Filmmaker Aik Karapetian’s dark fairy tale Squeal (previously titled Samuel’s Travels (Sema Celojumi)) stars Kevin Janssens, Laura Siliņa, Aigars Vilims, Normunds Griestiņš, Juris Bartkevičs, and Guntis Pilsums.
The film, an Official Selection of Fantastic Fest 2021, will be released in the US theatrically in New York and Los Angeles (with more cities TBC) and on VOD in the US and Canada on August 19.
Squeal centers on Samuel (Kevin Janssens), who is far from home, searching for his father. Lost in remotest Eastern Europe, on the edges of a mythical forest, a minor road accident leads to a chance meeting with a pig-farmer’s daughter Kirke (Laura Siliņa). Sam soon learns that his priorities must change if he wants to survive. Her initial hospitality is a smoke screen to capture him and make him a forced laborer on the farm. Alone, unable to speak the language, and chained up 24/7 with the pigs, he learns to adapt. Fortunately, a seemingly magical piglet gains Sam’s confidence and shows him the way to freedom and true love.
“Squeal is a fairytale about the false and deceptive perception of events and people we meet during our lifetime. Sometimes we have to go through ordeals in order to understand a simple truth, and learn that if we want to be loved , we must first care for each other. The main inspiration for SQUEAL was the Greek myth of the goddess Circe, from whom Kirke, the lead heroine of the film, takes her name. According to the legend, she turned Odysseus’ traveling companions into swine, inviting Odysseus himself to stay with h er and accept her love.” – Aik Karapetian.
Filmmaker Aik Karapetian is a graduate of the Latvian Academy of Culture and has a master’s degree in film direction from the Académie Internationale des Arts – ESEC (Paris). His first feature film, People Out There gained international acclaim after its premiere at the Karlovy Vary film festival in competition in 2012. After the successful horror feature The Man in the Orange Jacket (Fantastic Fest 2014, BFI London Film Festival), Aik released the thriller Firstborn (Sitges, Fantastic Fest, Paris International Film Festival 2017).