“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.
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.
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.
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.
Up-and-coming queer director Miguel Lafuente was born in Madrid. After studying film in the United States, Lafuente returned to Spain to start his own production company to produce queer cinema and music videos. These three short films explore dating, romance, and family dynamics.
Guillermo on the Roof follows an attractive young man (Javier Amann) who tries to fix his romantic life by making a film about it. Through the process, he will discover another reality through Samir (Anuar Beno), a Syrian refugee, who will make him realize the true superficial nature of his issues.
In Mario, Kike and David, two men (Almagro San Miguel and Gustavo Rojo) hook up after meeting on a dating app. What initially was never meant to be more than a one-night stand will turn into something else, in spite of their different ways of viewing their bisexuality – and how they both cope with it in their respective social circles.
In the final short of the bunch, My Brother, A family tragedy forces Alberto (Álvaro de Juan) to come back to his oppressive hometown in Spain from Berlin, where he has a free life working as comic illustrator.
Growing up queer in suburbia is the focus of the brutally honest short film “As I Sat in His Car”. Director Kalil Hadad reflects upon his own life and experiences to craft an intimate autobiographical piece of art.
As the protagonist of the film sits in another man’s car in the midst of a late night hook up, he begins to reflect upon his life and the significant moments that led him here.
He thinks back on his relationships with his parents, noticing other men for the first time, and the prejudices that have forever been a part of his life.
Hadad pulls from several different mediums to fully articulate his story including video, still photo collage, and even utilizing some “making of” footage. Hadad effortlessly illustrates the isolation and unknowing of coming to terms with your sexualtiy in a small town. The film shows how the lines between love and lust can blur especially amongst queer people and what such desires can do to relationships.
You can find “As I Sat in His Car”, (streaming August 25), along with another of Kalil Hadad’s short films “Farm Boy”, streaming on Dekkoo.
After his ex-wife suddenly disappears, Cicci and his partner Nikolas are given custody of their twin 17-year-old sons. When Cicci’s interfering aunts attempt to move in as well, it throws off the delicate and loving balance this new makeshift family is attempting to build. Cooler heads try to prevail in this madcap Italian comedy. ‘Tell Me Softly’ is available now on Dekkoo!
Up-and-coming queer director Miguel Lafuente was born in Madrid. After studying film in the United States, Lafuente returned to Spain to start his own production company to produce queer cinema and music videos. These three short films explore dating, romance, and family dynamics. Watch ‘The Short Films of Miguel Lafuente’ only on Dekkoo!
One month and $10,000 is “not enough” to put on an off-Broadway musical, but first-time director Rob Gould attempts it anyway, and takes us along for the ride. Taking his script for ‘Little House on the Ferry’ and making it a reality isn’t smooth sailing. From casting and table reads to costuming and rehearsal, Theality TV follows the creative process step by step until the final performance itself. ‘Theality TV’ is available to stream now on Dekkoo!
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. ‘The Circuit’ is available now on Dekkoo!
“Who’s on Top?” (narrated by George Takei) is the emotional story of members of the LGBTQ community who challenge stereotypes about gender and sexuality and demonstrate their diverse journeys in overcoming physical and figurative mountains. Stream ‘Who’s On Top?” now on Dekkoo!
A voyeuristic, behind-the-scenes look as celebrated choreographer Thierry Smits and his team go through the auditions, rehearsals and eventual premiere of his controversial dance piece Anima Ardens. ‘Bare’ is available now to stream on Dekkoo!