'Chateau Sauvignon: terroir' follows the isolated adolescent son of a storied vintner family who finds himself torn between obeying his father’s callous restrictions and preventing his ailing mother from deteriorating further. When a doting woman and her indifferent son arrive seeking a tasting and tour of the winery, Nicolas sees an opportunity to help care for his mother, as well as prove his worth to his choleric father. However, his wayward plan quickly takes a turn for the worse, and his missteps puts his family’s secretive murderous ways in peril of being unearthed.
Directed by D.M. Night Maire
Cast: Sean Weil, Anthony del Negro, Nancy Nagrant, Pooya Mohensi
Over the past few years, my focus has been Producing, primarily short form content of all genres, and for all platforms. Yet, my passion remains Directing, sustained predominantly by the tremendous worldwide festival success and niche critical acclaim of my Master’s thesis short film “Chateau Sauvignon: terroir” (see the 'Screener' & ‘Reviews’ on pages 25 & 27), a gruesome coming-of-age slasher story about Nicolas, a disobedient vintner’s son who simply wishes to care for his ailing mother.
This short doubles as both a directorial calling card and a proof of concept in terms of plot, character and visual aesthetic for a larger feature project. Rather than follow a group of victims into a winery from hell, the hook of this slasher story is in keeping the lens on the executioners, Nicolas and his family. Think “Frontier(s)” (2007) meets “We Are What We Are” (2013). Similarly to Haneke’s psychological thrillers, this story seeks to explore the unease of human monsters, but adds a heavy dose of visceral Cronenbergian body horror.
Regarding the movie's stylistic sensibilities, think “The VVitch” (2015) meets “The Revenant” (2015). Cinematically, this Gothic horror relies heavily on available natural light, and single light sources to create dramatically compositional scenes of chiaroscuro. All coupled with long camera moves and takes to eschew a sense of discomfort, tension, suspense. In drawing influence from the New French Extremity Horror wave as well as their American Splat Pack counterparts, all of these elements amass as a powerfully twisted tale, particularly when webbed into a macabre setting with a backwards, self-reliant family of psychopaths…
Thank you kindly for offering us an opportunity to bring our story to your like-minded genre fans. I highly appreciate your consideration in being shared this morbid tale and look forward to hearing from you in the near future.
Have a bloody good day.