La Maison de la Vanille
Synopsis: Over-the-hill baker, Julie (57), is putting the finishes touches on the most important job of her career—baking a senator’s birthday cake. Hours before she’s to deliver the order, her son, Nathan, shows up at the door with two cops. Fresh out of rehab that same morning, Nathan (27) was found peeing in public.
The reunion sees mother and son unearth the disappointments they harbour for the other. Julie is sharp and unyielding in her criticisms of Nathan’s wasted life. His dropping out of college, cocaine addiction, and general laziness to get his life together are all crimes she imputes to him. Yet even as they have this exchange, Julie’s focus remains on packaging her prized cake. Nathan takes his mother’s jibes on the chin, as he has his entire life, until his mother’s assessment of him becomes unbearable. In a pain-crazed tantrum Nathan rips the cake to shreds, bemoaning his mother’s lifelong coldness towards him. With the remains of the cake between them, mother and son are left at a standstill. In the wake of this destruction, Julie and Nathan are able to truly see each other for the first time.
Winnie Soldi (Nathan)
Nathaniel Sylvester is a multimedia artist who specializes in directing, performing, and music composition. In 2016 he founded his own production company “Strange Eventful History” and has directed and produced over 18 short films and other multimedia projects. In addition to his directorial work, he has been a script reader for Starz and holds a BFA in Drama from NYU-Tisch School of the Arts.