Short Film Spotlight: Lightning Bugs in a Jar

From co-directors Sara Wolkowitz and Robert Ian Simpson, the 19-minute short film Lightning Bugs in a Jar opens with a child’s car seat flying through the air – never a good sign. Rest assured, no babies are put in harm’s way during the film, but there’s certainly some lingering childhood trauma.

When a mother and son with a caustic history reunite to pack-up their old house, sparks fly as long-buried secrets are revealed… and it might fall upon the shoulders of the son’s boyfriend to help heal old wounds.

Thoughtfully written, packed with both humor and emotion and beautifully performed by lead actors Ethan Slater, Devin McDuffee and Betsy Aidem, Lightning Bugs in a Jar perfectly captures what it feels like to play referee for two people in a volatile relationship.

In other words, it will tear you apart like an old car seat thrown from a second-story window.

Watch a short trailer for Lightning Bugs in a Jar below. The full short film is now streaming on Dekkoo.

New Series: Give Me Back the Night

Set during the middle of the pandemic in 2021, Give Me Back the Night is a smart, sexy, funny and fast paced new series from Columbia – exploring a new relationship which opens up some old wounds.

Leonardo (Juan Manuel Velez Casas), a creative young man who dabbles in sewing and illustration, is just trying to survive his day job – working in a supermarket surrounded by pandemic-related chaos. When he learns that his biological mother, thought to be dead, is very much alive and wants to reconnect with him, it completely upends his day-to-day life.

Meanwhile, Felix (Sergio Quevedo Barreto) is a photographer with rough and tumble good looks who has his eyes firmly planted on the stars. He has recently run away from a disapproving home. When he meets Leonardo on the street and the two young men form an unlikely connection, they’re budding relationship finally allows them to explore their suppressed desires and freedoms.

Together, they begin to face the issues that keep them up at night. They soon learn that they must reckon with their pasts and repair their fractured family ties in order to move forward and grow together.

Watch the trailer for Give Me Back the Night below. The full six-episode first season is streaming now on Dekkoo!

Three friends come together for a revelatory weekend in the heartfelt dark comedy Miles from Nowhere

A new feature-length film from creative partners Jono Mitchell and Madison Hatfield, the prolific pair behind acclaimed, Dekkoo-favorite short films like Max, Making a Scene and Jenna Gets an Abortion, Miles from Nowhere is a moving comedy-drama about life, death and everything in between.

Miles (Seth Dunlap) is a young man coming to terms with a recent terminal cancer diagnosis. Looking to reconnect with Sammy and Victor (Shane Howell and Cristian Gonzalez), two formerly close friends with whom he’s grown distant, he sets up a weekend trip to his family’s remote cabin.

During their retreat, he aims to tell his pals about his diagnosis, make up for lost time and confront some of his past mistakes. When Sammy and Victor reveal a secret of their own, Miles learns that he may not know his friends as well as he thinks.

Bitingly funny, but equally and poignant, Miles from Nowhere examines the shifting nature of relationships, the price of silence and secrets, and the confusion – not clarity – that can overcome a person faced with the reality of their own death.

Watch the trailer for Miles from Nowhere below. The film is now streaming on Dekkoo.

A swimmer’s relationship with his coach causes family problems – and an arranged marriage – in the coming-of-age drama Beyto

Beyto (Burak Ates) is a young man whose family are Turkish immigrants living in Switzerland. A dutiful student and an attractive and popular rising star at his local swimming club, he strives to make them proud, but his family’s stringent views about homosexuality means he has to keep a whole portion of his life and his identity secret.

Just as Beyto begins to discover first love with his coach, Mike (Dimitri Stapfer), his parents get word from friends who spotted him at Gay Pride Parade and become desperate to shut down any rumors that he’s gay.

Shocked and ashamed by Beyto’s budding relationship with another man, his parents lure their son to their home village in Anatolia and start arranging his wedding to Seher (Ecem Aydin), a female friend from his childhood. Suddenly, Beyto finds himself at the center of an unbearable love triangle.

A subtle, sensuous and moving love story, Beyto examines the drama of family tradition and integration, expressing the dilemmas of its characters while never losing sight of their humanity and love for one another.

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

Cicada is a feast for the eyes as well as the heart

Co-written by Matthew Fifer and Sheldon D. Brown, who also star in the film, the must-see new indie comedy-drama Cicada examines inter-racial relationships, bisexual identity and sexual abuse while also exploring the intricacies of falling in love and how that can go hand-in-hand with uncovering uncomfortable truths about one’s self along the way.

Fifer, who also co-directs with Kieran Mulcare, stars as Ben a young bisexual man who, after a string of unsuccessful encounrers with women, decides it’s time to go “back on the dick.” He soon develops an intense relationship with Sam (Brown), a man of color struggling with deep wounds. As their summer romance progresses and their intimacy grows, Ben’s past begins crawling to the surface – putting the pair’s still-burgeoning love affair in jeopardy.

Co-starring Cobie Smulders, David Burtka and SNL breakout star Bowen Yang, Cicada is easily one of the most acclaimed gay films of the past several years. Vogue said that it “will stay with you long after the credits roll.” And The Jam Report called it “one of the most beautifully-crafted pieces of queer cinema of recent times.” We firmly agree with both assessments.

Watch the trailer for Cicada below. The film is now streaming on Dekkoo.

Short Film Spotlight: Good Night

When Aram (Yianni Katsifas), a young Armenian man who only recently came out of the closet, goes out on a first date with the much more confident and experienced Jason (Robert Walker Jeffery), he must decide how far he’s willing to go in order to make sure they both have a good time.

When they go back to Aram’s place, his nervousness and uncertainty about what he wants leads to some majorly awkward – and boldly sexually-explicit – tension in bed. Taking place almost in real time, Good Night is a deeply unabashed 10-minute short about a sexual encounter that never quite gels.

Gorgeously shot in crisp black and white and featuring committed performances from lead actors Katsifas and Jeffrey, the film captures how uncomfortable it can be to hook up with someone when you’re not totally on the same page – especially when the whole experience is new to you.

Good Night is now available on Dekkoo.

Now Available: French director André Téchiné’s acclaimed coming-of-age drama ‘Being 17’

From André Téchiné, the renowned writer-director behind the queer classic Wild Reeds, comes Being 17, a moving exploration of unexpected adolescent love.

Damien and Thomas (Kacey Mottet Klein and Corentin Fila) are teens from very different backgrounds who go to the same school… and are constantly fighting. Damien is the gawky son of a doctor and a military pilot stationed abroad. He can’t seem to stop staring at Thomas, the handsome bi-racial son of local farmers who reacts with hostility to Damien’s longing.

Damien’s mother Marianne (Sandrine Kiberlain) is treating Thomas’s ailing mother at the farm, a snowy two-hour ride outside of town. When she needs to be admitted to the hospital, Marianne quite naturally offers to take Thomas into their home for a temporary stay. Forced to live together under one roof, the two boys must work through their hostility, emerging attraction and complicated desires.

Co-written by Celine Sciamma, the award-winning filmmaker behind Tomboy, Petite Maman and Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Being 17 is a critically-acclaimed coming-of-age gem that accurately captures both youthful friction and attraction.

Watch the trailer for Being 17 below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.