Director: Patrik-Ian Polk
Screenwriters: Patrik-Ian Polk

Institute History

  • 2000 Sundance Film Festival


It is truly exciting when a film manages to break fresh ground. Patrik-Ian Polk’s auspicious debut feature deftly stretches the genre of the music-driven, African American romantic comedy by infusing its hip-hop and rhythm-and-blues beat into a completely black, gay world. Punks gives us a West Hollywood story that you’ve never seen before onscreen.

Marcus, a successful photographer in his mid-twenties, has never had a boyfriend, doesn’t really date, and has no prospects. That is until the drop-dead-gorgeous Darby moves in next door. Marcus rushes over to help with the boxes, but his best friends advise him against becoming infatuated with his ostensibly straight neighbor. Instead, they all look for love at their favorite club, Miss Smokies, where Marcus guides his friends through their personal dramas: Hill moves in with him after catching his boyfriend cheating; the young and irresponsible Dante seems hell-bent on a path of drug and alcohol-induced self-destruction; and the fabulous diva drag queen, Chris, is abandoned by her backup dancers, The Sisters. Meanwhile, Darby becomes a lost cause when his girlfriend moves in, but hopelessly romantic Marcus sticks around, hoping for friendship and maybe something more.

Polk is a multitalented writer/director who has created a wonderfully entertaining film full of fresh characters, snappy dialogue, and great performances from an exceptionally attractive cast. Drenched in a fantastic sound track (including songs penned by the filmmaker), Punks is sure to make glorious waves in the worlds of black and gay cinema.

— Shari Frilot

Screening Details

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