Heart Worm (Feature, WIP)

Written and directed by Miriam Louise Arens

Producer: Sultan Pirzhan

“Those who suffer loss live suspended between the past for which they long and the future for which they hope” Jerry Sittser, A Grace Disguised


In a post-pandemic world dependent on NeuraLife technology, a virtual platform where all human interaction takes place, a bereaved mother battles to bring her grief-striking husband back to reality and escape the confines of NeuraLife’s fabricated world.


A kaleidoscopic journey traversing reality, virtual reality, and memory, Heartworm is about how we rebuild ourselves in the face of insurmountable grief.
When Avenas five-year-old daughter, Zamira, falls into a coma while in NeuraLife, she and her husband Mark are sent on diverging paths: Avena stays in Reality to care for Zamira’s body, while Mark waits for her consciousness to return in NeuraLife.
When Zamira dies, Avena begins to process her loss and rediscover her place in the physical world, searching out the surviving remnants of her once authentic “reality.” Mark, however, trapped in denial, digs deeper into the virtual realm. To save him, Avena must confront her devastating new existence, free herself and Mark from their guilt, and expose the poisonous nature of NeuraLife’s fabricated world.

Heartworm collapses science fiction and drama, bringing a uniquely feminine touch to the sci-fi setting while delivering a refreshingly original take on the deteriorating marriage story.

Director’s Statement:

Heartworm is a deep exploration of what humankind stands to lose if the virtual realm takes us captive.
In coday’s society, everyone has a digital persona. For some, this is a useful tool, but for many, it’s an augmented version of their core identity. Since the genesis of Facebook, depression is on the rise, feelings of isolation affect 47% of Americans, and the average person spends four hours a day on their mobile device, checking ir upwards of 84 times.
As it stands, Heartworm has never been more relevant. In this time of a global pandemic, when social distancing and Zoom hangouts are becoming the norm, humaniry is sitting on a precipice. Will we rediscover the strength and importance of human connection or will the safety and convenience of a virtual lifestyle win out?

Sultan Pirzhan // WhatsApp: +1 714 873 32 10 // email: spfilminc@gmail.com