Short Film Spotlight: The Gift

A mysterious, sexually-charged 17-minute short film from Brazil, The Gift follows Zeca, played by Luiz Felipe Bianchini.

Opening with his narration, we learn that he is lonely – searching night after night for a lover who has yet to appear. When he cuts out of work to buy his sister a birthday present, he instead meets up with Lino, an attractive stranger played by Fabricio Licursi.

The two men share a strange sexual encounter in an empty apartment. Later, when Zeca arrives at his sister’s birthday party, he gets an unexpected surprise of his own.

Filming in a spare, naturalistic style, director Daniel Wierman breaks up scenes of mundane, day-to-day activities with sublimely-staged eroticism. The Gift doesn’t offer much in the way of narrative – if anything, the film ends up leaving audiences with more questions than answers – but it does an excellent job presenting the feelings and deep interior worlds of the characters.

Watch a short, tension-filled trailer for The Gift below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.

Don’t miss the achingly beautiful gay romance A Moment in the Reeds

Taking a break from his studies in Paris, Leevi (Janne Puustinen) returns to his family’s summer cottage in Finland to help his father with renovations.

When the dad, a bitter man, unreconciled to his wife’s death and to his son’s sexuality, is called to the city on business, Leevi is left alone to supervise Tareq (Boodi Kabbani), a Syrian refugee trying to forge a new life.

As Leevi and Tareq get to spend some private time together, things take an unexpected turn.

From director Mikko Makela, A Moment in the Reeds is a sexy romantic drama, unfolding like a summer flower, drifting placidly along on a current of natural beauty and eroticism.

As Leevi and Tareq share their hopes and their bodies, the film lets us intimately observe every lovely and telling moment. The film artfully reveals the clash of cultures and dreams that transpire during this summer idyll – one that will alter the character’s lives forever.

Watch the trailer for A Moment in the Reeds below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.

Now Available: Santa & Andrés

Set in Cuba during the 1980s, Santa & Andrés follows two outsiders who form an unexpected bond.

Eduardo Martinez stars as Andrés, a provocative openly gay novelist who has been banned from writing another word by the Cuban government. With a political rally coming up, they intend to keep Andrés under close scrutiny in order to prevent him from communicating with the press. Enter Santa, played by Lola Amores. She is sent to Andrés’ countryside home to watch over him for the next three days.

Despite their mutual distrust and suspicion, the pair find themselves quietly questioning their allegiances and ultimately coming to understand one another.

In a case of “life imitating art, imitating life,” the film was banned in Cuba and pulled from the Havana Film Festival shortly before it was set to premiere, despite the fact that writer-director Carlos Lechuga had been selected as an award recipient.

Though it’s set nearly 40 years ago, Santa & Andres delivers a thoughtful and still completely relevant rumination on the notions of political censorship, hatred and intolerance.

Watch the trailer for Santa & Andres below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.

A closeted policeman tries to diffuse an anti-gay protest in the tense thriller Poppy Field

Planning to spend a romantic weekend with his long-distance boyfriend, Christi (Conrad Mericoffer) finds their tender reunion cut short when he is called in to handle a crisis at work. He and his unit are sent to quell a protest at a local movie theater, where a far-right group has interrupted the screening of a queer film.

As tensions between the homophobic protesters and the audience mount, Christi, closeted to his fellow officers, begins to spiral out of control when he spots a former fling in the crowd. When the incident turns violent, it threatens to expose Christi’s secret and forces him to confront the contradictions between his personal and professional life.

Based on true events, Poppy Field creates a poignant portrait of a man reconciling his professional and private identities. Director Eugen Jebeleanu builds a pressure cooker of emotions and subverts the conventional thriller format to arrive at deeper truths.

Watch the trailer for Poppy Field below. The full film is now available on Dekkoo. And if you want to dive into the true story further, the film 5 Minutes Too Late, which is based around the same real-life incident, is also streaming now.

The Dekkoo Digest 029 – 11/18/22

The Dekkoo Digest is back with three new releases this week (of course!). Check out what Ross has to say about the Dekkoo-original series ‘Adam In Fragments’. It’s available to stream now exclusively on Dekkoo!

Now Available: Isaac

The debut film from veteran Spanish producers Angeles Hernandez and David Matamoros, Isaac stars Pepe Ocio and Ivan Sanchez as Nacho and Denis, two former childhood friends who meet again years after having had an intense relationship as teenagers.

Both men’s lives are now quite different. Nacho and his wife Marta seem to be the perfect bourgeois married couple, but they’re struggling to get pregnant. Denis and his wife Carmen lead a more laid-back lifestyle, living from hand to mouth as they try to save up enough money to open up the restaurant of their dreams.

When Denis offers his partner as a surrogate for Nacho and Marta, the two couples find themselves having to deal with deep secrets the two men buried long ago.

Based on an acclaimed Spanish stage play by Antonio Hernández, Isaac is an emotional and poignant drama about class, happiness, repressed desires and learning to be your true, authentic self.

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