Patricia Velasquez is a neo-noir star in her upcoming film.
The Venezuelan model and actress, known for her role as Anck-Su-Namun in The Mummy Returns, is breathtaking in these exclusive black-and-white stills from her new project, Guys Reading Poems, which recently launched a Kickstarter to help finish its production.
The director, Hunter Lee Hughes, describes her character as "a beautiful but troubled avant garde artist obsessed with painting the DNA strand" as well as the "matriarch of an artistic family, worried that her handsome, lothario husband can no longer be trusted."
Velasquez is the first out Latina lesbian supermodel, an experience she chronicled in her new memoir Straight Walk. She is one of several gay and lesbian actors featured in Guys Reading Poems, a film that combines poetry with modern cinematic storytelling.
Other cast members include Rex Lee (Entourage), Lydia Hearst (South of Hell), Alexander Dreymon (American Horror Story), Blake Sheldon (Gone Girl), Gopal Divan, Jason Fracaro, Vincent Montuel, and Justin Schwan.
As explained in a video on its Kickstarter page, the film is the "story of an all-male secret society that intervenes in the life of a creative, but troubled family." The poetry ranges in source from the Bible to modern gay writers like Steven Reigns.
Hughes, a gay filmmaker who also acts in the film, says the purpose of Guys Reading Poems is to encourage a creative medium that Hollywood often neglects, highlighting the power of the printed word over simulations of violence and “virtual reality.”
“I realized that poetry could be cinematic if coupled with the right concept to support it,” Hughes says. “Plus, young men’s creativity is so often channeled into video games or blockbuster-style movies where their impulses are framed by corporate entertainment products or a virtual reality with pre-programmed stock characters.”
“It’s rare that young men are truly given the chance to express something from the inside-out,” he adds, “and I hope our film might stimulate that instinct.”
Photo Credit: Michael Marius Pessah