Inez is finally out of the closet but still shy in pursuing romance - until Grindr leads him to the beautiful brownstone of Arthur and Lucas, a 40-something married couple looking to spice up their sex life. What starts off as a casual hookup quickly escalates into something far more intimate as Inez navigates the couple’s dreamy lifestyle and complicated marriage. Lavender is a tender, poignant look at an unconventional relationship as it blossoms and ultimately unravels.
The premise of “Lavender” is inspired by an experience that I had last year. In spending significant time with an older couple, I was exposed to a relationship and lifestyle that I hadn’t ever considered for myself - and, in the process, realized it was something that I very much wanted. “Lavender" is an exploration of the new families, both literal and figurative, that a trio of gay men create for themselves as they stumble toward intimacy.
My inspirations for Lavender include Andrew Haigh’s film Weekend, Ira Sachs’ film Love Is Strange, and the filmography of naturalistic filmmakers like John Cassavetes and The Dardennes Brothers. Weekend, in particular, accomplishes so much of what I hope to do with this film. It creates characters that I fall in love with, a relationship that I care deeply about, and a situation that breaks my heart, all out of small, seemingly insignificant but carefully constructed moments. It appeals to me on multiple levels: as a queer person seeking intimacy; as a hopeless romantic; as an audience member who always appreciates when a film doesn’t go for the easy emotional gut-punch. Lavender will strive to present a queer story that is still so rare: occupying a space between camp and tragedy, where quiet naturalism and tender romance, no matter how brief, are enough.
My last short film, The Mess He Made, premiered at the 2017 SXSW Film Festival and went on to screen at over two dozen festivals, including Palm Springs, Frameline and NewFest, where it received a Special Jury Mention. It follows a man (High Maintenance's Max Jenkins) as he waits for the results of a Rapid HIV Test in a strip mall. It was shortlisted for the 2017 Iris Prize and was featured on Short of the Week, Indiewire, and The Huffington Post, amongst others. We're excited to be assembling a lot of the same team for Lavender. Check out the film below!
PRE-PRODUCTION | February/March 2018
We're currently in the midst of casting, location scouting, and assembling our crew.
PRODUCTION | Late March/Early April 2018
We'll be shooting the film over four days in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
POST-PRODUCTION | April/May 2018
We've already assembled an incredible post team, many of whom worked on my last short film, to complete a cut in time for summer and fall festival deadlines.
FESTIVAL SUBMISSIONS | June-September 2018
We plan to submit to top-notch film festivals including SXSW, New York Film Festival, and Sundance.
PREMIERE | Late 2018 / Early 2019
We hope to premiere the film at a film festival - and, shortly after, share it with all of you - at the beginning of next year.
WHO WE ARE
MATTHEW PUCCINI | Writer/Director
Matthew is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker and graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. His short film The Mess He Made premiered at the 2017 SXSW Film Festival, was selected as "Short of the Week," and was a finalist for the Iris Prize. His previous short, Solo, won the King Award for Screenwriting at NYU’s First Run Film Festival. He is a 2018 Sundance Ignite Fellow, a Creative Culture Fellow at the Jacob Burns Film Center, a member of the 2017 New York Film Festival Artist Academy, and a recipient of the 2017 Richie Jackson Artist Fellowship. He previously assisted director Cary Fukunaga and producer Scott Rudin.
JASON BERMAN | Executive Producer
Jason Berman is the executive vice president of Mandalay Pictures, where he is responsible for producing Mandalay’s slate of films. Berman has produced feature films that have debuted at premiere film festivals around the globe, including Sundance, Cannes, Toronto, SXSW, Tribeca, Berlin, and Edinburgh. He recently produced The Birth of a Nation, which premiered in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, where it was awarded the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award and the U.S. Dramatic Audience Award.
COREY DECKLER | Producer
Corey Deckler is a NY-based producer and graduate of Ithaca College’s Roy H. Park School of Communication. He began his film career working in development under legendary producer, Ben Barenholtz. After transitioning into production, Corey worked as a unit production manager on films such as ADULT WORLD, LITTLE ACCIDENTS, and the HBO Series THE JINX. As a producer & co-producer, film credits include JAMES WHITE (2015 Sundance NEXT Audience Award), KING JACK (2015 Tribeca Audience Award), TRAMPS (2016 TIFF), and most recently IT COMES AT NIGHT with A24.
TYLER RABINOWITZ | Producer
Tyler Rabinowitz is a writer, director, producer, and a graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts - where he was named one of Variety Magazine's 2015 "Students to Watch.” Tyler is a 2017 Sundance Ignite Fellow, U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, TED Speaker, YoungArts alumnus, and a Creative Culture filmmaker-in-residence at the Jacob Burns Film Center. Tyler has produced music videos for popular recording artists at Crush Music, Atlantic Records, and Republic Records. Tyler's work has screened at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Museum of Pop Culture, and the TCL Chinese Theater.
CASEY BADER | Producer
Casey Bader is a NY-based producer and graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He currently assists Alec Baldwin at his company, El Dorado Pictures where he manages professional commitments for the actor including his appearances on Saturday Night Live and in films such as Mission Impossible: Fallout and the Oscar-nominated, Boss Baby. He reads and evaluates potential film/TV projects and will begin producing for the company in spring of 2018. He has produced several short films while working at El Dorado Pictures.
BRANDON ROOTS | Cinematographer
Brandon Roots is the New York-based cinematographer of King Jack (2015 Tribeca Film Festival Audience Award Winner). His eye for composition and lighting has landed him work shooting feature films and commercials both in the United States and abroad. He has shot for clients including Gucci, The New York City Ballet, and Etsy.com, and his narrative work has been screened at a number of high profile film festivals including Tribeca, SXSW, and the London Film Festival.
WHY SHOULD I DONATE?
Great question! We've already raised over half of our budget through grants and private donations, but are turning to you to help this project reach its full potential. The funds that we are raising through Kickstarter will allow us to reach out to top-notch actors for the three leading roles and rent our dream shooting location for the duration of production. Most importantly, though, your donations will allow us to feed our hard-working crew, the majority of whom are lending their time and talent to this project for free.
OK...BUT WHY SHOULD I DONATE.
This is more than just a passion project; it's a chance to put three wildly different, diverse gay men on-screen in an authentic, unapologetically queer narrative.
...for reading to the bottom of this page! We appreciate you taking the time to learn more about Lavender, and hope that you'll consider donating to help bring this project to life. We can't do it without you!
**Music courtesy of the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus.**
Risks and challenges
We know that many of you have donated to passion projects in the past and still, months or even years later, are waiting to see the finished product. We promise that's not the case this time. LAVENDER will be made available as a private link to those who donate over $25 on the same day as our film festival premiere in Early 2019. We take the completion of this project (and your perks!) seriously, and have every intention of sharing the finished film with you as soon as possible.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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