Now Available: The Circuit

The Circuit is a new digital series that explores the underground circuit community through the personal lives of different players within the scene.

The cast of The Circuit – DJs, dancers, a party producer and an adult entertainer – take us on a wild ride through the inner workings of the New York City gay dance party subculture.

Explore the eponymous “circuit” parties as the cast juggle career, love and the thrilling events themselves until a global pandemic and a series of unfortunate decisions turns their world on its head.

Featuring Nina Flowers, Sam Gee, Joe Pacheco, Jake Resnicow, Dan De Leon, Alec Brian, Ian Frost, Shane Jackson, Shane Marcus, Manuel Skye, Ugene, Trey Sherman, Darius Glover and more, The Circuit offers a frank look at a thrilling LGBTQ+ subculture.

Watch the trailer for The Circuit below. The first season is now available on Dekkoo.

Short Film Spotlight: Brothers

Winner of ten different jury and audience awards at various film festivals, the new short film Brothers follows a Muslim Arab boy who realizes he is different. Fortunately, he has an older brother who stands by him and encourages him to always be himself, even in the face of bias and adversity.

Written and directed by Mike Mosallam, the acclaimed filmmaker behind the series All-American Muslim and the recent gay romantic comedy hit Breaking Fast, this short film aims to shed light on LGBTQ+ oppression in a familial, religious space that has yet to be portrayed on screen.

Watch the official teaser trailer for Brothers below. The film is available now on Dekkoo.

New This Week – 6/25/21

In this new Dekkoo-original series two very different young men come together in an episodic series that follows their relationship – from beginning to end. ‘Here Comes Your Man’ is available to stream now on Dekkoo!

Two drag queens move through the city on a night of debauchery, insight, and revenge. ‘Cherry Cola’ is available now on Dekkoo!

Elena goes home for her father’s funeral. Everything is just as she remembered, but will her family pressure her to be like they remember? Stream ‘The Guest’ now on Dekkoo!

Childhood friends Andreas and Alessandro, now grown college students, live in different cities. The pair have reunited at a seaside resort for the summer. As the summer starts coming to a close, Andreas realizes he must make a move to let Alessandro know how he really feels. Watch ‘It’s Just In My Head’ now on Dekkoo!

New This Week – 6/18/21

When Annamaria, a longtime friend of Alessandro and Arturo, ask the couple to take care of her children, the relationship between the two men reaches a point of no return. ‘The Goddess of Fortune’ is available to stream on Dekkoo!

‘Brothers’ follows a Muslim Arab boy who realizes he is different, and is fortunate to have an older brother who stands by him and encourages him to be himself, in the face of bias and adversity. ‘Brothers’ is now streaming on Dekkoo!

In the wake of the Birmingham protests against LGBTQ+ relationship education in primary schools, a team of queer community reporters of colour challenge homophobia and call out racism in LGBTQ+ spaces. Watch ‘Pride & Protest’ now on Dekkoo!

Desperate for connection and longing for a fresh way to find it, Bruce decides to explore his trusted dating app with a unique search for a new mate. Watch ‘Huckleberry’ now on Dekkoo!

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Coming next week: The Dekkoo-original series ‘Here Comes Your Man’.

New This Week – 6/11/21

Jacques is an older writer from Paris. Arthur is a young student in Rennes. They instantly fall in love. But they’ll have to face rejection and sickness to keep it that way. ‘Sorry Angel’ is available to watch now on Dekkoo!

Produced in 1967, this amazing 22-minute short film introduces us to four transwomen who are subjected to a six-month psychological project and then grilled about their personal lives. This unique exploitation documentary offers a rare and provocative glimpse into pre-Stonewall queer life. ‘Queens At Heart’ is available now on Dekkoo!

Don’t miss: LGBT Film Archivist and Historian Jenni Olson on Queens at Heart

Knowing your queer history is essential, and the award-winning ‘When The Beat Drops’ offers an immersive deep-dive inside the growing culture of bucking—an energetic, hyper-athletic, dance phenomenon cultivated by queer people of color in the Deep South. Watch ‘When the Beat Drops’ on Dekkoo!

Jesse, a mixed race transgender teen, arrives from Switzerland for a cross-country road trip with her estranged father Marcus. They strike a weighty deal, one with serious repercussions for their relationship and their trip. ‘Jesse’ is now playing on Dekkoo!

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Coming next week: Arturo and Alessandro have been a couple for 15 years. When their friend leaves her children in their care, their tired routine is turned upside down.

LGBT Film Archivist and Historian Jenni Olson on Queens at Heart

For contemporary LGBT viewers, Queens at Heart offers a vivid and compelling lens on how far we have come as a movement while also giving a deep (and wildly entertaining) understanding of what it was like to be transgender at a very different time in history. There are very few filmed images by or about LGBT people before the Stonewall Riots of 1969. There were especially few portrayals of trans lives and experience in this era. The two other films that come to mind from this period are: the remarkable feature documentary, The Queen (1968) and the short documentary portrait of an African American trans woman, Behind Every Good Man (1967). (While the 1970 dramatic feature, The Christine Jorgenson Story is at least somewhat well intended, it primarily comes across as lurid and sensationalist.)

Produced in New York City in 1967, this amazing 22-minute short introduces us to Misty, Vicky, Sonya and Simone — four courageous trans women who candidly discuss their personal lives with a lurid male interviewer who claims to have spoken to “thousands of homosexuals” (and who clearly doesn’t understand the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity). The film offers an extremely rare and poignant glimpse into pre-Stonewall queer life as it takes us to a New York City drag ball and follows the women through their daily lives. They talk about their double-lives — going out as women at night but living as men during the day, and about how they take hormones and dream of “going for a change.” One talks about avoiding the draft, another about her fiancé and another about the torment of childhood as an effeminate youth.

“We know that homosexuality is a psychological aberration that should be treated,” proclaims the interviewer as the film ends. Shifting to a surprisingly sympathetic tone he then concludes with the provocative challenge, “but what about those who don’t want to change? Who are we to judge?” This flip-flop perfectly encapsulates the film’s schizophrenic combination of attitudes as it alternates between luridness and validation, judgment and empathy.

Of course it is extremely significant for us to be able to look back and see this rare portrait of four wonderful trans women being so candid and courageous in the years before Stonewall. Queens at Heart is especially remarkable for how candid and brave the women are in expressing themselves so vulnerably when we can tell that the film was produced more as an exploitation film than as a serious documentary.

As a film historian and archivist I’ve unearthed many films over the years. Queens at Heart is the most significant on every level. It is a film that had been essentially lost to us — with nothing having previously been written about it in LGBT film literature. As a glimpse at pre-Stonewall queer life it is remarkable: from the wonderful footage of the drag balls and gay men dancing together to the provocative interviews with transgender women which are truly jaw-dropping in their candor. The power of this film for bringing us face to face with our forebears (and queer life in 1967) is absolutely incredible, and the film is of even greater interest in this era of increased trans awareness and activism.

Queens at Heart is a tremendously valuable archival portrait of pre-Stonewall trans women — their candor and courage are a true gift and this is a must-see film for anyone interested in transgender history.

About Jenni Olson:
Jenni Olson is an LGBT film historian, archivist and filmmaker based in Berkeley, California. Her work as a film historian includes the Lambda Award nominated The Queer Movie Poster Book (Chronicle Books, 2005) and her many vintage movie trailer presentations (Homo Promo, Trailer Camp, etc.). She is on the Advisory Board of the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project for LGBT Moving Image Preservation.

Now Available: Romeos

How do you love someone if you don’t show who you are?

Twenty-year old Lukas (Rick Okon) is a prisoner in his own body. As a pre-op trans person, he is constantly finding himself trapped in uncomfortable, compromising positions.

His best friend, Ine (Liv Lisa Fries) introduces him to the gay scene in Cologne where he meets the confident and gorgeous, Fabio (Max Befort). The two develop a romantic relationship that tests the boundaries of love.

Originally released in 2011, this critically-acclaimed debut feature from German writer-director Sabine Bernardi forgoes stereotypes and conventions to offer an honest and humorous examination of the most basic of human conditions: friendship, sex, and love.

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

Take a trip through Queer Japan from the comfort of your own home

In this new documentary, trailblazing artists, activists, and everyday people from across the spectrum of gender and sexuality defy social norms and dare to shine in this kaleidoscopic view of LGBTQ+ culture in contemporary Japan.

From glossy pride parades to playfully perverse underground parties, Queer Japan pictures people living brazenly unconventional lives in the sunlight, the shadows, and everywhere in between.

Dazzling, iconoclastic drag queen Vivienne Sato peels back the layers of language and identity. Maverick manga artist Gengoroh Tagame tours the world with his unapologetically erotic gay comics. Councilwoman Aya Kamikawa recounts her rocky path to becoming the first transgender elected official in Japan. At the legendary kink-positive hentai party Department H, non-binary performance artist Saeborg uses rubber to create a second skin.

Culled from 100+ interviews conducted over three years in locations across the entire country, Queer Japan features dozens of individuals sharing their experiences in their own words. Get to know a vibrant and inspiring group of human beings in a country with a unique history of queer expression.

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

A touching family bond is explored in the new documentary Madame

The touching new documentary Madame is a double portrait of a young boy slowly coming out of the closet and of the lady that was, even more than his own mother, the woman of his life – his grandmother.

Based on private archival footage, Madame takes us onto an intimate journey where Caroline, a flamboyant 90-year-old grandmother and her filmmaker grandson Stéphane explore the development and transmission of gender identity in a patriarchal environment.

Promised to a domestic life in the 1920s, Caroline manages to free herself from the clutches of a forced marriage and becomes a successful businesswoman, defying the social rules of her time.

In parallel, Stéphane struggles to play the role everyone expects in his Swiss bourgeois family, until the day he comes out of the closet and sets off on a crusade against homophobia and sexism.

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

Get Back on Board with Greg Louganis

Back on Board: Greg Louganis is an intimate portrait of the public triumphs and private struggles of trailblazing openly gay athlete Greg Louganis. A refreshingly candid documentary about this four-time Olympic champion, Back on Board follows Louganis for three years as he struggles with financial security and reunites with the sport he once dominated but did not feel welcome in. The threat of losing his house during the recent financial crisis forces Louganis to re-evaluate the choices, relationships, and missed opportunities of his career.

Nominated for an Emmy Award and a Producer’s Guild of America award in 2016. Back on Board: Greg Louganis gained critical and audience acclaim on the film festival circuit, screening at over 40 festivals worldwide and picking up eight awards.

The film was also selected for the American Film Showcase, a program of the U.S. State Department that brings award-winning contemporary American documentaries around the world offering a view of American society and culture as seen by independent filmmakers.

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