5 Questions with AJ Mattioli, director of “Neon Boys”

Editor Note: Hamish has another in his series of Five Questions With…

Hamish came up with this idea because he was accumulating too much material for his Famous News Sushi column and asked if he could do these mini-interviews. Why would we say no?

Thank you Hamish for being such a trooper for us. We really appreciate all for your hard work.

Let us know what you think of these interviews in the comments below.


 
TGG: AJ makes his debut solo appearance in this column, this time as the director of a wonderful new film, “Neon Boys” Could you please introduce yourself to our readers?
 

 
AJ: I am a Queens-born, NYC based, trans producer/director with 16+ years in the entertainment industry. I go by He/him pronouns and am an out and proud trans man!

My work and advocacy has been celebrated at the Queens Museum, The United Nations, The NY Times, The Advocate, Huffington Post, Gay Star News and many others! As a producer of queer filmmaking, I worked with some of the hottest LGBTQ+ celebs, including Sasha Velour, Shakina Nayfack, Bob The Drag Queen, Cory Wade, Rain Dove, Vincent DePaul, Carmen Carerra, Miss Fame and many more. My proudest achievement is my film company. Mattioli Productions is a trans-owned and Queer operated, full service film production company that serves the LGBTQ community by telling their stories through groundbreaking, globally distributed work. Our creative and ambitious works span several genres including comedy, drama, horror, documentary, music videos and reality TV audition reels. Our goal is “to produce content that genuinely represents the LGBTQ community while keeping our stories our own, and increasing our visibility in mainstream media. I have been working as a Producer for a decade!

TGG: Could you please tell us about your work, like “Words” and being an indie distributor of queer content?

AJ: My newest venture is distributing Queer content. Since my past films were (knocks on wood) successful, I figured why not attempt to contact these outlets myself and see if I get any bites. As luck would have it, my name has gotten around and numerous platforms have connected with me. Most notably would be www.TLAvideo.com and http://fearless.li/ where most of my films can be found, both self distributed and distributed via other companies. Simply type in AJ Mattioli and check out my content. In addition to those sites, numerous others have picked up our stuff such as Strong Voices TV, Dekkoo, Revry, LesFlicks, Gay Binge, and many more. Its a really exciting journey to be on and helping people get queer films out there helps all of us!

TGG: Can you tell us about “Neon Boys” and how you came to be involved?

AJ: “Neon Boys” is a short film about a whirlwind romance between two gogo boys. The synopsis reads “Unable to land a job, Shawn decides work as an erotic dancer. As he attempts to get his life back on track, circumstances prevents his good intentions. Shawn, spirals into drugs and looks to another dancer, Ricky, for companionship and falls in love with a man for the first time.” I am super excited it is out there and resonating with the audience. I was able to get my hands on “Neon Boys” while walking in a Drag Queens against Trump protest with the now very political Marti Gould Cummings. While walking and talking, I met Jonathan Salazar. He told me about this script, “Neon Boys” that we was hoping to get off the ground. After reading it, I had to produce it. Jonathan was cast as the role of Ricky as that character was based on him. I had recently finished working on my film “Killer Unicorn” and immediately thought of Matty Glitterati Kinkel for the role of Shawn. Rounding out the cast with two time Emmy winner Vincent De Paul, the infamous Tym Moss, the handsome John Strand, and the wronged woman played by Kelsey Denae make the whole film fall together perfectly.

TGG: “Neon Boys” is a story that could have been quite sleazy in the wrong hands, but you’ve made a very tender film. Can you tell us how you decided to approach this film?

AJ: This film, “Neon Boys” could have went sleazy really fast. It needed to be made in NYC. Hell, it needed to be made in Brooklyn by a Queer artists. It’s films like these that prove the point that WE should be telling OUR stories. Although some heterosexual cisgendered people have done amazing work with several queer films, stories like this need a Queer lens. The fact is, as a Trans Queer living in expensive NYC, I know sex workers. I know them, I live with them, I call them family. I see how they are treated by those outside of our chosen family. I wanted to make sure to tell this story in a way that didn’t make sex work to be out of desperation. Although, Shawn has no other choice the Ricky character does. He Gogo dances and sleeps with clients because he has chosen to do so. Sex work is work, and to show that is important.

TGG: How can we support you? (where can buy your stuff, follow you on social media etc)

AJ: The best way to support is to rent my films on VOD. Simply go to TLAvideo.com and type in AJ Mattioli to watch “Neon Boys,” “Words,” “How to Fold a Fitted Sheet,” “Killer Unicorn,” and many more!
You can support us by following us on Instagram at:

@mattiolipro
@neonboysthefilm
@Wordsthefilm

and our next feature film, a metoo inspired thriller at @guysatpartieslikeit

See everything we have coming out at www.mattioliproductions.com
 

 
TGG: Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed again!


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