is a short film written and directed by Sam Max. It was filmed in New Jersey in the year 2021, and it runs sixteen minutes long. Starring Russell Kahn and Zachary Quinto, the film enjoyed its world premiere in-competition at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, playing in the Midnight Shorts category. It will continue to screen at festivals TBA through 2022. Recently, the film was shortlisted for the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes Film Festival.
16 MIN / USA / ENGLISH / DRAMA-THRILLER
An unnamed figure (Quinto) picks up a young man (Kahn) in his car. As the two drive together, and settle into an austere rental house in the country, the details of their arrangement become guttingly clear.
Exploring isolation and care, Chaperone is a genre-bending queer thriller.
It is the first filmmaking project of writer-director Sam Max.
FILMMAKER MAG: Chaperone is a highlight of Sundance’s 2022 Shorts Programming, deemed “formally assured and chillingly acted” ︎︎︎
MOVIEHOLE: “one of the most visually and thematically striking shorts we caught at this year’s Festival” ︎︎︎
THE QUEER REVIEW: ︎︎︎︎ “a deliciously dark, provocative, and intoxicating queer chiller that lingers long after the end credits roll”︎︎︎
CULTUREFIX UK: Chaperone is “arresting,” “gripping,” “enthralling,” ... Sam Max named a rising talent ︎︎︎
MOVEABLE FEST: “Sam Max on Driving Towards the Unknown in Chaperone” ︎︎︎
(b. 1995, Pennsylvania) (they/them) is a writer and director working across film and performance. Beginning their career in theatre, their work is known for centering queer characters in “poetic spaces where death and dreams converge, making otherworldly encounters possible” (Suhrkamp Theater Verlag). As a young artist working in performance, their writing and direction became internationally recognized and performed at prestigious festivals in cities such as New York, San Francisco, Berlin, Vienna, and Beijing. They are a recipient of the 2021 Lotos Foundation Prize in the Arts and Sciences, a recipient of the Chesley/Bumbalo Playwriting Award, a proud resident of New Dramatists in New York, and a published playwright of Suhrkamp Theater Verlag in Berlin. In 2018 they were named to the Young & Hungry List, tracking “Hollywood’s Top 100 New Writers.”
Chaperone is their first film.
Their website is samspacemax.info ︎︎︎
They are represented by UTA and Grandview.