Pride Month Spotlight: Coby

In a small town deep in the American Midwest, Suzanna begins a gender transition and becomes a boy: Coby.

Coby’s transformation deeply impacts the lives of everyone who love him – and each member of this tight-knit family must confront  their own preconceived notions of gender and sexuality.

Combining excerpts from Coby’s video dairy with candid, heartfelt interviews from his closet friends and family – director Christian Sonderegger’s debut feature is an intimate and sensitive look at timely subject.

Ultimately, Coby’s journey morphs into the transformation of a whole family compelled by love to modify their own perspectives.

Coby weaves together interviews with Coby himself, his girlfriend, parents, and brother – along with his transition timeline YouTube videos. This documentary offers up a deeply compelling real-life portrait of what it looks, sounds, and feels like to go through the transition process.

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

 

Don’t miss the heart-warming and inspiring romance Morgan

Morgan (Leo Minaya) comes home after a tragic accident in a bikers race leaves him paraplegic, binding him to wheelchair use for the rest of his life. He tries to stay positive, not letting the accident end his life, but deep-rooted feelings of uselessness make him wish, at times, that he has not survived.

Rolling out for beer, he meets the handsome, charismatic Dean (Jack Kesy), and the two strike up a friendship that quickly develops into a romantic connection. Morgan wants to participate in the biking race again, more so because of his competitive nature than to prove his ability. Everyone is against it, even Dean, leading to differences that begin to show between the two for the first time.

A powerful and moving story about love and overcoming even the toughest of life’s obstacles, Morgan is a deeply touching romantic drama from writer-director Michael Akers – featuring terrific performances from the two leads.

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

Now Available: My Big Gay Jewish Conversion

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.

Watch the trailer for My Big Gay Jewish Conversion below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.

Now Available: Siberia & Him

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.

Watch the trailer for Siberia & Him below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.

Consequences is a hard-hitting coming-of-age drama about youth in detention

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.

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

Two Meters Apart is the Grand Prize winner of Dekkoo’s ‘Love & Distance’ Short Film Contest!

“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.

Two Meters Apart is available now on Dekkoo. You can stream this terrific short along with the rest of our LOVE & DISTANCE submissions here.

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Now Available: They

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.

An all-star cast leads the moving family drama White Frog

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.

Now Available: Greta

In the emotional drama Greta, seventy-year-old nurse Pedro (Marco Nanini) needs to find a hospital bed for his friend Daniela (Denise Weinberg). In an effort to free up space, he secretly takes a wounded young man into his home.

In spite of the young man’s troubled past, a tender, physical relationship develops between the caring Pedro, and Jean (Demick Lopes), his convalescent houseguest. Though Jean refers to him in vulgar, humiliating terms, the young man’s true intentions are hard to discern.

This affectionate and dignified cinematic debut tells a tale of friendship, love, sex and age. Surrounded as he is by sickness, death and other disasters on a daily basis, Pedro is possessed of the kind of strength of character that means he is not easily fazed. Not even when he makes a surprising discovery about his new, much younger lover.

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

Watch a short clip from the powerful new drama Label Me

No kissing. No passive penetration. For Waseem (Renato Schuch) the rules are very clear. Its only when Lars (Nikolaus Benda) pays him for sex that he can sleep with a man and still feel secure in his heterosexuality.

One of these men is a refugee from Syria living in a shelter, the other is a wealthy German with a loft apartment – the differences couldn’t be more apparent and yet both men find themselves connected by a sincere interest in one another. Their relationship is rooted in a constant alternation between dominance and a longing for closeness. The playful power struggle between the two of them reveals their inability to hide their fears and longings – and to keep up their carefully constructed facades.

While both men struggle to uphold the labels they keep in their heads, their friendship starts to pose a very realistic threat within the Waseem’s shelter.

Not quite a short film, yet not quite a feature (at sixty minutes) the multiple award-winning Label Me is a powerful cross-cultural romantic drama from German writer-director Kai Kreuser. Label Me is currently available to watch on Dekkoo, along with the first two season’s of Kreuser’s sexy and provocative gay series Kuntergrau.

Watch a short clip from Label Me below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.