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 during 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 once more the boy that is small the “little potato,” as their mom called him — viewing a film from the television. Transfixed. Frozen. Disbelieving.

And today, here he had been, winning the Grand Jury Award for Documentary brief for his film, “Little Potato,” last week in the South By Southwest movie Festival.

“I became totally surprised,” Hurley said yesterday, speaking from an automobile traveling house to Seattle through Texas. (He’s afraid sign in 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 thing I stated anymore,” he proceeded. “And we called my mother and I also began crying.”

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

“Little Potato” informs the storyline of Hurley’s life that is early Russia. He was gay at a young age how he realized. exactly How he escaped the turbulence of Perestroika — and his or her own emotions of isolation and confusion — by watching pirated films that are american. And exactly how their mom, Elena Bridges, became a bride that is mail-order arrive at America and save yourself them both.

As soon as right right right here, their everyday lives took more inquisitive twists (we won’t inform you the ending), until they both discovered happiness, together as well as on their very own.

“We made a film regarding how films change our life,” Hurley said, “It’s a strange circle.”

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

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

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

“Little Potato” began as an essay Hurley published for the Huffington Post called “Growing Up Gay in Russia.” The tale went viral, and Hurley heard from individuals in Russia who stated that life here, particularly for homosexual people, “is quite definitely a secret into the remaining portion of the world,” he said.

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

He felt like he previously a key, terminal infection. He concerned about the method he wandered.

Bridges, too, felt away from devote Russia. She is open-minded and tolerant, characteristics that she stifled, afraid of what individuals would think — or do.

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 tests and individuals really react to her. They arrive as much as me personally and state, her to be my mom, she actually is the most wonderful person ever.‘ I want’

“She hasn’t experienced the film in public areas yet,” he stated. “She doesn’t recognized just exactly how much people adore her.”

The documentary got going summer that is last whenever Hurley won a grant from 4Culture, King County’s social solutions agency, which will make a quick fiilm about their youth and arriving at America.

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

Hurley did as directing that is much he could.

“But with this specific task, because I’m on digital digital camera, it is difficult to evaluate often,” he said. “It’s difficult to just just take your self from it. Therefore I actually trusted Nate. I really couldn’t look he ended up being amazing. at myself and”

The film had been made by Mel Eslyn (“The One I like,” “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 aspirations and a longtime collaborator of manager Lynn Shelton.

Seattle-based artist Clyde Petersen did the animation; composer Robyn Miller had written the final rating and designer and stylist Harmony Arnold did the costumes, makeup and locks design.

The entire thing are priced at $2,000, shooting ended up being completed in one single time, after which it took a couple of months to edit the film and place the music together.

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

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

Their win at SXSW qualifies them to compete within the Academy Awards.

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