Day by day athletes are becoming more comfortable with their sexuality as sports associations begin to take proactive steps to accepting lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender players in their respective teams or clubs. Yet surprisingly, a lot of homophobia remains in the world of professional and collegiate sports—making it extremely difficult to come out before their careers end. Some are forced to stay closeted by their entourage while others have been kicked off their team; bullied into secrecy; struggle in their careers while battling with self-identity; and tragically some commit suicide.
Some people still feel uncomfortable about having LGBT athletes in sports, and this is the perfect opportunity to finally break all stereotypes. With the documentary Game Face, director Michiel Thomas sheds light on the masses by debunking the myths and misgivings of the LGBT community and athletes. The important details to remember are found in the fact that these are people who have a passion and love for their respective sport, everything else is irrelevant. This film tells different stories from various athletes in their sport, covering a wide spectrum of issues.
Featuring figures such as transgender mixed-martial-arts fighter Fallon Fox and basketball hopeful Terrence Clemens, Game Face offers up an inspiring film about the coming out process of professional and college athletes.
Watch the trailer for Game Face below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.
Released originally in 2013, the emotional documentary Bridegroom follows the journey of Shane Bitney Crone and Tom Bridegroom, two young men in a loving and committed relationship – a relationship that was cut tragically short by a misstep off the side of a roof.
The story of what happened after this accidental death, before marriage equality, tells of how people without the legal protections of marriage found themselves completely shut out and ostracized. The film is poignant, enraging and opened a window onto the issue of marriage equality like no speech or lecture ever could.
On May 7, 2012, the anniversary of Tom’s death, Shane made a video tribute to his greatest love entitled “It Could Happen To You.” This film, posted on YouTube, earned over 2.7 million hits and inspired over 50 thousand e-mails and comments on YouTube and Facebook. The impact of Shane’s original film, and the raw nerve it touched, told an important story that needed to be brought to the world stage.
Watch the trailer for Bridegroom below. The film is available now on Dekkoo.
In Dream House, the skillfully-made new 31-minute short from director Jeff Bemiss, flashbacks chronicle the life of the O’Brien family – starting in the 1960s when they reigned as an ideal neighborhood family, through to the 1990s… when things have taken a turn.
Elderly matriarch Ginnie (Carol Lambert) lives in seclusion with her gay son, Mark (Ryan Farley). It’s a bit of a Grey Gardens situation. While their idealized family home is falling apart, Mark finds himself trapped in limbo, waiting for his adult life to begin. Ginnie just can’t seem to let go of the past and Mark, a dutiful, caring son, can’t let go of her.
The pair are visited periodically by Mark’s younger brother Dickie (Sean Harris). Now in his thirties, Dickie is an extremely successful businessman who seems to have a model family of his own. There are, however, big cracks in the foundation of the life that he’s built. Like Mark and his mother, Dickie will have to revisit the past in order to move forward into his future.
Mark also finds himself increasingly torn between his dreamlike past and an uncertain future when Ginnie hires Ted (Lance A. Williams), an “on the cheap” handyman, to start fixing up the house. As Ted befriends Mark and the romantic chemistry between them becomes apparent, he starts seeing a new life for himself beyond what he ever considered possible.
Co-written by Kevin Commins and David Lally, based on Lally’s stage play of the same name, Dream House features a terrific ensemble cast comprised mostly of accomplished stage actors making their film debut. The story they come together to tell packs an emotional punch.
Watch an extended trailer for Dream House below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.
One of the founders of the Italian Homosexual Liberation Movement, created at the beginning of the 1970s, Mario Mieli was an activist, intellectual, writer, performer and a key figure on the Italian cultural scene.
Though he committed suicide at the age of thirty, he lived a busy and full life, leaving an impression on LGBTQ culture in Italy together with his friends like architect Corrado Levi, painter Piero Fassoni, singer Ivan Cattaneo, activist Angelo Pezzana, writer Fernanda Pivano and poet Milo De Angelis.
Starring Nicola Di Benedetto in the lead role, Bitter Years traces the ups and downs of Mieli’s short, but influential life. According to Andrea Adriatico, the film’s director, “He liked to provoke and to be an innovator but, today, his thought has been completely forgotten.”
“A son of the upper middle class and second to last of seven children, he spent an entire life having a complicated relationship with his parents, Water and Liderica, and the last years of his life were spent with his lover Umberto Pasti, in a very difficult and intense love story.”
Watch the trailer for Bitter Years below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.
The short film Alaska is a Drag, now available on Dekkoo, is a fish out of water story… literally. The film’s hero, Leo (Martin L. Washington Jr.), is an aspiring superstar stuck working in a fish cannery in Alaska. Leo sees disco balls in the scales of the fish he slices. Everyone who slices fish all day, daydreams – Leo’s are just more glamtastic.
Most of the time, Leo and his twin sister Tristen (Maya Washington) are left to fend for themselves. To escape the monotony of fist fights and fish guts, they create their own magic, the Northern Lights follow them as they vogue down a woodsy path.
They hang out at the one gay bar in a hundred miles, owned by their surly surrogate mom – Jan (Margaret Cho).
Their real mom (Nia Peeples) left years ago and their dad George (Kevin Daniels) preaches on the side of the road. After years of getting beat up by his former best friend, Kyle (Christopher O’Shea), Leo has learned to fight back – his skills catch the eye of his cannery boss, an amateur boxer (Jason Scott Lee) who offers to train him to be a fighter.
And when the new kid in town, Declan (Matt Dallas), wants to be his sparring partner – Leo’s worlds begin to collide, Tristen enters Leo in a drag competition – he’s never performed for anyone but her – the drag audition falls on the same day as the qualifying round for boxing and Leo has to face the real reason he’s afraid to leave Alaska.
Watch the trailer for Alaska is a Drag below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.
Engaged is a short romantic comedy that follows Darren (Daniel K. Isaac), who keeps trying – and failing – topropose to his boyfriend Elliot (Ryan Jamaal Swain).
When their relationship is put into an uncomfortable spotlight during a friend’s outrageous engagement party, Darren realizes he actually might be self–sabotaging himself… due to unresolved insecurities about his sexuality.
Engaged is a 17-minute short film written and directed by Dave Scala, a second-generation Filipino-American filmmaker and playwright who received his BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts film school. His four previous short films have screened and won top awards at over 40 film festivals in the US and abroad. His previous LGBT short film Grotto (released in 2013) won the Outstanding Emerging Talent award at FilmOUT San Diego, and screened at over 30 festivals, including the Palm Springs International ShortFest. Engaged has also won numerous awards at film festivals around the country.
Watch the trailer for Engaged below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.
Born in the small village of Amares, in the north of Portugal, António Variações was a unique man. At an early age, unhappy with his life working at a local factory, he came to Lisbon to stay with some relatives. But he was different and he wanted more. He wanted to travel and see the world and he emigrated, starting to work as a barber.
But his love for music and performance soon became so strong that he came back so he could sing in his own language. His looks and outfits, however, led him to become a victim of prejudice. He managed to persevere. Even without knowing anything about music he fought for his right to do it the way he believed it was best.
A stylish new biopic, Variações: Guardian Angel, a new Dekkoo Films Original, tells a story about music and about fighting for what we believe.
Watch the trailer for Variações: Guardian Angel below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.
“When I was little, my mom used to read these stories to me and my brother, like these old folk tales. One of them was about this man who was so alone, so angry that he turned himself into a monster.”
A chilling allegory about repression, loneliness and coming out, writer-director Kenya Gillespie’s Jeremiah packs some serious suspense into its short nine-minute running time.
At the start of the film, we meet the title character, Jeremiah (Alan Trong), sitting alone on the bleechers, surrounded by both a literal and figurative darkness that threatens to engulf him. An attractive high school football player, he’s reeling from an unfortunate and unexplained encounter with his coach. His equally cute friend and teammate seeks to console him, but there is a mysterious masked figure lurking in the background which forces Jeremiah to look deeper at the true cause of his fears.
Jeremiah is Kenya Gillespie’s narrative short film debut and it shows incredible promise. With spare, careful cinematography and a string-heavy soundtrack that sends chills down your spine, you can easily imagine him expanding Jeremiah into an “elevated horror” feature on par with Hereditary or It Follows.
The film received its international premiere at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival where it was nominated for the short film Queer Palm. Gillespie was also nominated for the 2019 Kodak Excellence in the Craft of Filmmaking Award. His documentary short The Crystal City and narrative short Pray for Dottie were winners of the 2018 and 2019 RTF Longhorn Denius Student Showcase at SXSW.
Watch the trailer for Jeremiah below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.
One of the past year’s most critically-acclaimed LGBTQ films, the gorgeous, haunting, colorful and deeply emotional Into the Mirror is now available on Dekkoo.
The feature-length debut of co-writers Charles Streeter and Jamie Bacon (who also star in the film) and director Lois Stevenson, Into the Mirror follows Daniel, a young man struggling with an inner identity that is desperate to be released.
After leaving his father’s home and moving to London, Daniel’s subconscious desires begin to take control of his everyday waking life. Upon finding London’s drag hot-spot, “Lost & Found” nightclub, he begins to realize the truth about his gender and sexuality – even if he’s not fully ready to accept it. One way or another, his life will never have to be the same again.
Featuring exceptional performances and cinematography, Into the Mirror marks the arrival of numerous creative talents worth keeping an eye on. Both prolific actors in the UK, Streeter and Bacon show a terrific flair for timely, personal storytelling and we can’t wait to see what they will do next.
Watch the trailer for Into the Mirror below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.
Dave and Andrew reach a new level of closeness in their relationship when they share their personal experiences with self-harm. An intimate conversational piece inspired by true events, Vertical Lines explores the path forward from personal trauma.
Vertical Lines co-stars and was directed by Kyle Reaume. An award winning Toronto-based director, writer, actor, and picture editor, Reaume is a graduate of the Toronto Film School. His student short film The Lazarus Files took home Best Picture, Best Producer, Best Editor and Best Production Design at TFS Fest and his collective shorts have screened in over 60 film festivals worldwide. In additional to Vertical Lines, you can see his films What About Shelley, Battle Cry and Ecstasy on Dekkoo now.
Reaume’s co-star in the film is writer-director-actor Nick Neon. His films Ultra Blue, The Definition of Lonely and Zero One are also available on Dekkoo right now.
Vertical Lines won the “Best Men’s Short” Audience Award at the Wicked Queer 2018 Film Festival. It also took home the “Best Screenplay” prize at the 2019 Future of Film Showcase.
Vertical Lines is available now on Dekkoo.