The tight relationship between a teacher and a student will sets himself up for a twisted discovery beyond his reach, not only to understand more about the others close to him but also more about himself.
Outward Vineyards is a story of George, a shy 50-year-old History teacher lusting for a talented student, Eve, who lives her life holding more than a secret that involvers George and his own son Joel. Sometimes dark, repressed, moiling intense passion and a bit of violence that indulges sexual freedom in modern families and lifestyle. Relishing wine with its pairings, the appeal of a young beauty, exploring carnal needs, showing the difficulties of being honest and not being yourself in a world that apparently is ready for you to do so… All these elements are the slices of our human life that one can taste in this movie.
My thesis film titled Outlawed Vineyards is a short film with a strong script and a specific storytelling, a movie designed and crafted for those who love complex film storytelling and deepness in its meanings. The film explores sexual and love taboos who are present in any modern society, in this case set up in the US.
As a director I wanted to represent the forbidden love and the human sexual attraction in some of its faces as every character represents a different one and so has its own demands and needs that get clashed among them within the movie. Outlawed Vineyards was produced as a thesis movie to conclude my studies in film school at Los Angeles as a Fulbright student. The movie was possible using a small budget and involved a crew from 12 nationalities.
From the very beginning I was conscious that I was not neither writing or producing a commercial, mainstream film and that means the festival acceptance was going to be tiny. Every filmmaker will understand this is a hard decision to make as the exposure of the film would be limited. On top of that I would go for my interest in exploring the inner human sexual freedom out from any social boundaries (even when this means to keep your choice as a secret) in a movie where the present time, the past and some sensual imagination got mixed in its storytelling so it demands extra attention from the viewer to fill some gaps.
George Russell and his wife Caroline want Eve (George’s student) to carry their baby as a surrogate mother due to Mrs. Russell fertility problems; at the same time, George lusts after Eve and she feels a strong attraction to his teacher because she learns from him a lot about wines and their pairings. Eve, Joel (the quiet and only George’s son) and Calvin (Eve’s official boyfriend, a soccer player) love each other and are together in a sort of 3-ways couple. It is a real love shared among three people that nobody knows about. This is a pretty well hide secret kept in their passionate privacy about to be discovered out of a sudden with unknown consequences.
But Calvin is temperamental and knows about the attraction between Eve and George. Calvin seems himself in a position where nothing seems to be reliable anymore and that is why Calvin elaborates a plan to catch George and Eve together in bed in order to know how far George is able to go following his visible lustful intentions as well as to discover whether Eve is betraying him and Joel or not.
Calvin poisons George’s bottle of wine and hides Eve’s house’s keys in George’s briefcase to make him understand a bold invitation to go to Eve’s house, a way to accept the offer of being a surrogate mother for the Russell’s couple by the natural way.
Calvin just finds that the drug has affected both Eve and Joel, no trace of George, who fled the house after discovering that his son Joel is sharing the bed with the girl he is in passion with. Calvin’s plan fails and he discovers a positive pregnancy test in the bedside table: Eve and Joel have betrayed him getting a baby together. Calvin cannot understand why this has happened as there is no reason to do that: Calvin’s angry with Joel for getting Eve pregnant and hits him violently. The young and naïve Joel is the one who loses more than anyone in this new situation: he is really involved into the sincere relationship made by the three of them and is totally in love with this possibility of sharing all together in a way no one else does. The truth is that Eve doesn’t want to carry the baby for the Russell couple, and tricks Joel into getting her pregnant.
George sets himself up for a twisted discovery beyond his reach. An intense conversation will Calvin will expose those secrets and feelings he has been hiding all his life just to learn that some others in his very same situation made a clever step where he couldn’t.