face the truth. And most importantly, to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

My new project THE REBUILDING is an eerily-prescient indie feature so that our voices will not be lost in history. In it, I imagine our country in the not-too-distant future as sharply divided, yet seeking a way back to one another. In contrast to my last film – which was influenced by Bergman and Cassavetes, so tight angles, claustrophobic feel to build intensity - I wrote a “big” script this time around. But it can easily be downsized to fit whatever budget’s available, as the story itself will shine through no matter what. It’s definitely timely.

This story is a cautionary tale, but it’s also hopeful. Creatively, I see the two worlds as very different: The New World’s sleek, minimalist, and practically shiny in its impeccability, with sharp angles and bright lights. The Old World’s more like an old, beloved patchwork quilt. Everything’s hand-me-down, but the inhabitants are proud of their struggle and of how far they’ve come. Even the sunlight – although harsh at times – is somewhat softer here.

I look forward to working with camera, costume, set design, and music on this project – this’ll be a fun one to tackle for sure. But to be honest, I feel most at home when I’m on set. And I adore working with the actors. The editing bay comes in at a close second.

There’s never been a more perfect moment to tell this story – and this script will truly resonate throughout the world on many levels. Additionally, this film will have several strong leads of mixed genders, races and ages, and focus on gender parity in film.


Mirtha Vega - Writer/Director/Producer

Cuban-American Mirtha Vega is a writer/director/producer.

Her first feature, Tryst (2003), is a claustrophobic thriller set in a boutique hotel room and shot in San Francisco, CA.

Based on historical facts - and shot in the UK - her second feature, The Human Solution (2021), is a harrowing drama that deals with the topic of eugenics, and is set in 1938 and 1953 Sweden. It is currently on Amazon Prime (both in the US and the UK) and the proud recipient of the ReFrame stamp in 2021. The Human Solution (2021) - IMDb

Ms. Vega is fascinated by stories that delve deeply into the human condition, exploring the choices characters ultimately choose to make. Rather than offering up passive tales, she elects to engage audiences with questions - what if this happened to me, how would I react in this situation, etc. - daring them to go along for the ride as they watch each film.

A passionate storyteller, she’s also committed to gender parity in front of and behind the camera without any discrimination whatsoever on the basis of nationality, religion, disability, sexual orientation, race, age or creed. 

The Rebuilding is her third feature.

Alecia Orsini-Lebeda - Associate Producer/Unit Production Manager

Alecia Orsini is an award winning Director, Producer and multi-media professional with 15+ years experience working in the film industry. 

She is a prominent voice in the region's film community as President Emeritus of Women in Film and Video of New England. She’s a staunch advocate, utilizing her experience and platform to amplify the voices of the underserved within the film industry such as women of color and members of the LGBTQI+ communities. In 2012 she was named one of the Cape & Plymouth Business 40 Under 40 for her volunteer work & entrepreneurship and in 2019 she was named an Imagineer for her service to the film industry by Imagine Magazine. Aside from her professional work Alecia is a lifetime member of the Girl Scouts, enjoys driving a stick shift and is the proud mother of a rambunctious 5 year old, and a bright eyed 1 year old.

Brandon Millington - 2nd Assistant Director

Brandon started his journey as a filmmaker at the age of 18 making short docs for local organizations and nonprofits throughout New York City. While living in Massachusetts for his studies at Boston University, Brandon developed a buzzing interest for storytelling and the world behind the camera, as far as film production goes. Over the years, it has led him towards many productions in both film and television– playing both new and continued roles– which have all helped to nurture his experience as an independent filmmaker. Currently, Brandon continues to play a developmental role in a number of his colleagues’ films, while writing films of his own. 

Katrina Morgan - Production Accountant

IATSE LOCAL 161 & 481


Jon F. Merz - Actor, PAUL GEHR

Jon F. Merz is an actor, bestselling author, and producer. His acting credits include roles alongside Naomi Ackie in I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY, Chloë Grace Moretz in MOTHER/ANDROID, and starring in THE CARS THAT MADE AMERICA. He is the author of more than sixty novels, and is currently producing the TV pilot LAWSON, based on his bestselling Lawson Vampire series, which Booklist called, "Jason Bourne with fangs." Prior to his creative careers, Jon served in the United States Air Force, worked for the US Government, handled executive protection and sensitive investigations for a variety of Fortune 500 clients, and taught defensive tactics to the US Department of State, Bureau of Prisons, and various other government agencies and military units.

Maddie Staszak - Director of Photography

Maddie Staszak is a freelance Cinematographer based in Boston. Since the first time Maddie got behind a 16mm Bolex in college, she’s been in love with cameras. With every project she takes on, she brings a commitment to create a beautiful image in the service of story. She has a depth of experience filming beautiful interiors, not only highlighting the talent but the production design of the entire space. She focuses on the image as a whole in order to create depth and beauty in any scene. As a visual thinker, she loves helping directors clarify their vision and communicating that vision with the crew.

Earlier in 2023, Maddie was Director of Photography on an 8-episode reality dating show called "Local Love," produced by Hearst Entertainment and Another Age Productions. Previously, she filmed "Snowball Effect," a Christmas romantic comedy which premiered on UpTV in December 2022. She enjoys working on a wide variety of productions, from narrative to docu-style, to commercials. She brings her years of experience as an in-house cinematographer for Wayfair along with her extensive gear knowledge to every production she's on. She loves taking on new and exciting challenges, which brought her into working with Mirtha Vega on "The Rebuilding." She was immediately drawn in by the exciting visuals that could represent the Old World and the New World. She's excited to help Mirtha make the film come to life.

Grace-Mary Burega - Composer

Grace-Mary Burega is a composer of socially conscious documentaries, films, and media. She aims to use her strong thematic ideas as a call to action for various causes. Her music spans the orchestral, electronic, minimalist, and jazz genres. She has scored documentaries, horror, comedies, animations, PSAs, advertisements, and video games.

Grace-Mary recently graduated from the Berklee Online Masters of Music in Film Scoring program. She earned her undergraduate degree at Berklee College of Music in Film & TV Scoring. 

Grace-Mary is the Secretary for the Female Composer Safety League and for Women in Film and Video of New England. She is currently a Recording Session Coordinator for the Screen Scoring department at Berklee College of Music.

As a woodwind musician on saxophones, clarinets, and flutes, Grace-Mary has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Newport Jazz Festival, Boston’s Symphony Hall, New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall, and the Berklee Performance Center. 

Alison Wachtler - Actor, DAPHNE JOHNSON


Alison Wachtler is an actress known for The CongressmanA Well Designed Plan, and The Exchange.

She performed in theater and summer stock and later moved into television and film. She began her television career with several TV series, most memorably as a comedy sketch player in 'Sunday Night'. Some of the daytime dramas she had roles in were All My Children, One Life to Live, and As the World Turns.

Alison starred in many movies-of-the-week, including 'A Matter of Principle' opposite Loretta Swit. 

She has had leading roles in feature films in addition to a number of award-winning independent films

Cecilia Préstamo - Editor/Sound Designer

Cecilia Préstamo is an award winning documentary editor with extensive experience in vérité filmmaking. A bilingual Cuban-born exile, she currently balances independent film editing with her work as an editor for WORLD Channel at GBH in Boston. Recent projects at WORLD Channel include co-editing Fannie Lou Hamer’s America, alongside Director Joy Elaine Davenport. This profile of the civil rights icon, produced by Hamer’s niece Monica Land, was awarded Best TV Feature Documentary or Mini-Series at the 38th IDA Documentary Awards.

Her training as a classical musician informs her role as a sound designer and music editor for her projects, including the feature documentary Dreams of Chonta, a profile of an Afro-Colombian undocumented musician and his battle to survive New York’s underground Latin American music scene.

Kayla Garabedian - Actor, KARIN FUCHS

A Massachusetts based actor of Armenian descent, Kayla graduated from Wheaton College with a BA in Theater and Political Science, and completed the Summer Meisner Conservatory at the Acting Studio in NYC with James Price. She has also attended numerous Williamstown Theater Festival Community Works workshops and honed her audition technique at CP Casting with Kyle Crand. Her film debut came with a small supporting role in the Massachusetts produced feature STROKE OF LUCK, headed by Christian Frelinghuysen and Mark Farrell in the Fall of 2019. Since then she has had leading and supporting roles in a plethora of short films. Some of her favorites include Francesca Prout's emotional, biographical account on her experience as a SA survivor in her short AFTERMATH, which screened at the Athena Festival in NYC March 2023, Vermont filmmaker Austen Sprake's award winning horror short SABER, and Potential Stranger's HELL HOUSE, shot in Maryland this summer and coming to festivals soon. Kayla has also dabbled in theater, with her start in acting being in high school musicals and the Berkshire Theater Group's elementary school playwriting program. She was also a part of the Williamstown Theater Festival's Community works performance in Summer 2019 with a speaking role and singing solo, and an ensemble member in Norwood Theater's Mamma Mia Fall 2019. 

Jessica Claros - Actor, CARMEN TRUJILLO

Jessica Claros is an American actress of Argentinian and Bolivian decent. She began acting in 2018 and was encouraged by her teacher to pursue a career in acting. She went on to study the Meisner technique at the Robert Epstein Studio and later attended the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts graduating in 2020. She has since appeared as lead and supporting roles in several commercials and short films of which have been recognized by the LA Independent Women in Film Awards and the PANO Network Microgrants.

Miriam Olken - 1st Assistant Director

The work Miriam has been a part of as an Assistant Director have played at Fantastic Fest, Fantasia, Dances with Films, Academy Award qualifying NH Film Festival, Boston Underground, Monster Fest and many more. She most recently worked on Director Spencer Cohen’s feature film debut THE COMPATRIOTS as a 1st Assistant Director which is due to come out 2024 and she also worked on Sean Temple and Sarah Wisner's folk horror short THE THAW that premiered at this year's Fantastic Fest. 

Wyatt Pringle - Actor, COMMANDER RICHTER

A coastal South Carolina native, Wyatt Pringle has also lived in LA and Ohio. He now resides in Boston. His “real life” experiences include being a corporate insurance executive, founding two Boys & Girls Clubs, creating a Hilton Head Island restaurant (the iconic Sea Shack), building two car washes, and even an Ohio winery from scratch. However, his real love has always been acting and he has at last returned to it with a renewed passion and focus.


Billie Cox is a native Bostonian and a proud product of the Franklin Field housing projects. He’s also the last living member of the glorious Herb Reed and The Platters, who were on the Mercury and Polygram labels. As an integral part of the act, Billie traveled around the world for over three decades. He'll make his acting debut in the role of FREDDY WILCOX in THE REBUILDING. Additionally he has graciously agreed to compose an original song for our film as well - this will truly be a historic musical event.


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UPDATE - April 15, 2024

Billie Cox is the last living member of the glorious Herb Reed and The Platters, who were on the Mercury and Polygram labels. He will also be composing an original song for our film!

UPDATE - January 17, 2024

We're thrilled to welcome Wyatt Pringle to our team. He will make this character truly unforgettable!

UPDATE - October 24, 2023

The Rebuilding has now been approved for the SAG-AFTRA interim agreement, which means we have been cleared to officially approach actors about the project!

UPDATE - October 03, 2023

The incredible Alecia Orsini has come on as Associate Producer/UPM! She'll bring her wealth of experience to our team - this is a HUGE plus!

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