SANCTUARY by Mehul Desai | Script Revolution


A former soldier awakens on a tranquil 1800s settlement sheltering the last survivors from Earth, only to discover that every woman must bear children or face exile. Including herself.



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The world has ended, the Earth is gone.

Within an enormous domed base that perfectly recreates an idyllic 19th century farming settlement, a group of men and women awaken with no memory of their past. Their purpose, to repopulate the human race.

Reya, the Last Awakened, also suffers from amnesia but unlike the others begins to remember her former life, including visions of her lost daughter.

As she struggles to piece together who she once was, she quickly learns that all of the settlers have been indoctrinated into a new world religion. A religion designed by the unknown architects of the Sanctuary to ensure the long term survival of the human race. A process achieved through the men earning the right to “Claim” any woman for one night.

Disgusted by the practice, Reya rallies the other women to resist, urging them to remember who they once were. But her defiance soon places her in direct conflict with Christopher, the mysterious and charismatic leader of the settlement, who has had feelings for Reya from the moment she awakened. Feelings that could further jeopardize the stability of the Sanctuary.

As the two sides grow, each with their own allies and adversaries (male and female), we build to a shocking finale that not only reveals the true purpose of the Sanctuary but also Christopher’s connection to Reya.

The Handmaid’s Tale meets Midsommar and Get Out with the visual serenity of Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven, Sanctuary is a haunting science fiction thriller that explores one woman’s struggle to hold on to her identity in a world seeking to erase her past and reduce her to a single function.

An ideal mid budget vehicle for an established female talent in their 30s or 40s, Sanctuary offers a strong message of female empowerment and parental sacrifice, with sequel/franchise potential.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

- Semi-finalist, Creative Screenwriting Unique Voices Competition (2023)
- Finalist, Final Draft, Big Break Screenwriting Contest (2022)
- Second Round, Drama Feature, Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition (2022)
- Quarter-finalist, ScreenCraft Action & Adventure Screenplay Competition (2022)
- Quarter-finalist, Stage 32 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Screenwriting Contest (2022)
- Quarter-finalist, ScreenCraft Feature Competition (2022)
- Quarter-finalist, PAGE International Screenwriting Awards (2022)

SANCTUARY sizzle reel
Submitted: April 4, 2022
Last Updated: March 16, 2023

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Mehul Desai's picture

The Writer: Mehul Desai

UK based Science Fiction screenwriter. Winner of the PAGE International Screenwriting Awards (Grand Prize) and Finalist for Final Draft Big Break 2022. A graduate in Film Theory & Production, Mehul has written and directed several short films funded by the UK Film Council before focusing primarily on feature film screenwriting. In 2009, Mehul won the Grand Prize at the PAGE International Screenwriting Awards for his science fiction mystery thriller Progeny. He has since garnered over 40 festival and contest accolades (including Final Draft Big Break, BlueCat, ScreenCraft and American Zoetrope). Between 2020-22, Mehul was hired by Voyage Media (Los Angeles) to adapt an original science... Go to bio

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