The film is virtually a one-man show. Graham not only served as the director, he also wrote the screenplay, edited and produced it, as well as lensed and scored the film.
“‘Sator’ is quite personal to me,” Graham said in a statement. “It delves into my family’s dark history with mental illness surrounding a supernatural entity, and uses home video footage to create an interwoven piece between documentary and fiction. After working on this project for seven years, I am so grateful that 1091 has picked up the film, allowing it to finally find an audience.”
“Sator” premiered at the 2019 Fantasia International Film Festival and went on to have celebrated screenings at Telluride Horror Show and the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival before being brought to the Marche Du Film Online by arthouse genre film sales outfit Yellow Veil Pictures. The film received praise from Variety critic Dennis Harvey, who said, after watching “Sator,” “you emerge with the uncommon feeling of having dreamed someone else’s somber, unsettling dream.”
In the film, a demon known as Sator observes an intimate family secluded in the woods. Graham’s own grandmother, June Peterson, now passed, recounts her real personal history with the mysterious entity on-screen, alongside newcomers Michael Daniel, Aurora Lowe, Gabriel Nicholson and Rachel Johnson.
The deal was negotiated by Lev Avery-Peck for 1091 Pictures and Yellow Veil Pictures on behalf of the filmmakers. 1091 Pictures’ films include “Cartel Land” and “Hunt for the Wilderpeople,” and “What We Do in the Shadows.”