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Potato Dreams of America

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Potato Dreams of America
Directed byWes Hurley
Produced byWes Hurley
Mischa Jakupcak
Written byWes Hurley
StarringTyler Bocock
Hersh Powers
Marya Sea Kaminksi
Sera Barbieri
Dan Lauria
Lea DeLaria
Jonathon Bennett
Music byCatherine Joy
Joshua Kohl
CinematographyVincent Pierce
Release date
  • 16 March 2021 (2021-March-16) (SXSW)
Running time
95 minutes
CountryUnited States

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Potato Dreams of America is an upcoming American dark comedy-drama film written and directed by Wes Hurley. It stars Tyler Bocock, Hersh Powers, Marya Sea Kaminksi, Sera Barbieri, Dan Lauria, Lea DeLaria, and Jonathan Bennett.

The film is an autobiographical coming-of-age story based on events from the life of Hurley, including growing up in the Soviet Union and living as a closeted gay immigrant in America. The film is comprised of two parts, each with a different cast. The first half focuses on Hurley's life in Russia and the second half focuses on his life in the United States. The film premiered at South by Southwest on March 16, 2021.[1]


A young, gay boy named Vasili Naumenko, known by the nickname "Potato", lives with his family in the slums of Vladivostok during the collapse of the Soviet Union. He is raised by his single mother, grandmother, and his imaginary friend, Jesus. Potato and his mother dream of moving to America, and it appears that dream will come true after she applies to become a mail-order bride.


  • Hersh Powers as Potato in Russia
  • Tyler Bocock as Potato in America
  • Sera Barbieri as Lena in Russia
  • Marya Sea Kaminksi as Lena in America
  • Dan Lauria as John/Grace
  • Lea DeLaria as Tamara
  • Jonathan Bennett as Jesus Christ


Potato Dreams of America was based on a previous documentary short by Hurley from 2017 entitled "Little Potato". The short won top honors at SXSW Film Festival the same year. The short film was also adapted into a VR piece called "Potato Dreams",[1] which premiered at AFI Festival.[2] After receiving the Creative Capital Award, production began on a feature length film. Filming started in Seattle, Washington in September 2019 and started with scenes set in the United States. Scenes set in Russia were filmed on a sound stage made from a former Staples building in early 2020.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Lodge, Guy (March 16, 2021). "'Potato Dreams of America' Review: Queer Coming-of-Age Tale Is a Film of Two Very Different Halves". Variety. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  2. 2.0 2.1 "About - PotatoDreamFilm.com". Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)

External Links[edit]

  • Potato Dreams of America at IMDB

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