Is Israel really the best place in the world to be gay? And is Judaism the one mainstream religion that accepts homosexuality? Meet Simon, a gay Catholic man from the West of Ireland on a quest to find out.
Simon has never truly felt accepted by his own church, a problem that Matthew, his Jewish boyfriend from North London, has never had to face. Simon begins to wonder if the grass may be greener, and considers converting. He starts with a trip to the local Rabbi where they chat, among other things, about getting ‘snipped’, but Simon is itching to get to Judaism’s homeland: Israel. He hops on a plane and first hits the streets of Tel Aviv, ‘the gayest city on Earth’, where he meets gay people from all walks of life, including gay soldiers in the IDF. Then he heads to Jerusalem, where the story here is very different. Extreme views towards homosexuality are rife and Simon encounters this at an uncomfortably close proximity. Then, it’s crunch time. Faced with the facts, will Simon jump ship and become Jewish?
A deeply personal, cross-cultural documentary from filmmaker (and subject) Simon Atkins, My Big Gay Jewish Conversion looks at love, relationship and religion with an intelligent and introspective eye.
Brothers-in-law Sasha, a meek farmhand, and Dima, a policeman, have always had a fraught relationship. When the two set out on a trip together through the desolate, wide-open country of Siberia in an effort to reach a troubled relative, things begin to change.
Along their journey, unspoken truths are uttered and a deep intimacy is built. The pair soon become not only travel companions, but secret lovers – spending their days hiking and hunting for food and their nights in one another’s arms. Although they may be far from the peering eyes of their oppressive society, their relationship teeters on a dangerous precipice.
Selected and supported by the IFP Filmmaker Lab and destined to evoke both the breathtaking landscapes and forbidden romance of Brokeback Mountain and the tragedy of a Dostoevsky novel, writer-director Viatcheslav Kopturevskiy’s auspicious debut drama is an elliptical and much-needed examination of internalized homophobia, repression, and identity in a remote Siberian town.
Based on Slovenian filmmaker Darko Štante’s own experiences working with youth in a correctional facility, the debut feature Consequences follows a troubled teen who must adapt to the harsh hierarchy of a youth detention center and come to terms with his sense of self and developing masculinity. Centered around a powerful performance from charismatic newcomer Matej Zemljic, the film takes an unflinching look at the raw impulses of adolescence and the insecurity that lies beneath.
Troubled Andrej (Zemljic) has reached the end of adolescence and of his parents’ patience. He is summoned before a court judge for his anger, violence, and deceit. Sentenced to attend a youth detention center, the handsome and muscular teen is thrown into the correctional facility’s intimidating and testosterone-fuelled hierarchy.
Holding strong against its violent initiations, Andrej finds his anchor of approval and companionship in Željko (Timon Sturbej), the aggressive leader of the center’s gang, which he soon joins in a carefree spiral of sex, drugs, and violence. Yet Andrej’s tough posturing belies an intimate fragility. Revealing this would unravel everything around him.
“How can I possibly love you when we’re all in quarantine?”
In order to give back to queer filmmakers during these unprecedented times, Dekkoo asked directors to create and submit short films dealing with the theme of LOVE & DISTANCE. The Dekkoo staff, along with our subscribers, helped pick the winners. We were thrilled by the variety of submissions sent in and we are proud to announce that our Grand Prize Winner is Two Meters Apart from director Marco De Luca!
Set in our tumultuous present day, Two Meters Apart manages to convey a great deal of information in a very short amount of time. Though it’s less than three minutes long (not counting the end credit sequence), this sexy and stylish work is filled with relatable compassion, heartbreak and longing.
Adam has just met Tom… and he’s deeply in love. But the sudden lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic keeps them apart at a crucial moment in their relationship. Is Adam’s love requited? And why isn’t Tom responding to his texts?
Though most film production has ground to a halt, Marco De Luca has shown how a creative, talented artist can use limitations to his advantage. He also absolutely nailed the challenge we threw at him, thematically. Marco will receive a $2,500 prize – as well as a budget of $5,000 to shoot a new Dekkoo-Original Short Film. We can’t wait to see what he comes up with.
Three teenagers are shaken up by their first loves in the turmoil of their youth. At a time when others are conforming, they stand their ground and assert their right to love and be free. ‘Genese’ is available now to stream on Dekkoo!
In this one-man show, author/actor/humorist Del Shores shares sordid stories about his Texas family, reads caustic letters he’s written to people like Newt Gingrich and Kirk Cameron and acts out scenes from life. ‘Naked. Sordid. Reality.’ is available now on Dekkoo!
Coming next week: Secrets are repressed in a youth detention center.
Through the prism of J (Rhys Fehrenbacher), notions of in-between-ness, be that gender, national/ cultural identity, or indeed the very puzzling idea(s) of “home”, are explored.
Fourteen-year-old J used they/them pronouns and lives with their parents in the suburbs of Chicago. J is exploring their gender identity while taking hormone blockers to postpone puberty. After two years of medication and therapy, J has to make a decision whether or not to transition.
Over this crucial weekend while their parents are away, J’s sister Lauren and her maybe/maybe-not Iranian partner Araz arrive to take care of J. During this time together, J, Lauren and Araz form an intimate family unit. Each character is in a state of suspension, of being in-between, of not belonging. J voices what all three feel: a reluctance to change, a desire to remain in childhood where innocence is still possible even as it recedes into the distance.
Watch the trailer for the moving, contemplative They below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.
White Frog tells the story of an extraordinary teenager on a journey to the universal power of family, friendship and love.
18-year-old Chaz Young (Harry Shum Jr.) is the perfect son – the most popular kid in school, headed for Stanford, and unconditionally adored by his upwardly mobile parents, Oliver (BD Wong) and Irene (Joan Chen). 15-year-old Nick (Booboo Stewart) lives in his older brother’s shadow, brilliant but isolated by his Asperger’s Syndrome. At home, Chaz keeps the peace between his father and mother while running interference for Nick, who is barely acknowledged by the conservative Oliver. In return, Nick completely idolizes Chaz as his hero and window to the world.
When Chaz dies in a tragic car accident, the family spirals into disarray. Nick soon becomes obsessed with cracking Chaz’s email password so that he can somehow stay connected to him. Violent behavior at home sends Nick to his psychiatrist, Dr. King (Amy Hill) who challenges him to cope with life through her alternative approach to therapy. With the first glimmers of self-determination, Nick tentatively reaches out to Chaz’s school friends to try making sense of his untimely death and keep his brother’s memory alive. In doing so, Nick quickly realizes that his brother had a secret life.
Chaz’s circle includes Doug (Tyler Posey), Ajit (Manish Dayal), Cameron (Justin Martin), and Randy (Gregg Sulkin). Nick becomes a regular at Randy’s guest house with his brother’s friends, gathering each Friday night for high stakes poker games that Chaz regularly won. Nick then wonders what Chaz did with all that money. He discovers “The Firehouse,” run by Ms. Lee (Talulah Riley), a center for underprivileged kids where Chaz first worked when he was ordered to do community service after being caught gambling at school. Learning that his brother donated over $20,000 in poker winnings to keep “The Firehouse” running, Nick starts volunteering and discovers a world outside his family’s bubble.
While Nick makes friends for the first time ever, one mystery remains: Nick still cannot crack Chaz’s email password and looks to Randy for answers. The truth of his brother’s life will change his own forever.
A powerful, moving film from prolific queer writer-director Quentin Lee, White Frog is now available on Dekkoo. Watch the trailer below.