PRESS

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"Open relationships, throuples, polyamory — 21st century sexual configurations have not always received the most nuanced cinematic renderings. Few filmmakers have truly interrogated what polyamory looks like in real life without resorting to cheap thrills and even cheaper jokes. Which is what makes “Lavender,” an elegantly crafted short film starring “Ugly Betty” star Michael Urie, such a revelation.”

- Jude Dry, Indiewire

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The New York writer-director loosely based “Lavender,” which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival in January and was released online Wednesday by Fox Searchlight, on his own experiences. The roughly 10-minute film follows a young gay man named Andy (played by Michael Hsu Rosen), who finds himself seduced by a married couple, Arthur (Michael Urie) and Lucas (Ken Barnett). What begins as a casual hookup, however, soon evolves into a far more emotional and intimate situation between the three men. (Some scenes may not be suitable for work.) 

- Curtis Wong, HuffPost Queer Voices Editor

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“Filmmaker Matthew Puccini discusses following up on unexpected success, mining your personal experiences in service of your work, and what it means to be a queer artist.”

- Cole Rachel, The Creative Independent

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“Filmmaker Matthew Puccini on His Short Film Lavender, Breaking Stereotypes About Unconventional Relationships, and Showcasing Queer Narratives Beyond Coming Out Stories”

- Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue

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"We are always looking for fresh filmmaking talents, and the short film world led us to a talented director in Matthew Puccini," said Fox Searchlight chairmen Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula. "Matthew’s film Lavender is a work of great beauty and resonance, and showcases a personal voice from and about the LGBTQ community. We enthusiastically welcome him to the Searchlight family of filmmakers."

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“After previewing 40-plus shorts available for advance press screening, IndieWire reached out to the directors of 10 of the most outstanding.”

“Writer-director Matthew Puccini wins over the viewer from the very first frame of “Lavender” and continues to weave a powerful spell for the next 11 minutes.”

— Kim Adelman, Indiewire

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"Simple in its construction, powerful in its execution, The Mess He Made is a poignant distillation of an all-to-common ritual of gay life. With uncommon restraint, Puccini richly develops the mindscape of a man as he awaits life-altering news. The result is a film that, more so than any in our recent history of highlighted shorts, says little, but speaks volumes."

-- Jason Sondhi, Short of the Week

"Directed and written by Matthew Puccini, the film is a beautifully restrained representation of an emotionally fraught yet all too common experience for many gay men."

- Jude Dry, Indiewire

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"Matthew Puccini’s The Mess He Made, about a young man nervously awaiting the results of a rapid HIV test, is incredibly skilled in allowing the given situation to dictate the filmmaking...Rather then tell the story in real time, the film plays like a tightrope act of incredibly heightened peak moments."

-- Erik Luers, Filmmaker Magazine

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"A new, harrowing short film...As the film unfolds over 10 tension-filled minutes, Jude is forced to re-consider his choices, as well as their potentially life-altering consequences."

-- Curtis Wong, Queer Voices Senior Editor, HuffPost

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"The Mess He Made is an exciting contribution to the long standing battle against the stigmatization of HIV in relation to the LGBTQ community, and helps portray those affected by the disease less as promiscuous pariahs and more as human beings able to live a long, healthy life."

- Michael Valinsky, OUT