Mainstream films like “Philadelphia” and “The Dallas Buyers Club” have undoubtedly raised awareness of HIV/AIDS issues ― to varying degrees of success ― in Hollywood. Still, Matthew Puccini felt he’d never seen the routine, yet often stressful, act of being tested for the virus accurately portrayed in film.
The New York-based writer-director channeled his personal experiences with getting tested for HIV into “The Mess He Made,” a new, harrowing short film which debuted at SXSW in March and has since been seen at the 2017 Palm Springs International ShortFestand other film festivals. The film follows a gay man, Jude (played by Max Jenkins), as he waits anxiously for the results of an HIV test in the parking lot of a shopping mall in small town America.
HuffPost got an exclusive look at “The Mess He Made,” which was released on Vimeo Sept. 29, in the clip above. As the film unfolds over 10 tension-filled minutes, Jude is forced to re-consider his choices, as well as their potentially life-altering consequences.
Puccini, 24, told HuffPost that he aimed to “avoid making any sweeping statements about the modern gay experience” with his film, but instead, wanted to focus on “recreating this very specific ritual, with a very specific character, and making people feel compassion for that.” Read more via HuffPost
You can watch “The Mess He Made” in full here.