(NEW YORK) -- "First Kiss," a video that showed total strangers’ first kisses, has had more than 65 million views and counting since it was first posted to YouTube on March 10.
The video, by filmmaker Tatia Pilieva, is so popular that it has spawned several parodies, including by TV talk show hosts Ellen DeGeneres and Jimmy Fallon.
The revelation that the video was a collaboration between Pilieva and the clothing brand, Wren, and featured a handful of actors, models and musicians, was met with disappointment by some viewers.
Pilieva told ABC’s Good Morning America that she wasn’t “shy” about acknowledging that the kissers in her video were her friends, or friends of friends.
She added: “I think a lot of people, when they first watched it, they didn’t know there was a collaboration between a brand and a filmmaker, but I think now that they do the momentum has shifted back to the positive.”
She noted that the kissers were “really awkward, but there was a real sweetness that came out of it.”
Pilieva said her inspiration for the video came from photos of her kissing her husband, cinematographer Andrew Lascaris, in locations all over the world.
“I think from there came the idea. There’s something so sweet about it,” Pilieva said in an interview with Good Morning America.
Pilieva -- who recently made her first feature, Forever -- said the message in the video is that the human connection is special. Forever is produced by The Art of Elysium. Check out an exclusive first look at the trailer below.
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