Next Step 2021

Feature Film

A threatening shadow hovers over Kent, the protagonist of Sanctuary. Paralysed by repeated panic attacks and psychosomatic pain, he believes he will find peace in an alternative health clinic known as the Sanctuary. Its charismatic leader, Anders, reigns supreme and seems to alleviate Kent’s pain who, in turn, becomes one of his most faithful patients. However, it isn’t long before gruesome events occur, bringing the therapy provided by the guru into question.

As the countryside scenery is suddenly overshadowed by gothic terror, Sanctuary assesses our current paradigm, tying in distrust of medicine and an idealised return to nature. Describing the workings of sectarian forces and drawing from genre films, Nicolai combines the efficiency of a thriller about control and the emotional accuracy of a nuanced portrait of a young generation in search of meaning.