A Navajo Nightmare.
When a Navajo family betrays a blind witch, he vows to destroy the entire clan. A clan headsman risks everything to save his family, unaware that his beloved young daughter is called to the darkside herself.
After years of suffering, a Navajo man, Tse, is desperate to be free from his horrible nightmares where he fends off a murderous ghost. One night while having this nightmare, he almost strangles his beloved ten year-old daughter, Haseya. Tse tracks down the last person who might be able to cure him: an old blind man disguised as a healer, but who is really a skinwalker (witch). The skinwalker heals him, but when Tse’s family cheats him on payment, he sets out to destroy Tse’s entire clan and rob the graves of his victims. He kills nightly, and Tse’s clan members accuse Tse of being responsible as he had dealt with a witch. Desperate to save his daughter and pregnant wife from a witch-hunting mob, Tse takes them on a dangerous trek into the mountains to hide from his clan members who are hunting him down. The skinwalker continues to kill while Tse mentally unravels from stress and sleep deprivation. After the skinwalker brutally slaughters many of his clan including his wife, Tse erroneously believes his own daughter has now become possessed by a skinwalker and caused the murders, and he hunts her down. Haseya attempts to hide from her father in the skinwalker’s cave where the monster attempts to win her over to join him. When Tse corners Haseya, she finally breaks through to him as the skinwalker appears. In his moment of clarity, Tse defends his daughter, sacrificing himself to save her life so she may destroy the skinwalker.
BUDGET 2.5 million USD (not including P&A)
GENRE: Period supernatural horror
ESTIMATED RUN TIME: 90 minutes
TIME PERIOD: 1900s
Directors/screenplay: Nicole Elmer and Jorge Sermini
Story by: Jorge Sermini, Nicole Elmer, Edsel Pete, Marco Noyola
Produced by: Ana Belén Asfura, Edsel Pete, Jorge Sermini
TONALLY COMPARABLE FILMS & INFLUENCES
The makers of The Chindi are inspired by contemporary and well-executed horror films such as The Babadook and The Witch, in addition to classic horror films such as The Exorcist and The Shining. Our target audience is for filmgoers that enjoyed these two mentioned contemporary horror films, in addition to smart horror films like Hereditary and Get Out.
STATEMENT OF INTENT
The Chindi might just be the first of its kind: a Navajo horror film entirely in the native language, shot in the Navajo Nation, in the stunning desert Southwest of the USA.
But making a terrifying but unique film like this also has some crucial social statements that give The Chindi even more importance. Native Americans have long been subject to inaccurate portrayals in cinema, or have had to uphold the idea of the “Noble savage.” In addition, many early films about Native Americans are rarely outside the genres of Westerns or drama, and these films often prescribe a singular image to all natives. An image that is entirely inaccurate.
By reimagining a potent story from Navajo lore, and doing so with historical accuracy, The Chindi will give the Navajo a more complex place in modern film through this vivid and horrifying retelling.
We are working with the Navajo community to engage their culture in a genre of film they are not often represented. By focusing on the universal struggle of family bonds and survival against evil, the film has character complexity that audiences take for granted in films with non-indigenous characters. The story is set in the early 1900s, a time period in which the Navajo are not often shown. The film will be shot entirely in the native Navajo language (Diné Bizaad), which will also help contribute to the preservation of the Diné language for future generations.
A film like this is long overdue.
CONTENT FOR DOWNLOAD
CONCEPT ART AND REFERENCE PHOTOS
This short video highlights the vision directors Nicole Elmer and Jorge Sermini have for the project.