'Somm' documentary shot by AHS grad sold to studio

Samuel Goldwyn Films announced today that it is acquiring North American rights to a documentary shot by Jackson Myers, a member of the Ashland High School class of 2002.

Myers also served as one of the producers with writer/director Jason Wise of the feature-length documentary, "Somm," which chronicles the lives of four wine stewards obsessed with earning one of the world's most prestigious diplomas.

The Master Sommelier's competitive, level-four exam demands years of study, flawless tasting abilities and a deep knowledge of wine, spirits, sake, beer and cigars.

A story about Myers using a $100,000 high-speed, high-definition camera and a zoom lens to capture champagne bottles exploding at 1,000 frames per second was published in the Ashland Daily Tidings in November, when the film premiered at the Napa Valley Film Festival.

At the time, director Wise was courting distributors to release the film that caught on camera, for the first time, the exam by the prestigious Court of Master Sommeliers.

Myers took aerial shots of riesling grapes growing on steep cliffsides in Germany and cabernet sauvignon vines in Napa Valley. He filmed interviews with winemakers in Chile and got footage of champagne bottle-laden caves in France.

The film is scheduled to be released this summer.

Samuel Goldwyn Films is an independent motion-picture company that also released the Academy-Award nominated films “Super Size Me,” “The Squid and the Whale” and “2 Days in Paris.”

Myers' parents are Ashland arborist Tom Myers and Lauren Schaffer, a French language professor at Southern Oregon University who once taught at AHS.

— Janet Eastman

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