imageAs an up and coming actor, Matthew Ludwinski had no problems at all relating to his character in “Going Down in La-La Land,” opening Thursday at Out On Film with Ludwinski in attendance.

In the new film from Casper Andreas (“Violet Tendencies,” “The Big Gay Musical”), Ludwinski stars as Adam (photos), who moves from New York to Los Angeles to make it big. Ludwinski himself just moved to LA from New York four months ago and is getting used to the life of a working actor.

“I was actually living in New York at the time we made the film,” he says. “I think you can’t be a young actor and not relate to this story – the grind, the journey. A lot of people have lived in LA and have gone through these stories. Casper captured the look and feel of it, especially the visual look of LA.”

In the film, Adam moves in with his best friend Candy (Allison Lane, second photo) and takes a job answering phones before meeting Nick (Andreas) and landing a job in production for a gay porn company.

imageAdam is eventually coerced into performing before the camera and soon finds himself doing things he never thought he’d do (Ludwinski has done enough suggestive – and more-than-suggestive – posing himself to merit a feature in Project Q Atlanta’s Morning Fix of flesh). All hell breaks loose when Adam gets romantically involved with a closeted Hollywood actor.

Adam’s relationship with Candy – also looking for her big break – goes through some transformations. Both Ludwinski and actress Allison Lane knew they needed to work well with each other.

“We enjoy each other, and we did have this chemistry,” he says. “She moved to L.A. two months ago herself, and she calls me every day. The friendship is real.”

Ludwinski met Andreas several years ago when his manager sent him to an audition for another Andreas film, “Between Love & Goodbye.” The actor wound up getting a supporting role in that film, but Andreas kept him in mind.

“He had the rights to the book [by Andy Zeffer] and thought I was perfect for the part,” Ludwinski says. “I read it before the script was finished, and I knew it would make a great movie.”

imageAlthough he has several films under his belt, this was Ludwinski’s first lead – in a movie where he is in almost every scene.

“It was the largest role I’ve had in a movie,” he admits. “I was nervous as I was preparing, but I was OK once we got started. I was terrified of watching it for the first time, though.”

The film features appearances by Andreas regular Jesse Archer and L.A. types like gay writer and critic Bruce Vilanch (bottom photo), Judy Tenuta and Alec Mapa.

Tonight marks Ludwinski’s first visit to Atlanta, and he says he looks forward to being here and talking to fans after the screening. Ludwinski appears after the “Going Down in La-La Land” 7:30 p.m. screening on Thursday, followed by an after party at the W Atlanta Midtown.

For more information, see the full festival schedule, and flip through a digital version of the festival program.

imageJim Farmer is an Atlanta-based freelance writer and public relations professional specializing in film promotions. He has been a theater and pop-culture critic for more than a dozen years and is the director of Atlanta’s annual Out On Film gay and lesbian film festival.