Johannesburg, 01 June 2023 – First-time director Diana Millis Smith unveils her captivating debut film, “Dinner to Die For,” a dark comedy thriller that delves into the world of Hannah, an introverted millennial with a dark taste and an insatiable desire for success.
With a powerful South African cast in Shamilla Miller (The Umbrella Men, The Girl from St. Agnes, Blood & Water) who is leading the film as the enigmatic Hannah, Steven John Ward (One Piece, Triggered, Vagrant Queen) as the charming but sinister Evan, and Nina Erasmus (Binnelanders) as the bubbly Blaire, this exhilarating feature film explores themes of manipulation, self-discovery, and the unexpected consequences of blurred lines.
Dinner to Die For reunites a powerful team
The film is produced by OC House that sees producers Orr Koren (Koren Films) and Cameron Scott (Kingdom Kome) reunite for a more ambitious project following on from their first venture on The Ring of Beasts, a 25min proof of concept filmed in 2020 and released in 2021 to critical acclaim.
“We are thrilled to present ‘Dinner to Die For‘ to audiences worldwide. This film pushes the boundaries of the dark comedy genre, immersing viewers in a suspenseful and thought-provoking experience. We’ve found a gem in Diana Millis Smith and her directorial debut is set to be a testament to her talent.”Producer & Writer Orr Koren
Producer Cameron Scott echoes Orr’s confidence.
“Having Diana onboard really took this project to the next level. She works with incredible attention to detail as a director and brought tremendous value to the script-writing process needed to craft a unique blend of suspense, humour, and human psychology. We were immediately knew that Diana Millis Smith was the perfect director to bring this story to life.”Producer & Writer Cameron Scott
What’s on the menu?
In “Dinner to Die For,” we meet Hannah, a talented yet under-appreciated culinary photographer and aspiring cook. Desperately trying to get her first baking book published, Hannah’s dreams are shattered when her publisher insists it lacks a certain “je ne sais quoi.” With her confidence shaken, Hannah embarks on a cycle of self-discovery.
Hannah’s neighbour and persistent friend, Evan, shares her unhealthy obsession with true crime content. Evan, harbouring feelings for Hannah, is willing to manipulate her to get what he wants. When he discovers Hannah’s hidden kink, Evan seizes the opportunity to initiate a role-play to plot a murder.
Excited about the idea, Hannah agrees but insists on centring the game around a specific victim—their next-door neighbour, Blaire. Blaire, who provides Hannah with solace and affirmation, is completely oblivious to the dark intentions brewing beneath their friendship.
As the role-play continues over multiple days, things begin to unravel, with the stakes getting higher and higher. Culminating in a dinner to die for.
A feature debut: Dinner to Die For is a first time feature in more ways than one.
With an array of potent short films under her belt such as the award winning short films My Beskermer and Oasis director Diana Millis Smith is more than ready to tackle a feature.
“I have so much respect for dark comedy genre. What I find so charming about dark comedies is that you get to experience very real but dark emotional subjects in a way that many people can relate to. My vision for this project is to lean heavily into the rules and aesthetic of genre while ensuring the characters feel like real people dealing with relatable and empathetic emotions. As the audience, we are getting to know characters who keep their secrets and intentions from each other – there is almost a mask they wear around each other. It will be fun to play with genre as a subtextual tool.
There is a human story at the centre. We are dealing with an insecure young woman with aspirations of greatness. She is taken advantage of by the manipulators in her life who benefit from keeping her in her state of insecurity. She is talented and capable of achieving her goals but she believes the lies she is being sold. It is once she claims her self-confidence that she is able to succeed and confront her emotional abusers. This is a simple and relatable struggle that so many can understand. It is only her unfathomable methods that transform this tale into a deliciously twisted treat.”
There is more to come.
Produced by OC House, “Dinner to Die For” promises to be a gripping and unforgettable cinematic experience. Get ready to savour every moment of this darkly twisted treat when it releases in 2024. Follow @dinnertodieforfilm for more content and updates.