East End Director Austin Stark’s ‘The God Committee’ Airs on Netflix

Bridgehampton director Austin Starks challenging film The God Committee — starring Kelsey Grammer, Julia Stiles and Euphoria’s Colman Domingo — was released on Netflix on January 12. The movie has received mixed reviews, with Rotten Tomatoes showing a 63% rating with critics and an audience score of 71% as of Friday, January 21. The film premiered on July 2, 2021.

The movie is about the politics of organ transplants — who gets a new heart and who doesn’t. Grammer, who plays a doctor with a heart condition in the film, says, “I have done some parts for a little spending money, but not this one. I was moved by the part and convinced my director, Austin Stark, to give me the lead role instead of the supporting one he had originally offered me.”

The official description reads: When a donor heart unexpectedly arrives at a New York hospital, an organ transplant committee must convene within one hour to decide which of three other patients deserves the lifesaving heart. God’s work is now left in the hands of five doctors, including Boxer (Grammer), a cynical but brilliant heart surgeon; Jordan (Stiles), an idealistic up-and-comer; and Gilroy (Janeane Garofalo), a weary bureaucrat. As the debate over the heart heats up, ethics and bribes clash, leaving the committee members to question what’s more valuable: morals or money?

Austin Stark at the Premiere of Tribeca Film’s "Detachment"
Austin Stark at the premiere of Tribeca Film’s “Detachment,” Photo: Nicholas Hunt / PatrickMcMullan.com

“One of the reasons that I made this film was to shed light on how serious the worldwide organ shortage is, so more than anything else, I am hoping that my film will help inspire more people to donate organs and save lives,” Stark told Dan’s Papers shortly after the film was released last summer.

Stark has produced numerous projects, but The God Committee marks only his second directing credit on a feature film. His next movie, Ditch Plains, is in pre-production. IMDB.com describes the locally set thriller, named after a popular Montauk beach: “During a Montauk summer, a young photographer falls for a married woman and becomes entangled with her affluent family.” Keep an eye on South O’ the Highway for more as Ditch Plains gets closer to completion.

Watch the trailer for The God Committee above and see if it’s for you.

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