Book your stay at The Rainbow Bridge Motel

After reserving their dream wedding package in Niagara Falls at The Rainbow Bridge Motel (the self-proclaimed “#1 Gay Wedding Destination!”) Dean and Darren (Chris Modrzynski and Cole Burden) could not be more excited for their wedding. Once they arrive, they’re greatly dismayed to learn that they’ve actually booked themselves into a seedy motel sandwiched between chemical plants.

And if that’s not bad enough, the place is run by a seemingly insane, completely over-the-top huckster named Shibbawitz (National Lampoon veteran Scott Rubin) – the culprit behind the recently re-branded motel. He’s looking to ride the trend of Niagara Falls becoming a gay wedding destination. In reality, he’s clueless on how to cater to the LGBTQ community – let alone perform a gay wedding. Unfortunately, the Burmese political refugee family that he employs as cheap labor are not much help either.

Although a disastrous ceremony looms, it pales in comparison to the heightened cultural and emotional obstacles stirred up by the approaching nuptials. Can Dean and Darren get to the altar with their love – and their lungs – still intact? You’ll have to watch to find out!

Shot on location in Niagara Falls, this is the first film to ever shoot on the iconic Rainbow Bridge. “You could live your whole life without ever being apart of something special,” said the film’s co-director, J. Garrett Vorreuter. “For us, we knew from the start that this was special, even bigger than us. And now we get to share that magic with audiences everywhere.”

Watch out the trailer for The Rainbow Bridge Motel below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.

New This Week – 4/5/19

Bullied girly-boy Scott Townsend grows into revered drag queen Thirsty Burlington fighting obstacles along the way only to discover what he really wants is self-acceptance. Stream ‘Thirsty’ now on Dekkoo!

Dan finally comes out to his family, but leaves telling his Dad until last. How will be react? Stream the gay short ‘Tellin’ Dad’ now on Dekkoo!

After reserving their dream wedding package at Niagara Falls, Dean and Darren learn they’ve booked themselves in a run-down motor lodge sandwiched between two chemical plants run by some guy named Shibbawitz and a Burmese refugee family. ‘The Rainbow Bridge Motel’ is available now on Dekkoo!

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Coming next week: Handsome David Rudd stars as Drake, an exciting stranger who enters the lives of a group of thirty-something gay men in New York City.

Now Available: Fireflies

When Ramin (Arash Marandi) hid on a cargo ship leaving Turkey, he never expected to end up in Veracruz, Mexico by accident.

Arash Marandi and Edwarda Gurrola in Fireflies

Having escaped persecution as a young gay man in his home country, Iran, Ramin suddenly finds himself far from everything he knows, living the life of an exile in this nostalgic, tropical port where his past and future are constantly confronted by new relationships and revived desires.

Arash Marandi and Luis Alberti in Fireflies

Written and directed by Bani Khoshnoudi, an Iranian-born Mexico City resident, Fireflies heralds the birth of a very talented female director whose personal story echoes throughout the film.

Edwarda Gurrola in Fireflies

The title Fireflies is inspired by a 1975 op-ed by the late Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini, who described “the state of fascism and cultural resistance in Italy at the time, creating a metaphor for resistance as the disappearance of fireflies,” said Khoshnoudi.

Arash Marandi in Fireflies

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

Q&A with Interested In’s Michael Witkes

Created by Michael Witkes, Interested In (now available for streaming on Dekkoo) follows the story of Parker, a recently out young gay man exploring his sexuality and identity through the lens of hookup culture. This queer comedy series portrays Parker in an array of scenarios reminiscent of the shared experiences many gay males encounter after coming out and diving into the murky waters of gay culture.

I sat down with Michael Witkes to discuss what inspired Interested In and what the process of creating the series was like.

First off, what are you interested in? Who is Michael Witkes?

My name is Michael Witkes, and I’m an actor, producer, director, and writer focused on showcasing LGBT stories in an authentic way. I’m originally from Philadelphia where Interested In takes place, and I currently live in New York City. Artistically, I am most interested in works that explore gay shame, LGBT identity, and expands representation. I also love froyo, RuPaul’s Drag Race, and queer history.

What was the inspiration for the title of the series?

I called the show Interested In because of the tumultuous moment when I first changed my Facebook status to “interested in men.” It felt so official that I was announcing to the world that I was gay, and I wanted to explore how labels can both help and hinder someone, how important they are in shaping identity, and how they can mean both everything and nothing at the same time.

Parker finds himself in some pretty sticky situations. What was your main source of inspiration for the events that take place in Interested In?

Some things are based on events that actually happened to me and some are fabricated. I wrote the first draft in 2013 after I came out in college, and I was trying to express those initial personal moments when you finally come out of the closet and how you can feel so uncomfortable in your own body. As a writer, I see the world in vignettes, and I selected moments that were exemplary of one person’s struggle of coming into himself.

Still from the new gay series Interested In - Now Available on Dekkoo!

How did you curate these vignettes for the screen?

The development of Parker’s character was really the driving force behind the storyline. I wanted to show that character’s journey from being someone who is so freshly out and awkward into someone who is more comfortable in his own skin. At the end of this season, he might not be totally there just yet, but I think he’s making significant progress to get to that point.

What was your personal coming out experience like?

The relationship that Parker talks about in the first episode where he said he was with this boy who wasn’t ready to come out yet and then they broke up because of that—all of that was true for me as well. I was so ready to come out for like a year before I actually did. When it finally happened, all of my friends and family were so supportive, but—at the same time—I was dealing with the loss of my first love so it was bittersweet.

In Interested In, Ep. 3, Parker and his Grindr date not only get intimate physically but emotionally as well. However, in the finale with the lawyer character, there’s more of a “no strings attached” vibe. Why did you decide to showcase this broad spectrum of intimacy in the show?

Representation is so important. Growing up, all the movies and series I watched always showed young gay kids either committing suicide or coming out then living happily ever after. I wanted to show what being gay is really like by exploring both the positive and negative aspects of gay dating in a realistic setting. I was interested in showing how in Grindr culture every interaction can be different.

Still from the new gay series Interested In - Now Available on Dekkoo!

Is Parker a no-strings-attached kinda guy or do you think he’s looking for more?

Parker deeply wants a boyfriend, but he’s very ignorant of the gay dating lifestyle. He goes into these situations expecting a true connection and then is really surprised when that doesn’t happen. For Parker, each episode is a learning moment that he takes onto the next interaction. He figures out things he didn’t know before which is very indicative of how LGBTQ people in real life have to learn things the hard way as they go along.

It’s no secret that in regards to gay culture, there’s a “whole animal kingdom out there.” What is your take on the roles LGBTQ people are expected to take on when participating in the culture (i.e. top, bottom, gay, straight, bi, twink, bear, otter, etc.)?

At first, I was so terrified of coming out that it took me a long time to take on the label of “gay.” But then once you’re out, everyone says, “Oh, now you have to be a twink or an otter, and a top or a bottom.” I was so frustrated by all the boxes I was getting put into. On one hand, I do think that labels can be helpful. Now, I’m so proud to be gay despite the fact that the word used to hold such a stigma for me. But at the same time, I think labels can hinder people. In Interested In, Parker’s journey is figuring out which labels he wants to take on and which ones he can say “thank u, next” to.

In the fourth episode, we get to see an interesting side of Parker when he has a sexual encounter with his ex-girlfriend. As far as sexual orientation goes, what does Parker identify as?

Parker is gay, but that moment with his ex-girlfriend is really important in helping him figure that out and that it’s also okay to keep your options open.

Still from the new gay series Interested In - Now Available on Dekkoo!

What do you think modern-day LGBTQ youth will gain from this series seeing Parker experience the nuances that come with the territory of being a gay man?

I hope Interested In will help queer youths by showing them a story that’s about what comes directly after coming out of the closet. My goal with these vignettes is to show sex positivity and openness in regard to real issues so people can feel more comfortable with themselves. I want people watching the show to go out into the world and have their own vignette moments.

What would 15-year-old Michael Witkes say about seeing something like Interested In on screen?

It would have meant everything to him! Seeing someone struggle to take on their identity would have prepared me to do that before I even had to. Watching the show now, I get nostalgic for what it was like when I was a baby gay.

Why do you think it’s important to show these experiences on screen?

Sex is such a taboo subject, but I don’t think we should feel uncomfortable talking about it. After being closeted for so long, unapologetically showcasing intimate moments between queer people is so important to me. I want to change the conversation about sex and make it more open, comfortable, and sex-positive. Also, showing uncomfortable sexual situations is important because that’s a big part of sex, too. It’s not always this beautiful, perfect moment every single time. There’s a lot of awkward things that happen when you’re being intimate with someone, and that’s okay!

Still from the new gay series Interested In - Now Available on Dekkoo!

What is your take on Grindr and other dating apps, especially the “headless torso” phenomenon broached upon in Ep. 2?

There used to be so much stigma surrounding Grindr. It was something you had to hide on your phone and be embarrassed about, but I don’t think that should be the case. Now that straight people are using dating apps, too, there’s definitely less stigma. Unfortunately, Grindr can represent all the problematic things within the LGBTQ community. It can turn into a big cyberbullying moment with the whole “no fats, no fems” thing which is horrible. I think Grindr is doing a lot to try and change that, but, still, it’s hard to police such a big forum where you can write pretty much whatever you want anonymously.

What plans for Interested In do you have for the future? Can Interested In fans be interested in a second season?

Yes, it’s already written! The second season is going to explore Parker developing into a more confident person with some of the previous characters popping up.

What’s it like to have Interested In featured on Dekkoo?

When I wrote the show, I was writing for a very specific, niche audience, and I think that’s exactly what Dekkoo is for. I’m so grateful that they gave me this unique platform and that they’ve chosen to cater to an LGBTQ audience. All I wanted as a gay kid was something like Dekkoo to watch.

Still from the new gay series Interested In - Now Available on Dekkoo!

Aside from the show, what are you interested in for the future?

I’m just really excited to make more work that explores similar themes but also dives into other topics as well. Since Interested In, I’ve written a lot of content, and I hope this show will give me the platform to bring all of those stories to life!

You can keep up with all things Interested In by visiting their website, Facebook page, and Instagram account. Watch Interested In on Dekkoo today, available now!

Short Films Spotlight: Dudes

In the new 11-minute short film Dudes, four buddies – Matt, Jay, Bobby and Denny, played respectively by Jakeem Hawkins, Anthon Meyer, Alexander Volpi and Michael Gmur – are sitting around playing video games. They’re also talking crassly about the girls in their orbit and relentlessly busting one another’s balls. Nothing unusual here. One could argue that this is the roundabout way that straight frat dudes display their affection. Soon, however, a line is crossed.

Once Denny starts trying to explain his lack of interest in a particular female hottie, the gay jokes ensue. “Do you hang out with your buds and plug each other’s assholes all day?” “Do you like to sit on the salami?” “Are you strictly dickly?” “Do you slide down the pole and take the sausage hostage?” Reaching a breaking point, Denny realizes it’s finally time to come out to his buds, whatever the consequences may be.

A Brazilian filmmaker who has studied at Vancouver Film School in Canada and at the  New York Film Academy in Los Angeles, Noan Ribeiro has worked extensively in post-production as a visual effects artist. He makes his directorial debut with Dudes.

Dudes is now available to stream on Dekkoo.

DudesPoster

New This Week – 3/8/19

Four friends meet for a weekend by the pool, when a sudden call disrupts the quietness of the hot countryside, an unexpected guest is coming for dinner. Soon, old wounds and old dreams, thought to be forgotten, start to resurface. ‘Sunburn’ is available to stream exclusively on Dekkoo right now!

Passions re-ignite and secrets revealed when a graphic designer reconnects with the great, lost love of his life for a weekend tryst at a house in the desert near Joshua Tree. Watch ‘Lazy Eye’ now on Dekkoo!

When a jock comes out as gay to his closest friends, each of the bros has a different reaction to the big news. Will their friendship win over discrimination? Watch the gay short film ‘Dudes’ on Dekkoo!

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Coming next week: Clive Owen stars as Max, a promiscuous gay man living in 1930s Berlin.

Cinema Spotlight: Taekwondo

You can almost smell (See? Taste? Feel? Hear?) the testosterone coming off of the screen in Taekwondo, a bro-tastic hang-out movie from prolific queer directors Marco Berger and Martin Farina.

The cast of Taekwondo

In a beautiful country house in a chic suburb of Buenos Aires, Fernando (Lucas Papa) and his assortment of rowdy buddies are having a “boys only” weekend. Disconnected from the outside world, they do little more than bask in the hot sun, play in the swimming pool, smoke pot and drink – naked or half-naked pretty much the entire time.

Lucas Papa and Gabriel Epstein in Taekwondo

Fernando has decided to shake things up this weekend by inviting a newcomer. The new fella is Germán (Gabriel Epstein), a close friend from Fernando’s martial arts class. Germán is quickly welcomed into the group. Fernando doesn’t realize, though, that Germán is attracted to men. Little by little, the two dudes get more intimate and the simmering sexual tension hits a boiling point.

Lucas Papa and Gabriel Epstein in Taekwondo

Assembling one of the hottest casts in gay movie history, director Marco Berger (the man behind Absent, Hawaii, Sexual Tension: Volatile) and Farina (Fulboy) have outdone themselves. Thought the romance is undoubtedly of the slow-burn variety, you won’t be able to take your eyes off the screen.

The cast of Taekwondo

Taekwondo is available now on Dekkoo. You can watch the trailer below. The films Absent, Hawaii, Sexual Tension: Volatile and Fulboy are also all available now if you find yourself craving more of this directing pair’s sizzling style.