Justin (Jonathan Miles) knew he was gay from a very young age, but he was not allowed to act upon it. Finally in college and free from having his every move watched, he seeks out what it is he feels he wants… until he discovers what he needs.
When Justin acts out recklessly – again, after the bi-semester check in phone call with his dominating and controlling father – he causes enough personal injury to require yet another ER visit. It is in the ER, on this specific night, he meets Michael (Bjorn Anderson), a male nurse.
As a result of his father’s overt homophobia, Justin has never quite been able to love or accept himself, let alone another person. It’s not until his relationship with Michael begins to blossom that he sees a potential “happily ever after” at the end of a dark tunnel.
Written and directed by Michelle Leigh, this touching indie follows one troubled young man learning how to love himself and accept love from another.
Originally released in 2014, writer-director Denis Theriault’s 10-minute short film I Am Syd Stone earned acclaim at film festivals around the globe and competed as an entrant in the prestigious Iris Prize festival. The film was also included in the 12th volume of the popular Boys on Film DVD series.
I Am Syd Stone followed a closeted gay movie star (played by Gharrett Patrick Paon) returning to his hometown for his high school reunion, who unsuccessfully attempts to rekindle his relationship with his former boyfriend Brent (Michael Gaty).
Now Theriault has followed up that successful short with a brand-new series of the same name. This new six-episode show expands the story.
Syd Stone (now played by Travis Nelson) has found his career as an actor has fading. He is now on location in a small town to film a B-movie, and meets and falls for lawyer Matt (Benjamin Charles Watson), but must confront the emotional consequences of having remained closeted for the sake of his career.
The series is set in the present day, and alludes to the events of the original film, however, there is a much happier ending in store for Stone this time around.
Aled (Rick Yale) is faced with an incredibly emotional dilemma when his sister tells him that his husband isn’t on the guest list to her wedding in Turkey.
Torn between alienating the sister he loves or doing something that goes against his own core values, Aled struggles to keep everyone happy.
Exploring the theme of conformity versus defiance – Involuntary Activist shows us how easy it is to stand for something in theory but what a different matter it is to stand for it in practice.
Filmed in Sweden, Involuntary Activist was written and directed by prolific short filmmaker Mikael Bundsen, a longtime protégé of Ruben Östlund (the internationally acclaimed director behind Force Majeure and The Square). His short Mother Knows Best (also available now on Dekkoo) competed at Berlinale and has won a number of awards, including the Iris Prize, and been screened worldwide, including Palm Springs, Thessaloniki and Sydney Film Festivals.
From writer-director Sergei Alexander, the British drama Your Eyes on Me tells the story of an experienced drag queen named Gloria (Paul Stone) whose life starts to change when she meets Kandi (Jean-Philippe Boriau) a younger drag-virgin who is auditioning for her next show.
As a bond begins to develop between Gloria and Kandi, their relationship takes an unexpected turn. Suddenly, the past, and the choices Gloria made as a young man, become a stark reality.
A Russian-born filmmaker who arrived in London in 2004, Alexander makes his feature-length debut with Your Eyes on Me. The film won major awards and acclaim at the 2020 London Independent Film Festival.
“Your Eyes on Me is a story of love, family, friendship and sexuality, one which can be read and interpreted on many different levels and through many different lenses,” said Alexander. “I hope that film will bring viewers on a thought-provoking and emotional journey, eliciting questions around their beliefs of love, self-acceptance and self-identity.”
Written and directed by prolific short filmmaker Isabella Carbonell, the fourteen-minute short film Bror (“Brother”) takes place on the soccer field, following two longtime buddies as they cagily broach the subject of taking their friendship to the next level.
Nico (Philip Oros) and Khalid (Poyan Karimi) are best friends – and always have been. Khalid was born in Iran, a country where having feelings for another man can lead to the death penalty. Nico was born in Sweden, a country where it’s openly accepted for a man to have a boyfriend. And yet it’s Nico who keeps holding back when Khalid tries to take their relationship further than it’s gone before.
Well-received on the international film festival circuit, Bror has also been used as an educational film at schools in Germany. The full short film is now available on Dekkoo.
Erik Jensen was an ambitious nineteen-year-old journalist at The Sydney Morning Herald when Archibald Prize-Winning painter, Adam Cullen, with a career retrospective at the Art Gallery of NSW, invited him to write his biography. The new film Acute Misfortune follows of the four-and-a-half years leading to Cullen’s death at the age of forty-six. It is the story of their increasingly claustrophobic relationship.
Based on the award-winning biography Cullen, the Jensen did eventually publish, co-writer-director Thomas M. Wright’s film is about biographer and subject, an iconic artist and lauded author, theft and the commerce of theft, the instability of lies and of coming through an abusive relationship to find meaning in its wake.
These true events, told using almost entirely real dialogue are brought to life by award-winning actors Daniel Henshall (The Snowtown Murders, The Babadook), and Toby Wallace (Romper Stomper, The Turning). Acute Misfortune marks the feature-length debut of Wright, an actor known for Sweet Country and Top of the Lake.
Meticulously researched, the film that was named one of the best films of the year in The Monthly Awards in Australia and by Screen Daily. It also received The Age Critics Prize at Melbourne International Film Festival.
Back on Board: Greg Louganis is an intimate portrait of the public triumphs and private struggles of trailblazing openly gay athlete Greg Louganis. A refreshingly candid documentary about this four-time Olympic champion, Back on Board follows Louganis for three years as he struggles with financial security and reunites with the sport he once dominated but did not feel welcome in. The threat of losing his house during the recent financial crisis forces Louganis to re-evaluate the choices, relationships, and missed opportunities of his career.
Nominated for an Emmy Award and a Producer’s Guild of America award in 2016.Back on Board: Greg Louganis gained critical and audience acclaim on the film festival circuit, screening at over 40 festivals worldwide and picking up eight awards.
The film was also selected for the American Film Showcase, a program of the U.S. State Department that brings award-winning contemporary American documentaries around the world offering a view of American society and culture as seen by independent filmmakers.
The critically-acclaimed, Teddy Award-winning must-see romance No Hard Feelings tells a story about re-discovering one’s past and building a future together.
Parvis (Benny Radjaipour), the son of exiled Iranians, copes with life in his small hometown by indulging himself with pop culture, Grindr dates, and raves. After being caught shoplifting, he is sentenced to community service at a refugee shelter where he meets siblings Banafshe (Banafshe Hourmazdi) and Amon (Eidin Jalali), who have fled Iran.
As a romantic attraction between Parvis and Amon grows, the fragile relationship between the three is put to a test. They find and lose each other throughout a summer of fleeting youth, an intense first love, an attempt at a joint future, as well as the stark realisation that, in Germany, they are not equal.
Growing up in Cologne the son of exiled Iranis himself, writer-director Faraz Shariat studied media art to explore his experiences as a gay, second generation migrant. In his work, Faraz often attempts to re-inhabit his own history and build a visual archive of migration in Germany. No Hard Feelings is one of his most treasured works yet.
The critically-acclaimed 2012 relationship drama Keep the Lights On chronicles an emotionally and sexually charged journey of two men in New York City through love, friendship and addiction.
Documentary filmmaker Erik (Thure Lindhardt) and closeted lawyer Paul (Zachary Booth) meet through a casual encounter, but soon find a deeper connection and become a couple.
Individually and together, they are risk takers – compulsive, and fueled by drugs and sex. In an almost decade-long relationship defined by highs, lows, and dysfunctional patterns, Erik struggles to negotiate his own boundaries and dignity while being true to himself.
The film’s fearlessly personal screenplay, written by director Ira Sachs (The Delta, Love is Strange, Little Men, Frankie) is anchored by Lindhardt, who embodies Erik’s isolation and vulnerability with a gentle presence. Harrowing and romantic, visceral and layered, Keep the Lights On is a film that looks at love and all of its manifestations, taking it to dark depths and bringing it back to a place of grace.
At first blush, Shmuel (Adam Silver) is a pious Hasidic man leading a fairly simple life. By day he dutifully prays at the local synagogue and manages a busy dry cleaner. But when his wife and daughters leave town for a few days, Shmuel will step out of his simple daily life and into a more complex world lit by the night. When he misplaces his black hat along the way, Shmuel’s two lives will interconnect in a way he never expected.
The 15-minute short drama Black Hat follows twenty-four hours in the life of one Hasidic man that must wrestle with his own repressed identity. Through Shmuel’s story, writer Phillip Guttmann and director Sarah Smith raise the notion that these often mysterious and misunderstood religious individuals, typically only seen by the outside world on streets covered by hats and sheitels, are perhaps more complex – more like us – than we previously imagined.
Black Hat is “a story about loneliness and the feeling of being trapped between two worlds,” said director Smith. “Ultimately, this is a character study of a man searching for his place in the world, and our artistic approach will aim to support this main theme.”
Watch the trailer for Black Hat below. The film is available now on Dekkoo.