Short Film Spotlight: A Cemetery of Doves

“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.

Watch the trailer for A Cemetery of Doves below. The film is available now on Dekkoo.

Coming Soon to Dekkoo: Abu: Father

CW: Sexual Assault

Director Arshad Khan delivers an emotional and unflinchingly personal documentary about his relationship with himself and his family. The film documents Khan’s significant experiences growing up in a Muslim family in India such as an early love for fashion and appearances, his strong relationship with his mother and his sisters, and being molested at age four.

Arshad and his family eventually end up moving to Canada, allowing for him to nurture his growing love for art and his growing understanding of his sexuality.

Khan does not shy away from the darker moments in his life as he takes the audience on an emotional journey towards self acceptance.

Utilizing live action interviews, inventive animation, and personal home movie footage Khan paints a fascinatingly complex portrait of an equally complex man. At times feeling like a personal essay rather than a documentary, paired with Khan’s soothing self narration make the story feel incredibly personal.

The real standout of the film is Khan’s extensive library of home video footage. Beginning from the beginning of his life and stretching all the way to nearly the present, it allows you to feel almost like you are there with Khan through all of the significant moments of his life.

You can find Abu: Father streaming soon on Dekkoo

The Short Films of Robert Gray are now available on Dekkoo!

Robert Gray is a talent to watch in the world of Queer cinema.

Originally from Prince Rupert, British Columbia, he taught screenwriting at the Vancouver Film School in the early 2000s, has published two serialized novels, written six short films and directed two.

His story collection ‘Entropic’ won the 2016 Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award and his short film Choke Hold (included in this collection) was nominated for the prestigious Iris Prize.

Choke Hold follows two friends who discover that sometimes you have to go too far to know your own strength. Zack & Luc utilizes a split-screen to tell two different versions of of a relationship from each person’s side. Aidos tells the story of a deceased man who had twenty-one different people profess their love for him before he passed. Finally, Bed: A Short Documentary examines what our choices in beds and mattresses say about ourselves, our relationships and our histories.

Dekkoo is proud to present The Short Films of Robert Gray – all available now!

Watch the award-winning documentary Memories of a Penitent Heart

Combining a wealth of recently discovered home movies, video and written documents with artfully shot contemporary interviews and vérité footage, Memories of a Penitent Heart is a documentary that cracks open a Pandora’s box of unresolved family drama.

The intimate lens of the film refracts on a wider cultural context: the AIDS crisis of the 1980s and 1990s, and in particular, how families treat their LGBTQ members in a Latin American cultural and religious context.

A story about the mistakes of the past and the second chances of the present, Memories of a Penitent Heart is a cautionary tale about the unresolved conflicts wrought by AIDS and a nuanced exploration of how faith is used and abused in times of crisis.

Watch the trailer for the film below. It’s now available on Dekkoo.

Now Available: II

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.

Now Available: Pulse

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.

Short Film Spotlight: Jesse

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.

The Short Films of Miguel Lafuente

Up-and-coming queer director Miguel Lafuente was born in Madrid. After studying film in the United States, Lafuente returned to Spain to start his own production company to produce queer cinema and music videos. These three short films explore dating, romance, and family dynamics.

Guillermo on the Roof follows an attractive young man (Javier Amann) who tries to fix his romantic life by making a film about it. Through the process, he will discover another reality through Samir (Anuar Beno), a Syrian refugee, who will make him realize the true superficial nature of his issues.

In Mario, Kike and David, two men (Almagro San Miguel and Gustavo Rojo) hook up after meeting on a dating app. What initially was never meant to be more than a one-night stand will turn into something else, in spite of their different ways of viewing their bisexuality – and how they both cope with it in their respective social circles.

In the final short of the bunch, My Brother, A family tragedy forces Alberto (Álvaro de Juan) to come back to his oppressive hometown in Spain from Berlin, where he has a free life working as comic illustrator.

Take a deep dive into The Short Films of Miguel Lafuente – now available on Dekkoo.

The director of Run Lola Run explores throuplehood in the German drama 3

From Tom Tykwer, the director behind Babylon Berlin, Cloud Atlas and Run Lola Run, 3 follows Hanna and Simon (Sophie Rois and Sebastian Schippe), a couple in their early forties who live together in Berlin.

With their twentieth anniversary looming, they both become restless despite being truly and deeply in love. Unbeknownst to one another, they separately become acquainted with Adam (Devid Striesow), an attractive younger man, and fall in love with him.

Inspired by, yet clearly not, the typical 1930’s rom-com romp, this reinvention of those classic films, combined with with Tykwer’s sleek direction, offers up a playful reinterpretation: an intellectual study of a modern couple looking for redefinition in a world of absolutes.

Watch the trailer for 3 below. The film is available now on Dekkoo.

George Takei narrates the feel-good mountaineering doc Who’s on Top

Who’s on Top is a new feature-length documentary which shines a spotlight on members of the LGBTQ community – including those with a range of mountaineering experience – who challenge stereotypes about gender and sexuality in the outdoor arena.

Historically excluded and ostracized as not belonging to the natural domain, the climbers will tackle not only a mountain, but assumptions about who they are and how they belong to the world of outdoor adventure.

Narrated by George Takei, Who’s on Top portrays a journey like no other, a never-before-told story about what makes LGBTQ folks both distinct and connected, facing physical, mental and societal obstacles.

Watch the trailer for Who’s on Top below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.