Tumbledown is a comedic love story with a serious soul about Hannah (Rebecca Hall), a young woman struggling to rebuild her life after the sudden loss of her husband, a singer-songwriter (voiced by Damien Jurado) known for the album he recorded in the woods of Maine.
A brash New York writer, Andrew (Jason Sudeikis), treks up to Hannah's town to investigate the uncertain circumstances of her husband's death, wanting him to be the centerpiece of his book about artist suicides.
Over the course of a winter month spent at her lakehouse, they clash, collaborate, and strike up a connection that begins to feel strangely like love.
Sean grew up as the son of a novelist in Texas, Italy, and Virginia. He earned a degree in English Literature and Theater from Princeton University, studied acting at the New York Shakespeare Festival, then spent a decade working in feature film production, where he was lucky to be mentored by some of his heroes.
Among his favorite experiences were shooting 16mm footage for DP Philippe Rousselot on Remember the Titans, assistant directing for Martin Scorsese on Gangs of New York, and his apprenticeship to DP Michael Ballhaus on Something’s Gotta Give. While working on that set, Sean shared with Frances McDormand a short story by James Salter, “Last Night,” then went on to direct her in the short film version.
Founding his own production shingle in Los Angeles, Sean has directed, shot, and edited commercials, shorts, webisodes, and behind-the-scenes features for clients such as Think Film, IBM, the United Nations, and Indian Motorcycles.
On stage, Sean assistant-directed the Mark Taper Forum premiere of iWitness; a production for which he edited video sequences that won the LA Drama Critics Circle Award for Projection Design. Theater productions in Portland, Maine include: Nick Payne's Constellations, Rajiv Joseph's Gruesome Playground Injuries, Tracy Letts’ Killer Joe, and Stephen Karam’s Speech&Debate.
A native of Farmington, Maine, Desi studied English Literature at Princeton University, enjoyed a post-graduate cinema-intensive fellowship in Paris, then moved to Los Angeles to work as a producer. She learned the ropes assisting her mentor Greg Silverman at Revolution Studios and Warner Brothers. She went on to spend five years as VP of Development for Donna Roth and Susan Arnold at Roth/Arnold Productions where she associate-produced 13 Going on 30, directed by Gary Winick, and the Judd Apatow-produced comedy Drillbit Taylor. Desi adapted and produced the short film Last Night, starring Frances McDormand, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival.
Tumbledown was her first feature screenplay, a love letter to her hometown.
She is currently writing the romantic comedy script Married Off for Warner Brothers, based on an original pitch, with Kevin McCormick of Langley Park and Rosalie Swedlin of Anonymous Content producing.
"It was the night they had decided would be the one. What she had been was gone; it had been taken from her. She was almost a different woman from the one he had solemnly promised to help when the time came. A farewell dinner first -- but it should not be just the two of them."
Jamey Sheridan • Frances McDormand • Sheeri Rappaport
Based on the story by James Salter
Directed by Sean Mewshaw • Written & Produced by Desi Van Til & Sean Mewshaw
Original Music by Jeff Cardoni and Ben Lively
Official Selection: Venice Film Festival, London BFI Festival, Boston Film Festival, Hamptons Film Festival
"Playing the shell of a woman ravaged by cancer, Frances McDormand is almost unrecognizable in Sean Mewshaw’s "Last Night." Her husband (a convincing Jamey Sheridan) has agreed to put her out of her misery, with a young friend to bear witness. What’s remarkable is the level of intensity and the wallop this film packs in just 22 minutes. " - Boston Phoenix
"Measured, beautifully shot, and using sparse dialogue, Sean Mewshaw's "Last Night" also stood out [at the London BFI Festival]. Adapted from a short story by James Salter, this high budget film about a woman with a terminal illness ending her life has a P.T. Anderson-esque quality to it. Worth seeing alone for a ghost-like Frances McDormand playing the woman living out her last night." - kamera.co.uk
by Nick Payne
READ the Portland Phoenix Review
by Rajiv Joseph
READ the Production Interview
by Tracy Letts
READ the Portland Phoenix Review
by Stephen Karam