"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, who announced the pickup Friday along with acquisitions exec Ray Strache. "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."


“After previewing 40-plus shorts available for advance press screening, IndieWire reached out to the directors of 10 of the most outstanding to ask about their inspiration and what they’re working on next.”

“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 as he tells the story of a younger man involved with an older couple.”

— Kim Adelman, Indiewire


"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, one that is very personal to its writer/director Matthew Puccini. With uncommon restraint, Puccini and lead actor Max Jenkins richly develop 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


“These fifteen remarkable emerging artists are truly on the forefront of what’s next in our culture, and we are thrilled to help them reach the next level with their fresh voices and unique perspectives,” said Meredith Lavitt, Director of Sundance Ignite. “Sundance Ignite fellows aren’t tomorrow’s filmmakers -- they are today’s filmmakers, and we look forward to connecting them to a wealth of opportunities for growth during their year with us.”


"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


"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


"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


"With an eye for strong, vivid characters and the innate ability to capture the complexities of human vulnerability and intimacy, Matthew is already making an impact on the film world."