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

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

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

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Once they called their title, if 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 tiny boy — the “little potato,” as their mom called him — watching a film regarding the television. Transfixed. Frozen. Disbelieving.

And today, here he had been, winning the Grand Jury Award for Documentary Short for their film, “Little Potato,” last week during the Southern By Southwest Film Festival.

“I happened to be totally surprised,” Hurley said last week, chatting from an automobile traveling house to Seattle through Texas. (He’s afraid of flying.)

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“I happened to be 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.”

Of course 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. Just exactly exactly How he escaped the turbulence of Perestroika — and his or her own emotions of isolation and confusion — by viewing pirated US movies. And how their mom, Elena Bridges, became a mail-order bride to arrive at America and save yourself them both.

When right here, their everyday lives took more twists that are curiouswe won’t inform you the closing), until they both discovered delight, together as well as on their very own.

“We made a film about how precisely films change our everyday lives,” Hurley said, “It’s a strange group.”

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

The show, which features drag stars Waxie Moon and Jinkx Monsoon, ran for just two periods and had been motivated by ‘80s programs like “Dynasty.” It’s been picked up with a tiny system in European countries and another in Canada.

Hurley has additionally produced commercials when it comes legit to Fred Hutchinson Cancer analysis Center that helped recruit volunteers for an HIV antibody test.

“Little Potato” started as an essay Hurley had written 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 to your remaining portion of the global world,” he said.

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

He felt like he previously a key, terminal condition. He concerned about the method he stepped.

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

Right Here, it is another tale.

“People love her,” Hurley said of their mom, that is 58 and everyday lives within the Central District. “We had three tests and individuals respond to her really. They come 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 places yet,” he stated. “She doesn’t recognized exactly exactly how people that are much her.”

The documentary got going final summer time, when 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, that has labored on “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 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 stated. “It’s difficult to simply take your self 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 I like,” “Lamb,” “Your Sister’s Sister”); Mischa Jakupcak (“The Off Hours”), creator of this virtual-reality manufacturing business Mechanical Dreams; and Lacey Leavitt (“The Off Hours,” “Lucky Them”), Jakupcak’s partner in Mechanical ambitions and a longtime collaborator of manager Lynn Shelton.

Seattle-based musician Clyde Petersen did the animation; composer Robyn Miller composed the score that is final 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” — as well as the fanfare that is resulting to obtain expand it into an attribute movie.

For the present time, however, he’s looking to win a spot 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 when you look at the Academy Awards.

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

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