Hamish Downie’s Five Questions With Jay Palmieri Jr.

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: Can you tell us about yourself?

JPJ: Hi! Firstly, thank you for the opportunity to be interviewed! My name is Jay Palmieri Jr. and I’m a lgbt horror filmmaker based in NJ
and NYC. After graduating from New York Film Academy (NYFA) in 2011, I’ve made a total of 7 films, 6 shorts and 1 feature. My films, TASTE and LÉA, especially have done very well in the festival circuit. TASTE is nearing its 6 year anniversary and to this day still making festival appearances, it has been accepted into 40 festivals & won 39 awards.


Taste (teaser trailer)
from Jay Palmieri
on Vimeo.

My goal is to continue making horror and thriller genre films that have a purpose and make the audience think. The ultimate dream would be to work for A24, I feel that studio best represents the kind of films I love to create. Maybe this manifestation will help that happen?! lol Little fun facts: I’m obsessed with Marilyn Monroe and Bette Davis, John Carpenter & Debra Hill’s HALLOWEEN is the film that inspired me to become a horror filmmaker, the original 1974 BLACK CHRISTMAS is my favorite horror movie, and I’m a little Monster. Paws up!


TGG: Who doesn’t love Bette Davis? OK, what’s your latest film, “Play” about?

JPJ: PLAY is a psychological thriller about a therapist named, Eric (Mike Taveira) who himself has demons to conquer. After a violent night with a mysterious Girl (Jes Davis), he must suffer the consequences and let her cure him of his evil ways. This was my debut feature, we shot it in 4 days. I kinda consider it the love child of MISERY and AUDITION. The film also stars Victoria Beltran, Matt Ford, Hank Morris, Cristiano Moura, Jamel Tyre Mack, Jennifer Palmieri, Brooke Walter, Brendan Solovey, Linda Wartenweiler, Lainey Drew, and Jillian Geurts.

PLAY (teaser trailer)
from Jay Palmieri Jr. on

TGG: Ooh! That sounds interesting! What inspired you to make “Play”?

JPJ: I was inspired to make PLAY because I wanted to continue down the erotic thriller path I had started with my award-winning 2016 LGBT film, TASTE that starred Christina Toth (“Orange Is The New Black”). My film, TASTE really affected people, caused an audience member at its NYC festival debut to faint and others to question the films intensity and why I felt it was important. I really felt that the European erotic thriller style was the way I should continue to explore and craft. Started writing the PLAY script in late 2016 but then put it aside because I got stuck on what to do with the story. Then a year later I started to feel inspired by that story again so I started to finish writing it. Actor/singer Mike Taveira, who also co-produced the film with me, and actress Jes Davis’ enthusiasm for the project really made the writing process easier for me. They both were really brave and committed to telling this story and trusted my vision for their characters and story. The film brings awareness to sexual assault, depression, toxic masculinity, etc. Which are topics that need to be discussed more. Very proud that majority of the cast are LGBT also. Playing both straight and lgbt characters.

TGG: What’s next for you?

JPJ: This quarantine has really inspired and challenged me to find ways to be creative. The first few months I had no inspiration and severe writers block syndrome. But a few months ago I started to get out of that funk and co-wrote a horror feature film with filmmaker Andrew Froening (Frovideo) titled, SOULMATE. We’ll also be co-directing that together, which will be interesting because I’ve never co-directed with another filmmaker before. But I must say, I’m really enjoying it so far. My producing partner Danielle Earle (PL Entertainment) & Michael Bollentin will be co-producing that feature film with Andrew & myself. A few days ago we finalized our cast and hope to shoot it later this year. I’ll also be shooting 3 zoom themed horror short films, SELF TAPE, DIGITAL COVEN, & CAM GIRL. Was really inspired by the Shudder film, HOST & thought this would be a fun & safe way to be creative with my actor/actress friends. I’ll be co-writing/directing DIGITAL COVEN with actress/filmmaker Amanda Troisi & co-writing/directing CAM GIRL with actress Jes Davis (who was the lead in PLAY & supporting roles in my films, TASTE & LÉA), & actress Jillian Geurts (who played The Madame in PLAY) will be acting in & co-producing SELF TAPE. So lots of creativity in 2021 and hopefully it continues.

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

JPJ: You can follow me on Instagram @jpalmieri13 to keep up to date on what I’m doing next. I also have a Vimeo & YouTube page. Links below. My films aren’t available to purchase (yet lol) but when they are I’ll let you know ASAP. Thank you! But if someone was interested in seeing them, they can always message me for a private link.






TASTE (clip 1)

TASTE (clip) from Jay Palmieri Jr. on Vimeo.

TASTE (clip 2)

TASTE (Roe/Mother clip)
from Jay Palmieri Jr. on

LÉA (clip)

LÉA (clip) from Jay Palmieri Jr. on Vimeo.


We welcome your comments and feedback below. If this is your first visit, be sure to read the Privacy / Terms and Conditions Of Use. And Please, Play Nice.

As an Amazon Associate we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Thanks for visiting. Let us know what you think.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.