Family is challenging as it, but it can be even worse when you’re a teenage girl dealing with the fraught cycles of body insecurity and weight issues. That’s essentially the premise of “Family Dinner,” a horror-thriller film from Austrian writer-director Peter Hengl, making its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival next week (technically now known as the Tribeca Festival, but old habits die hard). The film, Hengl’s feature-length directorial debut, looks at the compilated nature of family, tense familial dynamics, emotional manipulation, the way the world sees us, and how we see ourselves, often with self-loathing when it comes to issues of weight.
The film stars newcomer Nina Katlein as the young girl Simi. Overweight and insecure, Simi spends Easter weekend with her famous nutritionist aunt. The hope is that it’ll help her get on a healthier track, but as the aunt’s family’s icy dynamics and an increasingly malevolent atmosphere leave Simi feeling uneasy, weight isn’t the only thing she’s about to lose.
Here’s the film’s synopsis via Tribeca:
Tired of feeling down about her weight, plus-sized 15-year-old Simi heads to her aunt Claudia’s house for Easter weekend. Claudia is a popular nutritionist who’s written best-selling health books, so for Simi, spending a few days together could help change her diet and inspire weight loss. What should’ve been a nice holiday weekend with family, however, quickly reveals itself to be anything but. Simi’s cousin, Filipp, is curiously hostile towards her, while Filipp’s stepdad, Stefan, is curiously the opposite towards Simi, all while Claudia’s dietary guidance verges on becoming overly militant. What’s causing everyone to act so strangely and aggressively? The answers are even worse than Simi’s worst nightmares.
Alongside Katlein, the physiological horror-thriller also stars Pia Hierzegger, Alexander Sladek, and Michael Pink. With Tribeca right around the corner, we’re pleased to debut the exclusive teaser trailer and poster for the film, which you can check out below.