Interested In is a coming of age web series about the fumbling encounters of a recently out college student, Parker. We follow his journey, in Philadelphia, as he begins to find himself after “the closet.”
Coming out is often depicted as the end of the journey, but it is actually just the beginning. In Season 1, Parker explodes out of the closet, and finds his footing as an out gay man. In Season 2, Parker tries to find validation through sexual encounters. But he must rebuild his life when a date leads to a sexual assault. Through help from his friends, Parker learns to heal, respect his body, and love the skin that he’s in.
Interested In explores how we come into our authenticity when we shed our shame. How even after sexual assault, we can reclaim our sexuality back, when it’s unfairly taken from us.
In Season 2, Parker begins to feel comfortable in a visibly queer identity. But shame and secrecy take on new forms when he is sexually assaulted. The assault might not look like what we’re used to seeing. So it’s difficult for our protagonist to find the language to explain it. Instead, he suppresses the memory, finds validation through “straight passing” men, and retreats from his friends. But when Parker finally opens up about the assault, he is able to embrace his femininity, pursue an unapologetic sexual desire, and explode his trauma into queer joy.
Michael Witkes (Creator) is an NYC-based multi-hyphenate: actor, writer, director, producer, and even drag queen. He is the creator and lead of award-winning series, Interested In. Season 1 was an official selection at 9 film festivals, including Frameline. And has over 5 million views on YouTube. His short, Boys Will, was a semi-finalist at the Big Apple Film Festival and WeScreenplay Shorts Competition. He’s performed Off-Broadway and regionally. Most notably at Playwrights Horizons,. Walnut Street Theatre, and the Hangar Theatre. Through his work, Michael is passionate about exploring sexual identity and exploding queer shame into joy. www.michaelwitkes.com
Erica Rose (Director) is a Brooklyn based writer, director, and producer with a focus on queer and female driven stories. Her directing & producing work has screened at festivals internationally, including Academy Award-qualifying Tribeca Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Aspen Shortsfest, Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival, Flickerfest International Short Film Festival, the Florida Film Festival, and the BAFTA-qualifying Iris Prize Festival. After screening in over 40 festivals internationally, her short film GIRL TALK premiered online with No Budge and currently has over 20 million views. Her writing has been selected to participate in the Outfest Screenwriting Lab and the Middlebury Script Lab. She was a finalist for THROUGH HER LENS: The Tribeca Chanel Women’s Filmmaker Program in both 2018 and 2020. She has directed national commercials for TCS New York City Marathon and EasyKnock. She’s directed music videos for Sony Music and others, which have premiered on platforms like Huffington Post. She recently co-directed a branded documentary spot, The Lesbian Bar Project, for Jägermeister’s #savethenight Initiative about the last 15 Lesbian Bars in the US. The spot was narrated by Lea DeLaria (Orange is the New Black) and went on to raise $118k for the remaining bars. The Project was covered by publications such as NBC Out, Forbes, Billboard, Time Out, Eater, Yahoo!, them.us, Out, Adweek, Adage, Inc, and Smithsonian Magazine. Collectively it received over 272 million impressions. www.ericarosefilms.com
Charles Hayes IV (Lead Producer) is an NYC-based Producer and Co-Founder of New Kingston Films. TV & Film Credits include HBO, CBS, Warner Bros., ABC, Marvel, Netflix, Scott Rudin Productions (Fences), Showtime, the Food Network, GQ, and Fisher-Price. Theater Credits: Corkscrew Theater Festival, Frigid Festival, and the Samuel French Off-Off-Broadway Short Play Festival. His latest short film, An Occurrence at Arverne, was most recently a Vimeo Staff Pick Premiere, selected for Short of the Week, chosen as a Webby Honoree, and is still in its festival fun. Charles’ unshakeable faith commands an unrelenting focus. “Knowing the power of loving oneself” is the paramount principle to this rising-juggernaut Producer.