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Ruby Lewis, Gisela Adisa, and Bret Shuford Join Revenge Comedy Series UPCODE

From creator and star Jerry Topitzer, the revenge tale chronicles one doctor's struggles to fight back against a powerful insurance company.

Ruby Lewis, Gisela Adisa, and Bret Shuford Join Revenge Comedy Series UPCODE

Ruby Lewis (Cirque de Soleil), Gisela Adisa (Sister Act, Beautiful), and Bret Shuford (Wicked) round out the cast of the award-winning original comedy web series, UPCODE.

From creator and star Jerry Topitzer, the revenge tale chronicles one doctor's struggles to fight back against a powerful insurance company. The first 6-episodes are currently being released in weekly installments on YouTube.

UPCODE centers around Dr. Fritz (Topitzer), a brilliant and by-the-book doctor forced to consider medical fraud in order to save his practice from being destroyed by a heartless insurance company. Dr. Fritz is forced to navigate insanely complicated billing rules in order to be paid by the callous insurance company, Amalgamated Health. With time running out, Dr. Fritz self-prescribes upcoding - in order to save his drowning practice, rescue his bumbling staff, and continue curing his ailing patients. "Upcoding" is when a doctor claims their patient has an overly complex diagnosis in order to get paid more. But, when this "playing the insurance game" results in potentially deadly side-effects and a State investigation, Dr. Fritz discovers his confidence and integrity could be lost forever.

UPCODE has already proven a winner, resonating with audiences around the world since launching on the festival circuit. The darkly-comedic tale earned top awards at Vancouver Independent Film Festival, Tokyo International Short FF, Roma International Short FF, and Seoul International Short FF. It also gained attention at JellyFest, Portland Comedy FF, Golden Door FF, Dances with Films FF, Montreal Independent FF and the Venice Shorts Festival.

Topitzer gained first-hand experience with the struggles medical providers face with insurance companies as a teenager, pitching in as a part-time billing clerk for his psychologist father, dealing with constant insurance payment delays and denials. Now years later, learning that half of all doctors want to leave the profession because of these issues, Topitzer created the series to shed light using laughter on our unjust system, adding "Upcode punches into a root cause of why the system is broken. Because doctors contort themselves to insurance companies' rules in order to get paid, we end up in a situation where doctors are incentivized to over-diagnose, over-prescribe, spend less time, and over-bill us all as patients."

Topitzer had multiple real-life doctors, nurses and medical coding experts consult on the project and he brought on co-writer Greg Fortier, winner at Austin Film Fest 'Best Screenplay' and SeriesFest 'Best TV Pilot'. He also tapped rising indie director Drue Pennella and a stellar cast, including Brian Dole (Boys in the Band), Ruby Lewis (Cirque de Soleil, Desperate Housewives), Gisela Adisa (Sister Act, Beautiful), Bret Shuford (Wicked), Aaron Dalla Villa (Alpha Rift) Chris Daftsios (Law & Order SVU), Julia Register (Star Trek- Lower Deck).

Currently a New York City based actor, writer, and producer, Topitzer spent 18 years as an investment banker leading a double life. At night, he secretly performed improv and learned to write sketch, while by day he worked at one of the most intense and straight-laced jobs in the world. Five years ago, at the height of his banking career, he threw it all away to become a full-time actor and creator. Since then, he has performed in theatre, TV, film, and commercials, most recently acting in and producing the survival thriller feature film, Centigrade, released by IFC Midnight.

Learn more at UpcodeSeries.com.


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