Fox Searchlight Acquires Matthew Puccini’s ‘Lavender’ Short Film

Sundance 2019: Film will be available on social media channels

Last Updated: January 25, 2019 @ 12:07 PM

Fox Searchlight Pictures has acquired the short film “Lavender,” which screened as part of the Shorts Program at the Sundance Film Festival, chairmen Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula and EVP, global acquisition & co-prod, TCF acquisitions Ray Strache announced Friday.

“Lavender” is written and directed by Matthew Puccini. The film will be available on Fox Searchlight social media channels.

“Lavender” follows the story of a young gay man as he develops a complicated relationship with an older married couple. It is a tender, poignant look at an unconventional relationship as it blossoms and ultimately unravels.

The film stars Michael Urie, Michael Hsu Rosen, and Ken Barnett. Urie and Rosen recently starred in the Broadway production of Harvey Fierstein’s “Torch Song.” Barnett recently starred in the Tony Award-winning “Fun Home.”

“Lavender” is produced by Casey Bader, Tyler Rabinowitz and Corey Deckler. “Lavender” was supported by the Creative Culture program at the Jacob Burns Film Center and was executive produced by Jason Michael Berman, Sam Abbas and Natalé Olsen.

“We are always looking for fresh filmmaking talents, and the short film world led us to a talented director in Matthew Puccini,” said Utley and Gilula in a statement. “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.”

Puccini is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker and graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. His short films have screened at Sundance, SXSW and Palm Springs and have been featured on Topic, Short of the Week, Indiewire and The Huffington Post, amongst others. He is a 2018 Sundance Ignite Fellow, a member of the 2017 New York Film Festival Artist Academy and a Creative Culture Fellow at the Jacob Burns Film Center.

“I’m so thrilled that ‘Lavender’ has found a home at Fox Searchlight. It means so much that they have taken an interest in supporting emerging filmmakers, and I feel particularly lucky that this film is reflective of the queer space I hope to continue to work in,” Puccini said in a statement. “It was an incredible experience working with queer talent in front of and behind the camera and we could not feel more grateful that it has resulted in this wonderful opportunity with such an amazing studio.”

Fox Searchlight is in flux with its impending acquisition by Disney. Their 2019 slate includes “The Aftermath,” “Tolkien,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “Lucy in the Sky,” “Wendy,” “Antlers,” “Ready or Not” and “Downhill.”