Seattle filmmaker ‘completely surprised’ by success of their $2,000 documentary

Seattle filmmaker ‘completely surprised’ by success of their $2,000 documentary

Seattle filmmaker and performer Wes Hurley scored a hit in the SXSW Film Festival with a film memoir of growing up homosexual in Russia, “minimal Potato.”

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If they called their title, once they stated which he had won, Wes Hurley couldn’t go. He simply stared.

For the reason that minute, he had been yet again the boy that is small the “little potato,” as their mom called him — viewing a film in the television. Transfixed. Frozen. Disbelieving.

And from now on, here he had been, winning the Grand Jury Award for Documentary Short for their film, “Little Potato,” last week in the South By Southwest movie Festival.

“I happened to be totally surprised,” Hurley said yesterday, chatting from an automobile home that is traveling Seattle through Texas. (He’s scared of flying.)

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“I became taking a look at my partner like, ‘What’s going on?’ and I also got on phase and I also don’t keep in mind the things I stated anymore,” he proceeded. “And I called my mother and I also began crying.”

Needless to say he did. That they had come to date.

“Little Potato” informs the story of Hurley’s life that is early Russia. Just how he noticed he had been gay at an early age. Exactly exactly How he escaped the turbulence of Perestroika — and his or her own emotions of isolation and confusion — by viewing pirated films that are american. And just how their mom, Elena Bridges, became a bride that is mail-order arrive at America and conserve them both.

As soon as right right here, their everyday lives took more twists that are curiouswe won’t inform you the closing), until they both discovered pleasure, together as well as on unique.

“We made a movie exactly how films change our life,” Hurley said, “It’s a strange group.”

Hurley, 35, stumbled on America in 1997, when he had been 16. He learned arts and drama during the University of Washington and continued to publish and direct the gay-themed internet show, “Capitol Hill.”

The show, which features drag stars Waxie Moon and Jinkx Monsoon, went for 2 periods and had been prompted by ‘80s programs like “Dynasty.” It’s been picked up by a tiny community in European countries and another in Canada.

Hurley has additionally produced commercials for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer analysis Center that helped recruit volunteers for an HIV antibody test.

“Little Potato” started as an essay Hurley penned when it comes to Huffington Post called “Growing Up Gay in Russia.” The tale went viral, and Hurley heard from individuals in Russia who stated that life here, specifically for homosexual people, “is quite definitely a secret towards the other countries in the global world,” he said.

Being homosexual, or perhaps a “pedik” — a derivation of pedophile — “was absolutely the worst thing in the entire world,” Hurley wrote. “I heard both my peers and grownups state that pediks are viler than serial killers and that anybody admitting to be one deserves to perish a dreadful death.”

He felt like he previously a key, terminal condition. He concerned about the way he strolled.

Bridges, too, felt away from devote Russia. This woman is ukraine bride tolerant and open-minded, qualities that she stifled, afraid of what folks would think — or do.

Right Here, it is another tale.

“People love her,” Hurley stated of their mom, that is 58 and life within the Central District. “We had three screenings and folks respond to her really. They come as much as me and say, her to be my mom, this woman is the most beautiful individual ever.‘ I want’

“She hasn’t experienced the film in public areas yet,” he stated. “She doesn’t noticed just just how people that are much her.”

The documentary got going final summer time, whenever Hurley won a grant from 4Culture, King County’s social services agency, to produce a brief fiilm about their youth and arriving at America.

He partnered with cinematographer and co-director Nathan M. Miller, who has got labored on “Tough like,” a documentary which was broadcast on PBS’s series that is non-fiction; as well as the Duplass Brothers’ film “Rainbow Time,” directed by Linas Phillips.

Hurley did because much directing as he could.

“But with this specific project, because I’m on digital digital camera, it is difficult to evaluate often,” he said. “It’s difficult to just take yourself from it. And so I actually trusted Nate. I really couldn’t look he had been amazing. at myself and”

The movie ended up being generated by Mel Eslyn (“The One Everyone loves,” “Lamb,” “Your Sister’s Sister”); Mischa Jakupcak (“The Off Hours”), creator regarding the virtual-reality manufacturing business Mechanical desires; and Lacey Leavitt (“The Off Hours,” “Lucky Them”), Jakupcak’s partner in Mechanical goals and a longtime collaborator of manager Lynn Shelton.

Seattle-based musician Clyde Petersen did the animation; composer Robyn Miller published the last rating and designer and stylist Harmony Arnold did the costumes, make-up and hair design.

The entire thing are priced at $2,000, shooting was completed in a single time, and then it took a couple of months to modify the film and put the music together.

Hurley along with his group are using “Little Potato” — in addition to fanfare that is resulting to obtain expand it into an attribute movie.

For the time being, though, he could be hoping to win an area during the Seattle Global Film Festival in might, and intends to enter “Little Potato” in “a couple dozen” other film festivals.

Their winnings at SXSW qualifies them to compete into the Academy Awards.

“But don’t say it aloud,” Hurley said. “We’ll try, because why don’t you?”