Alumnus Mark Raso '12 in Production on Second Film with Netflix, Co-written with Alumnus Joseph Raso '04

BY Felix van Kann, September 23, 2019

Awake, directed by Mark Raso '12 and co-written with his brother Joseph Raso '04, is currently in production for Netflix. The Raso brothers also serve as executive producers of the project. 


The newly announced cast stars Gina Rodriguez, who also serves as an executive producer, and Ariana Greenblatt, Frances Fisher, Shamier Anderson, Lucius Hoyos and Gil Bellows.


Awake is set after a sudden global event wipes out all electronics and takes away humankind’s ability to sleep. As chaos starts to unfold, Jill, an ex-soldier with a troubled past played by Rodriguez, discovers she may hold the key to the problem in the form of her own daughter. The question is, can Jill safely deliver her daughter and save the world before she herself loses her mind?


It’s Raso’s second time to partner with Netflix after the platform acquired his feature Kodachrome, which premiered in Toronto in 2017.  


Mark Raso has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious 2012 Student Academy Award (Oscar®) Gold Medal for his thesis film Under. Mark has also been awarded the David Jones Memorial Award for Excellence in Directing and The Hollywood Foreign Press Award for Excellence in Filmmaking. He has made several short films that have played on television or in theaters in over 30 countries around the world. In 2014, he debuted his first feature film Copenhagen that went on to win numerous awards on the festival circuit including the Audience Award at Slamdance. He splits his time between Toronto and Los Angeles.


Joseph Raso is a graduate of McGill University, prior to attending Columbia University. He is the writer and director of several award-winning shorts. Often writing with David Light ’02 (they first teamed up in the MFA program at Columbia), the duo has received numerous industry awards and grants for their written work and short films.In 2018, they co-wrote the TV Movie Z-O-M-B-I-E for Disney Channel.Together, they’ve created, written and sold numerous comedy pilots to such networks as NBC, SONY, ABC Family, Nickelodeon, and Disney Channel. Joseph has various projects in development in Canada with Rogers/City-TV and CBC.


Netflix has not yet announced a release date for Awake. Principal photography on the movie started in Toronto in August.