Controversy erupts when an unassuming young man floods the American wine market with fake vintages valued in the millions, bamboozling the wine world elite, in this humorous and suspenseful tale of an ingenious con on the eve of the 2008 stock market crash.
Filmmakers: Jerry Rothwell, Reuben Atlas
Length: 86 mins
Country: UK, France
Rudy Kurniawan was, it was rumoured, a wine savant, had an expert memory for taste, a generous host, offering rare wines from his huge cellar, who in 2006 made 35 million dollars in two wine auctions from the sale of his wine. Then in 2008 a French wine producer, Laurent Ponsot, realised that wine from his family’s domain was being sold from a year they hadn’t produced it. That day, he says, he took the first plane to New York, and thus begun his crusade.
Set in the super-fast, super-rich world of LA and New York during the finance boom of the early 2000s, and featuring the obsessive collectors, outraged wine producers, suspect auction houses, and specialist FBI sleuths, Sour Grapes is an ‘Emperor’s new clothes’ fable for the modern age.
Jerry Rothwell is a documentary filmmaker whose work includes the award-winning feature docs, Donor Unknown (More 4/Arte/CBC/PBS/VPRO) about a sperm donor and his many offspring Heavy Load (IFC/ITVS/BBC), about a group of people with learning disabilities who form a punk band, and Deep Water (Pathe/FilmFour/UK Film Council co-directed with Louise Osmond), about Donald Crowhurst’s ill-fated voyage in the 1968 round the world yacht race. His latest film is Town Of Runners (PBS/Arte/RHK/ITVS), released theatrically in the UK from April 2012, premiered at Tribeca Film Festival. At Met Film Production, he has exec produced and worked as an editor on numerous feature docs including Dylan Williams’ Men Who Swim and Sarah Gavron’s The Village At The End Of The World.
Reuben Atlas is an award-winning New York based producer, director, and non-practicing lawyer. His first feature documentary, Brothers Hypnotic, premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in 2013. A co-production with ITVS and NTR, the film will broadcast internationally and on PBS' Independent Lens in 2014. He is currently in post-production on a Sundance Institute and IDA Pare Lorentz grant supported film about the controversial community group, ACORN. Previously, he worked at a maximum-security prison and at Legal Aid.
Directors: Jerry Rothwell and Reuben Atlas
Editor: James Scott
Producers: Al Morrow and Catherine Simeon
Executive Producer: Nick Ware
Best Documentary - Key West Film Festival
Best Feature - Devour Film Festival
Sheffield Doc/Fest 2016
Hamptons International Film Festival 2016
DOC NYC 2016
Melbourne International Film Festival 2016