“Silence is the language of God. All else is poor translation.” – Rumi
From Nigerian writer-director Adé Sultan Sangodoyin, A Cemetery of Doves is a thoughtful and deeply poetic coming-of-age short film about love, heartbreak and navigating the world as a queer individual.
Though the film features no dialog, the feelings are present. The filmmaker also employs subtitles to give us an idea of the young protagonist’s inner dialog.
What story exists in the film concerns a young Nigerian teenager’s misguided declaration of love for an older man. When his sentiments are met with rejection, he subsequently struggles with heartbreak and fear for his safety and future in a society which is intolerant of the LGBTQ community.
Adé Sultan Sangodoyin studied English Literature and Journalism at the University of Buckingham in England. His films, Different Plains and Eyimofe have screened at film festivals all over the world. His short stories, “A Language of the Unconscious”, “Dad Attempted Many Things and Failed” and “The Charred Flower” have been published in the Kalahari Review and Agbowo Magazine, respectively. A Cemetery of Doves marks him as a visually gifted filmmaker to watch.
Director Arshad Khan delivers an emotional and unflinchingly personal documentary about his relationship with himself and his family. The film documents Khan’s significant experiences growing up in a Muslim family in India such as an early love for fashion and appearances, his strong relationship with his mother and his sisters, and being molested at age four.
Arshad and his family eventually end up moving to Canada, allowing for him to nurture his growing love for art and his growing understanding of his sexuality.
Khan does not shy away from the darker moments in his life as he takes the audience on an emotional journey towards self acceptance.
Utilizing live action interviews, inventive animation, and personal home movie footage Khan paints a fascinatingly complex portrait of an equally complex man. At times feeling like a personal essay rather than a documentary, paired with Khan’s soothing self narration make the story feel incredibly personal.
The real standout of the film is Khan’s extensive library of home video footage. Beginning from the beginning of his life and stretching all the way to nearly the present, it allows you to feel almost like you are there with Khan through all of the significant moments of his life.
Robert Gray is a talent to watch in the world of Queer cinema.
Originally from Prince Rupert, British Columbia, he taught screenwriting at the Vancouver Film School in the early 2000s, has published two serialized novels, written six short films and directed two.
His story collection ‘Entropic’ won the 2016 Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award and his short film Choke Hold (included in this collection) was nominated for the prestigious Iris Prize.
Choke Hold follows two friends who discover that sometimes you have to go too far to know your own strength. Zack & Luc utilizes a split-screen to tell two different versions of of a relationship from each person’s side. Aidos tells the story of a deceased man who had twenty-one different people profess their love for him before he passed. Finally, Bed: A Short Documentary examines what our choices in beds and mattresses say about ourselves, our relationships and our histories.
Combining a wealth of recently discovered home movies, video and written documents with artfully shot contemporary interviews and vérité footage, Memories of a Penitent Heart is a documentary that cracks open a Pandora’s box of unresolved family drama.
The intimate lens of the film refracts on a wider cultural context: the AIDS crisis of the 1980s and 1990s, and in particular, how families treat their LGBTQ members in a Latin American cultural and religious context.
A story about the mistakes of the past and the second chances of the present, Memories of a Penitent Heart is a cautionary tale about the unresolved conflicts wrought by AIDS and a nuanced exploration of how faith is used and abused in times of crisis.
Watch the trailer for the film below. It’s now available on Dekkoo.
After leaving his parents in small town Essex, young but naive Jim heads to big city Soho to pursue big dreams of arts and education. Things don’t exactly go according to plan for Jim, we find him asleep in a grimey alleyway and robbed blind.
After aimlessly walking the Soho streets, Jim finds himself in the company of a group of male prostitutes specializing in post sexual conversation, calling themselves “The Raconteurs”. Jim is quickly thrown into an incredibly stylized world of London sex work and self discovery.
Postcards from London is a visually stunning ride. The film has an incredibly unique tone and visual style showcasing moody and atmospheric sets with bright pops of color. Contributing to the film’s style is the impeccable fashion worn by the film’s characters. The Raconteurs themselves sport incredible ensemble outfits that make the world of the film feel unique and alive.
Art also plays a large role in Jim’s story. Many famous paintings become topics of post coital conversation and paintings are even recreated by the cast during several dream sequences. These dreams are highlights of the film, providing an opportunity for some truly stunning imagery.
You find Postcards From London streaming on Dekkoo soon.
Young Kamal (Akram Tanna) is trapped in a seemingly endless circle of male prostitution fueled by his brother Hatim (Nizar El Manouzi) and pimp Danny (Chris Peters).
After weeks of few jobs and low revenue, Kamal accepts a call from Jacob (Tobias Nierop). Hatim soon begins to feel an attraction towards Jacob, and what once was simply business now has become so much more. Hatim must now try to escape his world of blackmail and danger while trying to pursue a budding relationship with Jacob.
Khata never shies away from showing the gritty details of male prostitution. The audience is forced to bear witness to violence, drug use, and a particularly violent depiction of sexual assault. The film lays everything bare and forces it’s audience to confront the sometimes violent word of sex work head on.
Sort of like The Odd Couple with the fast-paced sensibility of 30 Rock, the series Bad Boy – with new episodes now available on Dekkoo – explores the dynamic between Mack (Tony Harth), a young, dumb-ish “bad boy” with a crazy past, and Scott (Artie O’Daly), a straight-laced man Mack has chosen to adopt as his “Daddy”… much to Scott’s frustration.
Both characters are gay (Artie is in real life; Tony, sadly, is not) and gay themes and undertones are woven into the comedy. Plus, there is a hell of a twist in store.
After releasing the first episode online, Bad Boy garnered hundreds of thousands of views. With limited resources, the creative team behind the show set out to complete what were clearly in-demand new episodes.
The lead actors originally met doing a play in Los Angeles. Artie, who also directs the series, is a prolific actor who has been on shows such as “Modern Family”, “Silicon Valley”, “The Big Bang Theory” and “General Hospital.” He also co-created the web series Successful People (which you can also watch now on Dekkoo). Tony is a recent arrival to L.A. from the state of Wisconsin and has already appeared in multiple commercials and sketches. Together, they made Bad Boy, which took on a life of its own. Now they’re chasing it wherever it goes!
The first sixteen episodes are all available now on Dekkoo.
A group of Belarusian students look for their place in life in II, a fast-paced coming-of-age drama from breakout director Vlada Senkova.
Like many Belarussians, Nastya and Sasha want to study in the European Union. They’re taking Polish language lessons after school to further their studies. Meanwhile, their friend Khristina is primarily interested in sex with her new flame.
Unfortunately, they never use a condom. As a result, Khristina is forever terrified of finding out that she’s pregnant. Fortunately, Nastya is always by her side – and even agrees to take an HIV test with her in order to allay her fears.
The result of the test, however, tears her life apart in unforeseen ways. At every level, a campaign of persecution is set in motion – fueled by a mixture of ignorance, lack of education and fear of the unknown.
Shot over only six days, II had originally been planned as a short film, but the themes grew so large that the running time increased as well. The film has earned rave reviews and provoked deep discussion at film festivals all around the world.
Watch the trailer for II below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.
Directed by Stevie Martin-Cruz and written by Daniel Monks – who also stars – Pulse is a thoughtful sci-fi indie from Australia which has earned rave reviews at film festivals all around the world.
Monks stars in Pulse as Olly, a disabled gay teen who is suffering from a degenerative disease which is ravaging his body. When he is presented with an unusual opportunity to experience the world differently, he jumps at the chance. Soon, he is able to have his mind transferred into the body of an attractive young woman (played by Jaimee Peasley). This sets off a series of events which allow him to find love in previously unattainable ways, but also challenge the very core of who he is as a person.
Pulse is both a tender coming-of-age tale and a provocative and insightful look at disability, sexuality and identity.
Watch the trailer for Pulse below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.
Jesse (Mercedes Torres) is s mixed-race transgender teen, arrives from Switzerland for a cross-country road trip with her estranged father Marcus (Stephen Hill).
As Marcus struggles to understand his daughter, and Jesse finds her deep desire to be understood, accepted and loved by him growing. This leads the two to strike up an unusual and weighty agreement, one with serious repercussions for their relationship and their trip.
Written and directed by Swiss filmmaker Vinz Feller, Jesse won the Bronze Award for Best LGBTQ Short at the Independent Shorts Awards. The film was also chosen as an Official Selection at both the LA Queer Film Fest and OutFest Los Angeles.
Watch the trailer for Jesse below. The full 15-minute short film is available now on Dekkoo.