In Portland, Oregon, there is a shop for those that seek human touch and a warm embrace. Meet Samantha Hess, professional cuddler, and the people who frequent her shop.
Cuddle Up To Me screened at NFFTY 2016 in the Northwest Is Best screening.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR:
Nach Dudsdeemaytha is an independent producer and project manager. He works out of his humble production office at This is a Spoon Studios in Vancouver, where he produces, directs, and edits narrative content, documentaries, and corporate videos.
A Brief Interview with Nach:
Why did you decide to make this film?
On a routine bus ride to school one day, I picked up the local paper to read -- that day, the front-page feature was about a cuddling business in my hometown. It really caught my attention; I had never heard of any business like it, at least not in North America. I had so many questions I wanted to ask. I was in a documentary class at the time and was looking for a documentary subject for a film… that newspaper article could not have come at a better time!
Some preliminary research led me to Samantha Hess in Portland, who called herself the “pioneer” of the (relatively new) professional cuddling industry. My original idea for the short documentary was to focus on the subject of touch in general. I spent some time researching about the science behind platonic touch, and its psychological effects. I reached out to professors, researchers, and professionals in the field of touch to schedule interviews with them, Samantha being one of those people.
However, as time went on, I became more engrossed in Samantha’s life story, and how she decided to pursue cuddling as a professional career. Sam introduced me to some of her clients, each with their own unique story of how they came to meet Sam. With the help of my good friends Wes Chew & Kelcie Hudson, and our professors, we decided to take a short trip to Portland to capture Sam’s story, and their stories of her clients.
What are you working on now?
I recently finished production on a Storyhive-funded webseries called Inconceivable, directed by my business partner and NFFTY alumni, Joel McCarthy. It’s inspired by (hilariously) true events from Joel’s life that may or may not involve a baby. We are in post-production full-time; the series is slated to release this summer.
As of February 17th, I will also have finished a film I co-wrote and produced called Cypher, a story about the underground rap battle scene in 1997 LA. It was made in part of the Crazy 8s Film Competition in Vancouver, where chosen filmmakers get 8 days to shoot & edit their film.
Find Nach & Cuddle Up To Me online: