This past Sunday, Guys Reading Poems premiered to a big crowd at the Palm Beach International Film Festival. Festival director Larry Richman and festival C.E.O. Jeff Davis both attended the screening.
Of Guys Reading Poems, Richman says, “Amidst the hundreds of submissions to the 21st Palm Beach International Film Festival, ‘Guys Reading Poems’ was truly unique. I knew we had to include it in this year’s lineup. What a stroke of original filmmaking. We have nothing else like it and I don’t think we ever have in our history. I can’t wait for our audiences to experience it!”
Also in attendance from the film were actors Rex Lee (Young & Hungry, Entourage), Christos Vasilopoulos (Banshee), writer-director Hunter Lee Hughes, cinematographer Michael Marius Pessah, producer Debbie Vandermeulen, actor-producer Jason Fracaro, actor-associate producer Daniel Berilla, production designer Nathaly Lopez, co-producer and casting director Paul Trusik, co-producer Sammy Kusler, executive producers J. Parker Buell and Neelou Malekpour and associate producers Robert D. Womack and Josh R. Cohen. Also attending as a special guest was noted Instagram poet J. Raymond, who recently wrote a piece for our Cross-Cut series on William Butler yeats.
Reaction to the film was positive. Danny Simmons, creator of the HBO television series Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam had this to say about the film, “As a poet and the creator of the Def Poetry series I was really interested in a movie with poetry as its central theme. I had high hopes but worried so much could go wrong, mostly it could reinforce the false notion that poetry is boring. Well, with this film that couldn’t be further from the truth. The characters are interesting and well defined and the storyline is gripping and magical. The crisp cinematography pulled me into every nuance of the story, but the poetry itself is the best of all its commanding qualities. The poems themselves are thoughtful and complex. Words that I wanted to continually contemplate. They carry the production and never let go. In a succinct sentence, I can wrap this up by saying it is way dope and I wanna see it again.”
The film has also seen somewhat of a media blitz, with Rex Lee and Hunter being interviewed live on air by Erin Guy on WPBF (ABC affiliate), star Patricia Velasquez featured in a number of Spanish-language press articles, including El Universal, Christos Vasilopoulos being profiled by The Hollywood Greek Reporter and an interview of Rex and Hunter on KPFK by Steve Pride and Wenzel Jones. HIV-Plus Magazine will release its profile of actor-associate producer Daniel Berilla on Thursday. For our complete media coverage, including translations of our press release in Chinese and Korean, please visit our Media page.
There’s another chance to see the film in Palm Beach. An encore screening will take place Thursday, April 14th at 12:15 p.m. at the Muvico Parisian at City Place in West Palm Beach (455 Hibiscus).