Probably best known for his previous films “Punks” and “Noah’s Arc,” which was also a TV dramedy on the Logo channel, independent filmmaker Patrik-Ian Polk returns with his latest film, “The Skinny,” which explores the lives of four gay (and one lesbian} friends who take a trip to New York City for Gay Pride weekend.
Set in Harlem, the fictionalized Brown University graduates encounter the trials of infidelity, sex and drugs, all the while learning the importance of friendship and loyalty. The film stars actors Jussie Smollett, Blake Young-Fountain, Shanika Warren-Markland, Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, Anthony Burrell and others. It also features a sultry cameo from media personality B. Scott.
In an interview with Loop 21, Polk shares the artistic direction behind “The Skinny,” and addresses the limitations of directing independent projects coupled with being the cinema voice for the gay black community.
Loop 21: When did the inspiration to write the script for “The Skinny” come about, and describe the vision you had for the movie.
Polk: Early last year I took about a year developing TV pilots for two different networks and at the end of that long process, as often happens in the TV industry, neither of those shows was picked up for series. I was feeling a little frustrated. I decided that I was going to shoot a movie. This was last spring, March 2011. The initial idea was to shoot a party movie; a movie about a group of friends traveling to a Gay Pride weekend celebration. These party weekends are very popular in the gay community so I thought it would be an interesting setting for a film — kind of our version of spring break.