The Tall & Skinny, One on One with filmmaker Patrik-Ian Polk

Photos Courtesy of Patrik-Ian Polk

Anticipation is high for this weekend’s release of The Skinny, the third feature film from writer/director Patrik-Ian Polk, (Punks, Noah’s Arc: Jumping The Broom), which tells the story of five friends a year after their graduation from Brown University. The ensemble cast includes Jussie Smollett, Blake Young-Fountain, Anthony Burrell, Shanika Warren-Markland, Jeffery Bowyer-Chapman, Jennia Fredrique with appearances by Darryl Stephens, Wilson Cruz and internet sensation B. Scott. The Skinny made its world premiere earlier this spring at the 2012 Fusion: LGBT People of Color Film Fest where Polk received an Achievement Award. The film opens for a limited one week engagement in Chicago on Friday April 27, at the Landmark Century Theater, 2828 N. Clark St. Local promoters Rails Marketing Group, K Dock Media and Clubhouse Productions will host several complementary events to support the Chicago debut. PrideIndex briefly talked to Polk via email on the eve of his visit to the windy city, he spoke about the filmmaking experience, the cast and what’s next.

PRIDEINDEX (PI): Who does The Skinny speak to?

PATRIK-IAN POLK (PIP): Well I’d hope that my work speaks to everyone. There’s no limit to what messages that anyone can learn and apply to their own lives, regardless of age or where it comes from. The Skinny is a bit different because it’s a coming-of-age story, but there are unifying messages throughout the film that everyone could appreciate and enjoy.

PI: Why did you make this movie? What do you want movie goers to retain from it?

PIP: I wanted to tell a story unlike any other that has been seen. There’s never been a Black LGBT film made from the perspective of a college grad similar to my experience. In the film, we have 5 friends who have essentially grown up together during college and are still finding their way afterwards. It’s a story that a lot of people can relate to.

I fill my work with a bunch of messages so that it’s up to you as the viewer to take back what you can and apply to you own situation.

PI: The Skinny stars an ensemble cast of actors such as Jussie Smollett, Blake Young-Fountain, Anthony Burrell, Shanika Warren-Markland, Jeffery Bowyer-Chapman, and Jennia Fredrique with appearances by Darryl Stephens, Wilson Cruz and internet sensation B. Scott. Tell us what the casting process was like?

PIP: The casting process was rather easy. I had a vision of what each character looked like, along with their mannerisms and demeanor, so the choice of actors came easily.

PI: How long did it take you to film this movie?

PIP: It was a rigorous process. However, we shot the film over a 2 week process. Of course writing the film and post production took a significant amount of time.

PI: Can fans expect to see a TV show based on this film on LOGO?

PIP: You never know! The more people that see this film, the more it will draw attention to other outlets to maybe make it into a series!

PI: What are you working on next?

PIP: Well I have a bunch of things up my sleeve! We have the DVD of The Skinny coming out in June. I’m also working on filming the sequel to The Skinny set out in Atlanta and also working on a pitch for a HUGE cable network. (SMILES) To purchase tickets visit landmarktheaters.com For more information visit  skinnythemovie.com tallskinnyblackboy.com