Short Film Spotlight: Wilma

Wilma tells the story of an unusual meeting between an estranged father and his precocious child.

Wilma is a young kid who goes to meet her dad for the very first time at the trailer park where he lives. What the dad doesn’t know, however, is that the son he once fathered now identifies as a girl and has changed her name.

A touching and funny 11-minute short film from Icelandic writer-director Haukur Bjorgvinsson, an accomplished artist who has worked mostly as a sound designer in commercials and music videos, Wilma earned massive acclaim at film festivals all around the world.

The film won the Special Jury Prize at the 2020 Flickerfest in Sydney, the Audience Award at the 2019 Luststeifen Film Festival and the Best Original Screenplay Award at the 2019 Face á Face Festival in France. It was also nominated for Best Short Film at the Icelandic Film and Television Awards. In fact, this short film has been so successful that Bjorgvinsson is currently working on a feature-length adaptation.

Wilma is available now on Dekkoo.

Short Film Spotlight: The Long Ride

Not everything is as it seems in The Long Ride.

An 8-minute comedy-drama from writer Samy Souissi and director Sarah Passos, the film stars Matthew Morrison as Zack, an up-and-coming British actor with lots of talent, but very little professional luck.

After a long and uncomfortable day, all Zack wants to do is sit down and relax on his long train ride home. Determined to get a seat, he decides to “make a scene” with the help of his long-suffering boyfriend Aidan, played by Joseph Prestwich. His efforts, however, prove a little too convincing and end up getting him in much more trouble than he anticipated.

The Long Ride is a clever, well-acted and deliberately deceptive short film about a fake break-up turned tragically real. The full short film is available now on Dekkoo.

Now Available: The Extinction of Fireflies

Set in a coastal New England town over Labor Day Weekend, the new comedy-drama The Extinction of Fireflies follows a middle-aged playwright who invites some friends to read his latest dramatic effort.

Those friends are Charlotte, a legendary TV diva, and Jay, an actor who rarely finds himself employed. The play, titled “The Extinction of Fireflies” is a mythological comedy based on the epic romance of Roman Emperor Hadrian and his teenage lover Antinous. When Jay brings along his new, much younger lover Callisto, life begins to imitate art and the critical feedback of the piece becomes personal and surprisingly spectacular.

Based on his own stage play, this new comedy from writer-director James Andrew Walsh stars multi-award winner Michael Urie, of “Ugly Betty” fame, Olivier Award winner Tracie Bennett, “Bob’s Burgers” and “Search Party” regular Drew Droege and “Chicaco Fire” and “Broad City” star Kario Marcel.

Shot entirely on location in Westerly, Rhode Island during the 2020 global pandemic, the film is dedicated to all the fireflies extinguished by both AIDS and the coronavirus.

Watch the trailer for The Extinction of Fireflies below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.

Two teens fall in love at a school retreat in the charming romance The Boy Foretold by the Stars

A heartwarming coming-of-age rom-com from the Philippines, The Boy Foretold by the Stars follows an openly gay teen looking for love.

Dominic Cruz (Adrian Lindayag) is an openly gay high school student from St. Francis Catholic School, an exclusive school for boys. He goes to Quiapo with one of his best friends, Timmy (John Leinard Ramos), to consult Baby R (Iyah Mina), a popular fortune teller renowned for her 99.5 percent accurate predictions regarding love.

During this visit, Baby R informs Dominic that he will meet his soul mate within a week, and gives him three signs to help him determine the identity of his match. Meanwhile, Luke Armada (Keann Johnson), a member of St. Francis’ basketball team, has just broken up with his girlfriend Karen (Rissey Reyes) and decides to participate in the “Journey of the Lord” retreat in an attempt to move on.

Dominic, who was coincidentally one of the volunteers for the retreat, is assigned as Luke’s sponsor and the two young men quickly become good friends. As the two get closer, Baby R’s three signs seem to present themselves. Is Dominic reading the signs correctly, or is it just wishful thinking?

One of the first mainstream gay romantic comedies from the Philippines, The Boy Foretold by the Stars was a crowd-pleasing hit locally, earning awards at film festivals. It’s also currently being adapted into a television series.

Watch the trailer for The Boy Foretold by the Stars below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.

New This Week – 7/22/22

Did you know that we have a weekly YouTube show called The Dekkoo Digest that discusses all the films added to Dekkoo that week. It’s a helpful guide to learn about the films we’re programming. Plus, our host Ross is cute as a button!

Check out the latest episode and be sure to visit out YouTube channel every Friday for new updates. Or, you can just check back here. We’ll be sure to link to them.

A conservative professor goes undercover as a gay man in the touching drama At the End of the Day

After losing his wife and counseling practice, the only thing 32-year-old Dave Hopper (Stephen Shane Martin) has going for himself is his part-time professorship at his alma mater, a growing Christian college. And the only reason he even got that job was because his previous professor, now ambitious dean, pulled a few strings.

The dean’s plans for growth hit a snag when the property he wants to develop has been promised to a gay support group – which has plans to open an LGBTQ+ homeless teen shelter if they can raise the money in time.

The Dean is forced to take drastic measures, offering Dave his dream job, but he only gets it if he goes undercover in the group as a gay man – the abomination he counsels against – and stops them from raising the funds needed to buy the property.

Dave reluctantly agrees, and for the first time, is met face-to-face with the community he has been battling his entire career. The awkward and emotional experiences that follow lead Dave on a journey of truth, revealing that life and love are not as black and white as he first thought.

Touching, inspiring and ultimately uplifting, At the End of the Day is a film that treats everyone with compassion and understanding.

Watch the trailer for At the End of the Day below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.

Now Available: From Zero to I Love You

Pete (Darryl Stephens) has an unfortunate habit of beginning affairs with closeted married men. His father (Richard Lawson) and his soon-to-be step mom (Leslie Zemeckis) are on the hunt to find him someone who’s actually available and can settle down, but Pete’s relationships typically end because of his commitment issues. He moves on and the married men return to their families.

Jack (Scott Bailey) has a wife and two kids in the suburbs, but he’s been frequenting the gay bars of Philadelphia. When he meets Pete, the sparks start to fly. Jack promises to leave his wife, but Pete has heard that line many times before. Could this time possibly be different… for both of them? And how much destruction will they leave in their wake?

A gay romantic comedy that doesn’t shy away from exploring darker themes – closeted life, infidelity – From Zero to I Love You succeeds on the strength of its lead performances. Stephens and Bailey have an easy, believable chemistry that sells their weight of their relationship and its inherent difficulties.

From Zero to I Love You was written and directed by accomplished character actor Doug Spearman a veteran of the series Noah’s Arc (along with Stephens) and the same director behind the 2013 gay buddy cop comedy Hot Guys with Guns.

Watch the trailer for From Zero to I Love You below. The film is available now on Dekkoo.

Short Film Spotlight: Griffica

A wildly inventive new short horror-comedy from writer-director C.J. Arellano, Griffica tells a story about a man whose new boyfriend may be a little too perfect.

When “The Narrator” (James Dolbeare) injures himself attempting a death drop in his apartment, his stunningly attractive neighbor comes to his rescue and soon becomes “The Boyfriend” (Ulyses Espinoza). The early days of their relationship are exceptional. This new beau attends to our lead’s every whim and need. He’s thoughtful, loving, confident, knowledgeable and, above all else, he makes a mean cup of iced coffee that “smells like lavender and world peace.”

Soon enough, this dream partner’s perfection begins grating on our narrator’s nerves. By contrast, he starts to only see his own inadequacies. A year into their relationship, things come to a dramatic head. When the narrator calls his brother to vent his frustrations, he learns about a demonic deity that bears striking similarities to his lover. Could Mr. Right have secretly been an agent of evil this whole time? And what is his master plan?

With visual flair, whip-smart writing and knowing nods to Rosemary’s Baby, Griffica is a delightfully twisted 11-minute short that marks C.J. Arellano as a director to watch. We could easily see him fleshing this film out into a full-length feature.

Watch a short trailer for Griffica below. The film is available now on Dekkoo.

A loner and a star athlete form an unlikely bond at their Irish boarding school in the uplifting Handsome Devil

With bright red hair, a smart mouth and a penchant for sexually-ambiguous pop music, Ned, played by Fionn O’Shea, has always been bait for the bullies at his rugby-obsessed Irish boarding school.

Determined to keep a low profile and weather another year with minimal abuse, Ned is pleasantly surprised when he develops a special friendship with his dashing new roommate Conor, played by Nicholas Galitzine, a rugby virtuoso who shouldn’t have trouble fitting in, but harbors a few big secrets. Ned encourages Conor’s passion for music, but when their pursuits start to take Conor’s focus away from rugby, their friendship is discouraged by the administration.

A funny and observant coming-of-age tale from Irish novelist and filmmaker John Butler, Handsome Devil offers a touching reminder about the importance of loyalty, bravery and making sure that your voice, no matter how different, is heard.

A true heart-warmer, Handsome Devil earned raves from critics when it debuted back in 2017. The Observer called it “a warm, reassuring hug of a film that should be shown to every confused kid trying to piece together their identity.” Film Ireland called it “a satisfying examination of masculinity… presenting an encouraging message for teenagers to not be bound by stereotypes if it feels unnatural to them.”

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