“Silence is the language of God. All else is poor translation.” – Rumi
From Nigerian writer-director Adé Sultan Sangodoyin, A Cemetery of Doves is a thoughtful and deeply poetic coming-of-age short film about love, heartbreak and navigating the world as a queer individual.
Though the film features no dialog, the feelings are present. The filmmaker also employs subtitles to give us an idea of the young protagonist’s inner dialog.
What story exists in the film concerns a young Nigerian teenager’s misguided declaration of love for an older man. When his sentiments are met with rejection, he subsequently struggles with heartbreak and fear for his safety and future in a society which is intolerant of the LGBTQ community.
Adé Sultan Sangodoyin studied English Literature and Journalism at the University of Buckingham in England. His films, Different Plains and Eyimofe have screened at film festivals all over the world. His short stories, “A Language of the Unconscious”, “Dad Attempted Many Things and Failed” and “The Charred Flower” have been published in the Kalahari Review and Agbowo Magazine, respectively. A Cemetery of Doves marks him as a visually gifted filmmaker to watch.
After leaving his parents in small town Essex, young but naive Jim heads to big city Soho to pursue big dreams of arts and education. Things don’t exactly go according to plan for Jim, we find him asleep in a grimey alleyway and robbed blind.
After aimlessly walking the Soho streets, Jim finds himself in the company of a group of male prostitutes specializing in post sexual conversation, calling themselves “The Raconteurs”. Jim is quickly thrown into an incredibly stylized world of London sex work and self discovery.
Postcards from London is a visually stunning ride. The film has an incredibly unique tone and visual style showcasing moody and atmospheric sets with bright pops of color. Contributing to the film’s style is the impeccable fashion worn by the film’s characters. The Raconteurs themselves sport incredible ensemble outfits that make the world of the film feel unique and alive.
Art also plays a large role in Jim’s story. Many famous paintings become topics of post coital conversation and paintings are even recreated by the cast during several dream sequences. These dreams are highlights of the film, providing an opportunity for some truly stunning imagery.
You find Postcards From London streaming on Dekkoo soon.
Young Kamal (Akram Tanna) is trapped in a seemingly endless circle of male prostitution fueled by his brother Hatim (Nizar El Manouzi) and pimp Danny (Chris Peters).
After weeks of few jobs and low revenue, Kamal accepts a call from Jacob (Tobias Nierop). Hatim soon begins to feel an attraction towards Jacob, and what once was simply business now has become so much more. Hatim must now try to escape his world of blackmail and danger while trying to pursue a budding relationship with Jacob.
Khata never shies away from showing the gritty details of male prostitution. The audience is forced to bear witness to violence, drug use, and a particularly violent depiction of sexual assault. The film lays everything bare and forces it’s audience to confront the sometimes violent word of sex work head on.
A group of Belarusian students look for their place in life in II, a fast-paced coming-of-age drama from breakout director Vlada Senkova.
Like many Belarussians, Nastya and Sasha want to study in the European Union. They’re taking Polish language lessons after school to further their studies. Meanwhile, their friend Khristina is primarily interested in sex with her new flame.
Unfortunately, they never use a condom. As a result, Khristina is forever terrified of finding out that she’s pregnant. Fortunately, Nastya is always by her side – and even agrees to take an HIV test with her in order to allay her fears.
The result of the test, however, tears her life apart in unforeseen ways. At every level, a campaign of persecution is set in motion – fueled by a mixture of ignorance, lack of education and fear of the unknown.
Shot over only six days, II had originally been planned as a short film, but the themes grew so large that the running time increased as well. The film has earned rave reviews and provoked deep discussion at film festivals all around the world.
Watch the trailer for II below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.
Directed by Stevie Martin-Cruz and written by Daniel Monks – who also stars – Pulse is a thoughtful sci-fi indie from Australia which has earned rave reviews at film festivals all around the world.
Monks stars in Pulse as Olly, a disabled gay teen who is suffering from a degenerative disease which is ravaging his body. When he is presented with an unusual opportunity to experience the world differently, he jumps at the chance. Soon, he is able to have his mind transferred into the body of an attractive young woman (played by Jaimee Peasley). This sets off a series of events which allow him to find love in previously unattainable ways, but also challenge the very core of who he is as a person.
Pulse is both a tender coming-of-age tale and a provocative and insightful look at disability, sexuality and identity.
Watch the trailer for Pulse below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.
Jesse (Mercedes Torres) is s mixed-race transgender teen, arrives from Switzerland for a cross-country road trip with her estranged father Marcus (Stephen Hill).
As Marcus struggles to understand his daughter, and Jesse finds her deep desire to be understood, accepted and loved by him growing. This leads the two to strike up an unusual and weighty agreement, one with serious repercussions for their relationship and their trip.
Written and directed by Swiss filmmaker Vinz Feller, Jesse won the Bronze Award for Best LGBTQ Short at the Independent Shorts Awards. The film was also chosen as an Official Selection at both the LA Queer Film Fest and OutFest Los Angeles.
Watch the trailer for Jesse below. The full 15-minute short film is available now on Dekkoo.
Growing up queer in suburbia is the focus of the brutally honest short film “As I Sat in His Car”. Director Kalil Hadad reflects upon his own life and experiences to craft an intimate autobiographical piece of art.
As the protagonist of the film sits in another man’s car in the midst of a late night hook up, he begins to reflect upon his life and the significant moments that led him here.
He thinks back on his relationships with his parents, noticing other men for the first time, and the prejudices that have forever been a part of his life.
Hadad pulls from several different mediums to fully articulate his story including video, still photo collage, and even utilizing some “making of” footage. Hadad effortlessly illustrates the isolation and unknowing of coming to terms with your sexualtiy in a small town. The film shows how the lines between love and lust can blur especially amongst queer people and what such desires can do to relationships.
You can find “As I Sat in His Car”, (streaming August 25), along with another of Kalil Hadad’s short films “Farm Boy”, streaming on Dekkoo.
Jamie (Bryant Ji-Lok Mak) is on his way to visit his uncle in Melbourne. First, he stops by Sydney to see an old school friend.
Kevin (Jun Li) lives in a group home due to crippling depression. It’s been over a decade since they last saw each other back in Hong Kong, but the two reconnect as if no time has passed. Though they part quickly, Jamie gives Kevin an invitation to visit him in Hong Kong.
Soon back in his homeland, Kevin’s presence causes a rift between Jamie and his suspicious girlfriend Elaine (Candy Cheung). Through it all, the true reason for Jamie and Kevin’s estrangement hangs over them, a reason further elucidated in a series of flashbacks to their confusing, treacherous school years.
As the two troubled friends circle each other, and Kevin catches the eye of one of the teen male students at his tutoring job, they must make a choice between following their heart or conforming to the norms of heterosexual society.
Using a stark digital cinematographic style, writer-director Simon Chung’s I Miss You When I See Younavigates a tense landscape of modern masculinity.
In the German series Kuntergrau, coming out is part of the past while sex and love is mundane. A group of five gay friends between seventeen and twenty-four years old deal with everyday problems and experience the meaning of love, sex, and friendship.
The show focuses on Leopold (Marcel Meyer) who does not want to identify himself through his sexuality and Noah (Daniel Printz), whose BDSM fetish challenges his ex-boyfriend, Jan (Fabian Freistühler), to the point where their relationship begins to break. Along with them are the promiscuous Marcel (Moustafa Tarraf), who works as a banker and is learning to live day-by-day as HIV positive. Last but not least, Lukas (Daniel Kosic) moves from the country to the big city to get away from his controlling parents… somewhat unsuccessfully.
The lives of these five men soon become intertwined and what results is a story that encapsulates what it means to be a young gay man in a big city.
Season 3 of Kuntergrau is now available on Dekkoo! Catch up on Seasons 1 and 2 as well!
Arturo (Stefano Accorsi) and Alessandro (Edoardo Leo) have been a couple for over fifteen years. Even though their passion and love have formed a close and important affection, their relationship has been in crisis for a long time.
The sudden arrival of two children, left in their care for a few days by Annamaria (Jasmine Trinca), Alessandro’s best friend, could give an unexpected turn to their tired routine.
The solution will be a crazy departure for them both. But on the other hand, love is a state of pleasant madness.
Written and directed by Ferzan Ozpetek, the acclaimed filmmaker behind Steam: The Turkish Bath and His Secret Life, The Goddess of Fortune is a touching drama about finding family in an unlikely way.