An overworked insurance adjuster must decide between his job and his passion after he accidentally meets his online love interest.


Chris, an overworked insurance adjuster, finds out one Friday that he has to work over the weekend. Again. He drowns his sorrows at the local bar, but later that night, he meets Alyza, a girl he’s been talking with online, in real life for the first time.

After meeting, they spend the night together, but the next morning, he doesn’t remember what happened the night before. And to make matters worse, Alyza remembers – but won’t tell him.

After Chris discovers he’s lost his car keys, he convinces Alyza to let him hang out with her for the day, until the local bar opens and he can get his keys back. They spend the day together, visiting cultural landmarks in Hartford, and happily, they get along well. They also realize they share a common bond: they both have passions in their lives outside of work; Chris loves astronomy, and Alyza loves fashion, poetry, dancing, music … well, she loves just about everything. Chris feels he’s found a kindred spirit, and begins to think there could be more to life than just working all the time.

But work won’t go away quietly. All throughout their day, work constantly contacts Chris, trying to get him to come back, since there are deadlines to be met on Monday. Plus, as he spends the day with her, he begins to think Alyza may not be telling him the whole truth about her working life. But Chris and Alyza discover they have a genuine connection, and as day turns into night in the insurance capitol of the world, Chris must decide if work will continue to be the only thing he’s devoted to.

Artistic Statement

As an American in my early 30s who’s been laid off four times, I’ve struggled with the question of whether I should live to work, or work to live. I know many others feel similarly, and questions about one’s identity often revolve around what someone “does.” I thought this would be an interesting issue to explore in a film, and I feel that setting the story in Hartford, Connecticut, the insurance capitol of the world, would only help to enhance the contrast between being a “company man” and being someone who works on their own terms.

I don’t think many recent films have touched on this topic from the point of view of younger people; many people my age are living through the current economic downturn as veterans of the dot-com implosion at the turn of the century. Our working lives have been marked by tragedy, but we have parents who have pensions from companies they’ve worked for their entire lives.  We’ve gotten mixed signals every step of the way.

We don’t know exactly what to do. I don’t know exactly what to do. But I hope this movie can at least show young people what their choices are, and help them to begin a dialogue about it. As we move into the future, the notion of employment in America will become something much different than anything it has ever been before. I hope RISING STAR will help people to discover what that new notion will be.

– Marty Lang, Writer/Director/Producer, RISING STAR

Financial Statement

RISING STAR is a film that has been fiscally sponsored by the Independent Feature Project (IFP), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports independent film. Tax deductible contributions may be made to IFP, which will then be transferred into an account reserved for the production of RISING STAR.