Director Sebastián Silva was on deck at Deadline’s Sundance Studio, along with stars Jason Mitchell and Christopher Abbott, to chat about his drama Tyrel, which follows Tyler, who joins friend on a trip to the Catskills for a weekend with several people he doesn’t know. As soon as they get there, it’s clear that (1) he’s the only black guy, and (2) it’s going to be a weekend of heavy drinking. Although Tyler is welcomed, he can’t help but feel uneasy in “Whitesville.”

Speaking to how the film’s premise came about, Silva said, “I was in Cuba with my really close friend and we saw these American kids just partying and drinking rum and only one of them was black and he seemed kind of alienated for some reason.”

He continued, “It was just like the awkward guy with the group of friends that wasn’t being really paid attention [to]. But the fact that he was black made it a whole different story.”

Breaking down the plot theme further, Silva expounded, “It’s really just about a guy that feels alienated with people that he doesn’t really know. But then just because he’s black, there’s a whole other political layer even involved in such a simple story of alienation.”

The film, also starring Michael Cera, Caleb Landry Jones, and Ann Dowd, screened in the festival’s U.S. Dramatic Competition section.

Peek the interview above.

The Deadline Studio is presented by Hyundai. Special thanks to Calii Love.