[DIFF Feature] Stellar Bodies Revolve Around Each Other in ‘Satellite of Love’

SATELLITE OF LOVE, starring Nathan Phillips (WOLF CREEK), Zachary Knighton (HAPPY ENDINGS), Shannon Lucio (Prison Break) and Janina Gavankar (True Blood), is a story about looking back in search of answers to the mysteries of life, love and friendship.

Blake and Samuel are best friends who couldn’t be more different except for one thing: their love for Catherine, Blake’s new wife and Samuel’s ex-girlfriend. When Samuel skips Blake and Catherine’s wedding, he tries to make amends by inviting them to his secluded vineyard for some R&R. Along with Samuel’s free-spirited DJ girlfriend, Michelle, they start a week-long binge on good wine and great music, but soon old feelings of love and regret force everyone to confront their pasts to make room for their futures.

Co-writers Will Moore and Jonathan Case both grew up in Victoria, Texas and attended the University of Texas in Austin, but their paths didn’t cross until they both landed in Los Angeles after graduation. The pair bonded during a Ferris wheel ride at Santa Monica Pier, an experience that inspired the opening scene of SATELLITE OF LOVE, which world premieres at DIFF.

“After that,” Case said, “we became like brothers.”

Case, a musician, returned to Austin after touring Europe to work on the film with Moore, a mortgage broker in the area. The film was shot in Hays County between Austin and San Antonio: Texas wine country.

“Location was really important to me,” said Moore, who made sure SATELLITE OF LOVE was shot in multiple locations in the area despite the film’s low budget. It makes all the difference: the lush landscape and engaging scenery make for a movie that’s as visually stimulating as it is emotionally.

Blake and Samuel are based on what Case calls a “more extreme version” of Moore and himself, who aimed to examine the stage in life right after college—when the world appears wide open and anything is possible—with reflection on where the characters have already been. 

Also important was inspiration from LA COLLECTIONNEAUSE, a 1967 French New Wave film starring Patrick Bauchau, who ended up playing Alex, Samuel’s eccentric mentor, in SATELLITE OF LOVE. “Like our film, LA COLLECTIONNEAUSE is about the ability to relate, art, and sexual conquest,” said Case.

“We wanted to write something honest, and something that people could relate to,” said Moore.

“The characters are still defining their paths,” added producer John Michael Measells—even Alex, who describes a thousand-mile pilgrimage on foot to Santiago, Chile, to Samuel during one of the film’s closing scenes.

“So, did you ever make it to Santiago?” Samuel asks. “Amigo, I’m still on the path,” Alex says. And aren’t we all?