Albert and Claude

In the late 1500s, Claude, a lone French Huguenot settler, wanders the wilderness of the "new world" in search of a place to die. He visits the abandoned quarters of his Commander, Albert, whose throat Claude slit during a mutiny just before the other settlers abandoned the camp. While there, Claude retrieves a satchel of highly questionable mushrooms -- the only food left in the deserted settlement -- and notices a carving of an owl-man, or stigini on Albert's desk. Later that evening, Albert's corpse reanimates, claiming to have gained immortality from the nearby Fountain of Youth. Despite Claude's apprehensions, Albert persuades him to seek out the Fountain. What follows is their darkly comedic, mushroom-fueled journey through the wilderness, and toward a fate neither could have predicted.

  • Alex David Willemin
    Director
  • Alex David Willemin
    Writer
  • Alex David Willemin
    Producer
  • Alina Esther Willemin
    Producer
  • Eric Newcombe
    Key Cast
    "Claude"
  • Erik DeCicco
    Key Cast
    "Albert"
  • Logan Miller
    Cinematographer
  • Alex David Willemin
    Editor
  • Project Type:
    Feature
  • Genres:
    Comedy, Drama, Adventure, Historical, Dark Comedy, Satire
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 30 minutes 37 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 1, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    30,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English, French
  • Shooting Format:
    RED
  • Aspect Ratio:
    2.37:1
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
Director Biography - Alex David Willemin

Alex is an independent filmmaker and educator, specializing in writing and directing micro-budget films. He is currently an Associate Professor of Film at Jacksonville University.

His films and screenplays have made him an international award-winning filmmaker. His screenplay, Home Free, won the Best Breakout award at the 2017 Oaxaca Film Fest - back when the festival wasn't a scam... Notably, Alex's short films have been screened at the Key West Film Festival, Jacksonville Film Festival, and the Miami Independent Film Festival.

His commercial work includes shooting and directing for a number of local and national brands, as well as filming portions of the music video for “Semicircle Song” by UK-based group, The Go! Team.

Alex earned an MFA in motion picture production from the University of Miami, as well as a Bachelor of Science in electronic media and film from Towson University.

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Director Statement

During the pandemic, two things became clear to me. First, faced with the very real specter of my mortality, I needed to make my first feature before it was too late. My passion, since high school, has been to make feature films and while I have carved out a nice niche as a short film and commercial director, I have not completed the thing I went to film school to accomplish. The second, and most striking, I was faced with the mortality of my wife and young daughter. During the uncertain early months when the world ground to a halt, I stayed awake at night, eyes staring into the darkness, as my mind created horrifying scenarios of my life if the virus took them from me. Unable to go to sleep, I sat in my office and forced myself to write and rewrite, trying to get the images out of my mind until something crystalized: use the self-inflicted pain of the most horrible thoughts my mind could conjure to refocus a short film I made a couple of years prior about a failed Huguenot settlement which was located a few miles from my house.

These two forces propelled Albert and Claude forward. It was going to be made, it didn’t matter the budget or if I had to direct, shoot, edit and play every part. Thankfully, it didn’t come to that and armed with a $30,000 budget, my Producer-wife and I set out to create a historical film that could act as a metaphor for what we saw in the contemporary world. From the opening scene, our protagonist, Claude, takes a practical approach to his mortality. Facing certain death alone and resourceless in the wilderness of the New World, he decides the only logical plan is to literally crawl into a hole and die. He is so single-minded and resolute that he seems unaware of the miles of tropical beaches and tranquility that surround him. What to most would seem a utopia, Claude regards as a wasteland. By turning the lens on Claude and his fellow settlers, we learn that despite the five centuries between us, we humans remain very much the same -- tethered to our loyalties, terrified of the unknown, and yearning to love and be loved.