Pride Month Spotlight: Church & State

A surprise federal court ruling in 2013 legalized gay marriage for Utah – triggering a fierce battle in a state where Mormon church values control the Legislature and every aspect of public life.

Church & State, the bold, award-winning documentary from co-directors Holly Tuckett and Kendall Wilcox, tells the improbable story of a brash, inexperienced gay activist and a tiny Salt Lake City law firm that joined forces to topple Utah’s gay marriage ban.

The film’s ride on the bumpy road to equality in Utah offers a glimpse at the Mormon Church’s influence in state politics and the squabbles inside the gay community that nearly derailed a chance to make history.

Church & State is a story of triumph, setback and a little-known lawsuit that should have failed, but instead paved the way for the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized gay unions nationwide.

Watch the trailer for Church & State below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.

New This Week – 6/26/20

In this poignant gay cinema classic, the first film to deal with the AIDS epidemic, a New York City gay man in a monogamous relationship becomes a “buddy” or a volunteer friend to another gay man dying of AIDS. Director by Arthur J. Bressan Jr. died of complications from AIDS two years after the film was released. ‘Buddies’ is available to stream on Dekkoo!

A former high school track athlete’s distorted views on love, negatively affects the people closest to him. Watch season 1 and season 2 of ‘Cheetah in August’ now on Dekkoo!

Dave and Andrew reach a new level of closeness in their relationship when they share their personal experiences with self-harm. ‘Vertical Lines’ is now available on Dekkoo!

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Coming next week: Two Naked Gay Guys returns!

Embrace a Whole New World with Trade

Michael (Austin Miller) is an intelligent, well-spoken corporate transaction analysis attorney. Very successful, he is highly regarded in his firm and by his colleagues. Married for ten years, he genuinely cares for his wife – and knows that she desperately wants to have a baby. He wants her to be happy and agrees to go to a fertility specialist to help the process along. However, Michael has a secret life. He likes to dress up as a woman and be with men.

When Michael meets Shawn (T. Ashanti Mozelle), he is introduced to a world he has only ever dreamed of, and finally embraces his true self.

A confident, outspoken and amiable African American male, Shawn describes himself as a gay black man. He has not had an easy life. He unknowingly took the wrap for another person’s crime, and served time in prison. Now living with his aunt, he regularly works the night shift on the boulevard dressed up as a woman named Coco, selling himself to men.

When he meets Michael, he is intrigued – and encourages Michael to become the person he longs to be.

A powerful and compassionate drama about friendship and hidden desire, Trade is now available on Dekkoo. Watch the trailer below.

Pride Month Spotlight: Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine

On the night of October 6, 1998, two men lured Matthew Shepard, a gay freshman at the University of Wyoming, from a bar in Laramie, WY. He was kidnapped and driven to a field where he was tortured and tethered to a fence and left to die. Never regaining consciousness, Matthew succumbed to the severe injuries from the attack and died on October 12, 1998.

The murder of Matthew Shepard was a devastating tragedy that made countless headlines around the world. As people denounced the hatred and senseless violence that caused Matthew’s death, a much-needed dialogue about hate crimes and intolerance against the LGBT community began and continues to this day.

Matthew’s tragic story brought the reality of inequality and vicious, irrational contempt into the public consciousness and set the stage for the landmark Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law in 2009. 

The documentary Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine follows director Michele Josue, a close friend of Matt’s, as she travels to pivotal locations in Shepard’s life, interviewing other friends and family members, and gaining insight into the beautiful life and devastating loss of Matthew Shepard.

While we’ve come a long way, LGBT inequality and hate crimes are still very real today, and parts of Matt’s story are unfortunately still very much a part of young people’s realities. Though framed through a very personal lens, Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine tells a universal story that highlights the responsibility we have now to make sure young people around the world are not at risk of falling victim to the same story ending Matt was.

Watch the trailer for Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.

New This Week – 6/12/20

Three men struggle to save their relationship while traveling across country in search of a doctor they believe will make one of them well. ‘Kill the Monsters’ is streaming now on Dekkoo!

Friends and family reflect on the life and death of 21-year-old Matthew Shepard, who was murdered in a targeted homophobic attack in Wyoming in 1998. ‘Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine’ is available now on Dekkoo!

When Debbie comes home for Christmas, she and her mother Gayle are forced to confront the truth about their family’s past. Watch ‘He Could’ve Gone Pro’ on Dekkoo!

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Coming next week: Dekkoo Films presents the fun and sexy sequel to ‘The Handyman’!

Pride Month Spotlight: Spa Night

Writer-director Andrew Ahn’s remarkably assured feature-length debut is a portrait of forbidden sexual awakening set in the nocturnal world of spas and karaoke bars in Los Angeles’ Koreatown.

David Cho (Joe Seo, who won the Special Jury Award at Sundance for his breakthrough performance), a timid 18-year-old living with his financially-struggling immigrant parents, chances upon a secret spot for cruising when he takes a part-time job at an allmale spa, and begins to realize hidden inner desires that threaten his life as a dutiful son and student.

Effervescent and atmospheric, this one-of-a-kind coming-of-age story makes the steamy spa a liminal place between dream and reality, and desire and disillusionment.

Spa Night is an intensely personal film,” said Ahn. “I knew very early in the screenwriting process that I had to draw from my own life experiences in order to find the honesty I wanted to show on screen. As the son of Korean-American immigrants, I have felt the conflict between my parents’ expectations and my own personal desires. In Spa Night, I wanted to explore what it means to be a part of a Korean-American family. As Spa Night progressed into production, the film became even more personal for me. We shot on location in Koreatown, Los Angeles — at restaurants I have eaten at, spas I have visited, and streets I have walked down. As I directed scenes, I saw my family in this fictional family I had created.”

“My main character David speaks in a mix of Korean and English to his parents, the same mix I use when I speak to my parents. With Spa Night, I want to open up American independent cinema to include stories about immigrant communities told in languages other than English. It is important that our cinema culture reflect the diversity of the American experience. By telling this story, I am attempting to validate the immigrant experience and acknowledge my parents’ sacrifice to leave their home country and start a new life in America. Spa Night is my way of fulfilling my parents’ hopes and dreams.”

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

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.

 

New This Week – 11/29/19

After his mother’s sudden death, Socrates, a 15-year-old living on the margins of Sao Paulo’s coast, must survive on his own. As he faces isolation because of his sexuality, his search for a decent worthy life reaches a breaking point. ‘Socrates’ is available to stream exclusively on Dekkoo!

Hong Kong is one of the most economically developed regions in Asia, with one of the fastest paced lifestyles in the world. In recent years, the LGBTQ community has become more hopeful, and started to stand up for their rights. Stream the entire ‘Queer Asia – Hong Kong’ series now!

After being involved in a car accident while on vacation in Mexico, a woman finds herself confused and alone. When she meets Guy, a handsome gay photographer, an unconscious bond is formed as they connect emotionally over a mutual desire for companionship. ‘El Ganzo’ is available to stream now on Dekkoo!

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Coming next week: Who’s ready for an up-close and very personal look at porn star Levi Karter? 

Now Available: Mr. Leather

In April of 2018, São Paulo played host to the second annual Brazilian Mr. Leather competition… and things got heated, to say the least.

Still from Mr. Leather

The new film Mr. Leather offers you a front-row seat – and takes you deep behind the scenes – as five individual contestants vie for full leather dominance. The winner will be crowned by Dom Barbudo, the first official Mr. Leather of Brazil. Along with victory comes a year-long commitment to promoting the leather community throughout the country, even in the face of increasingly conservative values and political unrest.

Still from Mr. Leather

Making his feature film debut, writer-director Daniel Nolasco follows all the action, creating gorgeous and intensely provocative compositions that celebrate the unique power of this thriving subculture.

Still from Mr. Leather

You check out the trailer for Mr. Leather below. The film is now available to stream on Dekkoo.

Writer-director Andrew Ahn’s Spa Night is an intensely personal must-see film

Writer-director Andrew Ahn’s remarkably assured feature-length debut is a portrait of forbidden sexual awakening set in the nocturnal world of spas and karaoke bars in Los Angeles’ Koreatown.

David Cho (Joe Seo, who won the Special Jury Award at Sundance for his breakthrough performance), a timid 18-year-old living with his financially-struggling immigrant parents, chances upon a secret spot for cruising when he takes a part-time job at an allmale spa, and begins to realize hidden inner desires that threaten his life as a dutiful son and student.

Haerry Kim (Soyoung) and Joe Seo (David) in Andrew Ahn's SPA NIGHT

Effervescent and atmospheric, this one-of-a-kind coming-of-age story makes the steamy spa a liminal place between dream and reality, and desire and disillusionment.

Spa Night is an intensely personal film,” said Ahn. “I knew very early in the screenwriting process that I had to draw from my own life experiences in order to find the honesty I wanted to show on screen. As the son of Korean-American immigrants, I have felt the conflict between my parents’ expectations and my own personal desires. In Spa Night, I wanted to explore what it means to be a part of a Korean-American family. As Spa Night progressed into production, the film became even more personal for me. We shot on location in Koreatown, Los Angeles — at restaurants I have eaten at, spas I have visited, and streets I have walked down. As I directed scenes, I saw my family in this fictional family I had created.”

Joe Seo (David) and Youn Ho Cho (Jin) in Andrew Ahn's SPA NIGHT

“My main character David speaks in a mix of Korean and English to his parents, the same mix I use when I speak to my parents. With Spa Night, I want to open up American independent cinema to include stories about immigrant communities told in languages other than English. It is important that our cinema culture reflect the diversity of the American experience. By telling this story, I am attempting to validate the immigrant experience and acknowledge my parents’ sacrifice to leave their home country and start a new life in America. Spa Night is my way of fulfilling my parents’ hopes and dreams.”

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