Cuddle Buddy is a short drama film directed by Max Barbakow, starring Diana Irvine and Isabel Shill who also co-wrote it. The direction of photography is by Nicholas Bupp and the music is by Adam Gunther. For the full credits click here.
A woman summons a professional cuddler to her apartment on Christmas Eve in hopes of alleviating her loneliness.
According to the filmmakers’ statement:
Intimacy is scary. In a world where our lives are increasingly public and under scrutiny — from our taste in food and music to the nature of our weekend plans — and in a time when the notion of privacy is archaic and the rawness of our innermost feelings is eminently hackable, basic vulnerability has become an intimidating concept. As a result, reaching out for help, in space both real and virtual, can be humiliating… With Cuddle Buddy, we hope to inspire a generation of people to slow down, breath in, and dare to connect.
Max Barbakow is a director and writer from Los Angeles. His taste for character-driven dark comedy probably stems from his conception at a high school house party and forms the core of MOMMY, I’M A BASTARD!, his feature-length debut, which pieces together the story of his adoption. The film originated as his thesis at Yale before premiering at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Post-grad, projects for Fusion, Refinery29, & Participant Media allowed Max to chase stories and landscapes around the world, from Laos to Wounded Knee and from Rajasthan to Yonkers. In 2016, THE DUKE: BASED ON THE MEMOIR “I’M THE DUKE” BY J.P. DUKE, Max’s thesis at the AFI Conservatory for his MFA in Directing, premiered at Tribeca Film Festival, won awards at Hamptons and Reykjavik IFF, streamed on United Airlines and was shortlisted for a BAFTA. Most recently, Max has directed proof-of-concept shorts for pilots in development at AMC and TriStar, and is writing two features plus an experimental short story cycle for the world wide web.
All images © Max Barbakow / Cuddle Buddy