"Your filmmakers are childhood friends, native New Yorkers, and had wanted to make a film together for years. During the dark early days of Covid, we at last found irresistible material! It was a time when many well-heeled Manhattanites fled the city for the plush confines of their Hamptons summer homes, searching as much for safety as for comfort. And that meant their domestic staff would be quarantining along with them. Not much, it seemed to us, had changed since the era of the Spanish Flu when Coup! is set. Broadscale emergencies have a way of exposing the perennial vulnerability of the affluent: their dependence on the working class. So we asked ourselves: What if the staff tending to a stately mansion in quarantine decided to exploit their new isolated world? What if they rebelled against their wealthy employers? And thus our story of a master and a servant jockeying for dominance was born. Ultimately, our film is not about the Spanish Flu, Covid, or any other pandemic. It is about a class struggle and cultural divide that has existed for centuries. It is about the thin line between civilization and savagery. In this struggle to survive, the real threat to emerge is not the loss of human life – but the loss of what makes us human." [Austin Stark and Joseph Schuman]
Austin Stark is a New York-based writer, director, and producer best known for films that explore social issues. In 2015, he made his directorial debut with The Runner, a political drama set in the aftermath of the BP Oil Spill. His last feature, The God Committee, is a medical drama which had its world premiere at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival. As a producer, he has collaborated with a number of acclaimed auteurs including Werner Herzog, David Lynch, Maya Forbes, and Tony Kaye. Joseph Schuman majored in English Literature at Columbia College and studied film at NYU. COUP! is his directorial debut.