Nathan, 16, lives alone with his father Stephane. A newcomer in high school, he is invited to a party and falls in love with Louis, a boy in his class. They find themselves out of sight and kiss each other, but someone takes a picture of them. Soon, the photo is published on Facebook and a storm overtakes their lives as they face bullying and rejection. ‘Hidden Kisses’ is now available to stream on Dekkoo!
Two friends, just beginning to explore their sexual identities, reveal intimate details of their lives. Is it curiosity, braggadocio or flirtation? Stream the gay short ‘Summer’ now on Dekkoo!
Manchester’s famed queer hub Canal Street comes to life in this documentary series that focuses on the exploits of people who ‘live, work and play’ around the village. Binge watch ‘Queer Street’ now on Dekkoo!
Coming next week: “…The film examines – with a joyous vibe – the exploring of one’s identity and sexuality through fashion and partying” – Vague Visages
Title – ‘Paper Boys‘
Director – Curtis Casella
Starring – Kyle Cabral, Nathan Brown, Kai Liu, Sarah Elizabeth
Release Date – 2018
Hey Dekkoo’ers! It’s almost June which means the shirts are about to come off! Although technically here on Dekkoo we almost always have guys with their shirts off and you don’t have to leave your couch to stare at them. Today on the dispatch we’re very excited to feature the newest member of the Dekkoo Original Series family: ‘Paper Boys‘!!! Wooooo!! It’s always super exciting for us to show off new talent and rising star Curtis Casella who directed all 6 episodes of this new series that takes a close look at a young creative gay man and his immersion into a new life in San Francisco.
Cole is your typical creative type. Shy, cute, and looking for love. For circumstances we’re unaware of (maybe something to explore in season 2?) Cole decides to use the excuse of an engagement party in San Francisco of his best friend to actually move to San Francisco. He’s a cartoonist and even before he gets to say hi to his hunky best friend who he’s staying with he’s already pounding the pavement to look for a job. Daren, the hunky best friend seems to have it all. A nice apartment in expensive San Francisco, a tech job, and an adorable wife-to-be named Rebecca. Everything seems to be going great until Daren confides to Cole that the engagement is actually something he doesn’t really want to happen. Everything so far has seemed pretty typical right? Well here’s the twist: Daren finds an old sketchbook of Cole’s and gives it to him and once Cole starts drawing in it he discovers that everything he draws happens in real life!!
I blew through all 6 episodes in two sittings and thought it was a really touching tale of a shy gay boy just trying to figure out this new stage in his life while at the same time trying to support his best friend that he obviously harbors some feelings for. The plot twist was a super cute addition to the ‘drama’ that naturally occurs in their every day lives. The diversity of the cast was refreshing and the setting of San Francisco was used even better than it was in ‘Looking’ I thought.
The director sat down with OUT Magazine for an interview and had some really great remarks about race, gay relationships, and queer content:
Tell us about the reasoning and importance behind showcasing a gay-straight male friendship? You often don’t see this story in media.
CC: The gay-straight friendship is somewhat autobiographical for both Kyle and me. Both of us have really close friends who are straight, and we felt like it was something we didn’t see often enough in gay media. It’s really interesting to see the vast differences in life experience between gay men and straight men. My best friend was having a hard time meeting friends and asked me how I made them when I moved back to San Francisco, and I said, well, I have Grindr, and gay bars, and circuit parties, and I just see people again and again and friendships come naturally. And he says, “yeah, I don’t think that’s going to work the same for me.”
In some way, it was also aspirational. Like, if we could show a friendship that was platonic between a straight and gay man, it might normalize it to an extent that it’s perhaps not normalized now. I think there is still an undercurrent of maybe tension in gay and straight relationships – like this feeling on the part of straight men that gay men might either threaten their masculinity, be secretly attracted to them, or both. And we wanted to show a friendship between two men that didn’t have any of that. Where they were like brothers.
The cast is highly diverse. How important was it for you to represent a range of people from different backgrounds to tell this story?
CC: This was one of our most important goals. Kyle is Filipino, and we both have pretty diverse groups of friends, so we felt like it was essential to include a diverse cast in Paper Boys. First, we both were cognizant of the fact that people of color don’t see themselves represented enough in media, so that was one facet. But this also allows us to address issues in the gay community that just wouldn’t ring honest with a cast of white characters – like the racism that exists in dating and hookups, internalized homophobia that some still feel, and themes that white audiences – probably myself included – wouldn’t even think about because of the privilege we’re born with.
That’s also why having a diverse cast is only half of it. I know that there are some things that I can’t see, or that seem innocuous to me but may not be to people with different lived experiences from me. So having writers, editors, cinematographers of color is essential too. We had one line in the 6th episode – which we’d written before we’d cast our series – where Charlie says that Daren and Rebecca would have had beautiful children. It was still there after a couple of rewrites, and when we went into rehearsals, the actress who played Rebecca pointed out that she often had people say that to her and her husband (who was white), and it had a clearly racial tinge to it. That honestly never occurred to me, and we decided to drop the line from the scene because it didn’t advance the story, and wasn’t true to a character who, having grown up with Rebecca, would have seen some of the racism that Rebecca experienced and would not have wanted to perpetuate that.
Dekkoo is changing the way queer men experience content, what has it been like working with the streaming service?
It’s been amazing working with Dekkoo – they’ve been incredibly accommodating and want to let us tell our story the way we want to tell it. Plus, I think having a service that’s targeted towards queer men is important. Netflix is great, but much of the gay content on there is of the B-movie variety, with a few notable exceptions. So it’s great to have a platform like Dekkoo, especially one that works with independent filmmakers like us.
We’d love to know what you think of a new Dekkoo Original Series that we’re super proud of so be sure to leave comments on the videos and let us know!
Watch it with: Your best friends 🙂
Mix it with: Red Wine.
Title – ‘Protect Me From What I Want‘
Director – Dominic Leclerc
Starring – Naveed Choudhry, Elliott Tittensor
Release Date – 2009
Title – ‘Prora‘
Director – Stephane Riethauser
Starring – Swen Gippa, Tom Gramenz
Release Date – 2012
Title – ‘Nightswimming‘
Director – Dominic LeClerc
Starring – Linzey Cocker, Tim Dantay, Harry Eden
Release Date – 2010
Hey there! The dispatch was away for a couple weeks while I was out scouting for the best in queer cinema at the Cannes Film Festival to bring to Dekkoo, but I’m back! We’ve been adding some great short films to the Dekkoo universe lately and I wanted to feature three of them in this week’s dispatch:
‘Protect Me From What I Want‘ is a really sexy and romantic film from the UK (one of two in this week’s dispatch). I’d seen it before a few years ago when it first came out, but watching it again was a much more intimate experience than I remembered it being. The story revolves around Daz and Saleem. One night they meet while cruising each other on a busy street. Daz is clearly the more experienced of the two and tries in vain to get Saleem to kiss him. After Daz continues to initiate sex Saleem runs away and we get to briefly see his very traditional Indian family giving us the cue that not only is Saleem nervous about having gay sex, but he’s also tormented anti-gay pressures from his family. Eventually Saleem seeks out Daz once more and they go to Daz’s house where Saleem finally submits to Daz’s charms. But what happens once the experience is over? Can Daz hold onto someone so conflicted with their inner desires?
‘Prora‘ takes us on a journey through the ups and downs of young friendship when sexual desire enters the picture. Prora’s title is the name of the setting of the film – a beach resort built by Nazi Germany between 1936 and 1939. It was envisioned as the affordable holiday destination for the everyday German laborer. After the war began in 1939 construction stopped and was never completed. The location choice by director Stephane Riethauser is really fantastic. The beautiful outside area contrasted by the bare, distressed interior of the buildings is a great metaphor for the two boy’s friendship throughout the story. The story is really very simple. Two boys – one French, Matthieu and one German, Jan are having a carefree Summer holiday near Prora. One day while drinking they decide to explore the inside. There Jan eventually shows his same-sex attraction to Matthieu which causes… friction to say the least.
‘Nightswimming‘ is a bit of an erotic puzzle. Also hailing from the UK this film explores the nature of repressed desires and inter-generational experimentation. Two young kids break into a swimming pool. On patrol is an older gentlemen who hears the commotion and goes to investigate. Upon finding the handsome boy with his apparent girlfriend he takes pity on them and grants their request to stay overnight. Over the course of the night he observes the two of them playing around and becoming intimate. The boy is obviously showing off a bit especially since at one point he calls out for the guard in jest so the guard can witness him stripping off the girl. Eventually the two separate and the boy starts talking to the guard. The conversation starts with the incredibly funny line “I’ve run out of fags. Got any?”. There’s also an incredibly sexy shower scene with full frontal nudity so if that’s your thing get on that!
Watch it with: Your gay short film loving friends!
Mix it with: White wine.
Every day hundreds of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgendered elders are faced with the despairing truth of being isolated and discriminated against as they enter their twilight years. Some have completely denounced their sexuality in fear of being who they are, while others give up and sometimes even commit suicide after facing the fact that they must return into the closet.
Matthew Arnold-Ladensack’s award-winning short film, ‘The Apple Tree’ deals with this subject. The short centers around Gabe, an elderly wheelchair-bound veteran who is forced back into the closet after his life partner passes away and he moves into a homophobic assisted living home.
Please donate to, share or follow this wonderful project!
After his boyfriend Norberto breaks up with him and runs away to Iceland, heartbroken Bruno decides to set out to find him. He soon meets Arnau, a handsome local tour guide in Reykjavik, who is determined to help Bruno in his exceedingly idealistic search. Their trip will become a grieving process for them both, until they reach the remote island of Grimsey. There, Bruno will have to learn what love really means in order to move on with his life. ‘Grimsey’ is a available to stream exclusively on Dekkoo, months before its release on DVD!
Prora, on the Baltic Sea. Mysterious, endless. In this deserted former Nazi holiday camp and communist military complex, teenagers Jan and Matthieu embark on an adventure that puts their friendship at risk. Watch ‘Prora’ now on Dekkoo.com!
A look at the many roles played by eclectic 77-year-old actor/activist George Takei, whose wit, humor and grace have helped him to become an internationally beloved figure and Internet phenomenon with 7-million Facebook fans and counting. ‘To Be Takei’ is available to stream now on Dekkoo!
Coming next week – A studied examination of how one man folds jarring events into the everyday fabric of his life.
In a brash decision, Cole secretly moves to San Francisco under the guise of his straight best friend’s engagement party. But when his friend, Daren, reveals his engagement was an accident, Cole uses the mysterious powers of a forgotten sketchbook to try to put both of their lives back on track, whatever the consequences. The new Dekkoo-original series ‘Paper Boys’ is available to binge watch now, only on Dekkoo!
When two runaways are caught breaking into a swimming facility in search of shelter a kind act sets off an emotionally charged situation. Watch ‘Nightswimming’, now available on Dekkoo!
On the way to his hometown of Red Lodge, Montana, for the holidays Jordan proposes to his boyfriend of two years, Dave. The engagement should only enhance their holiday cheer, but things take a turn when Dave suddenly changes his mind and says “no” to marriage. Watch ‘Red Lodge’ now on Dekkoo!
Coming next week: Mr. Sulu beams down to Dekkoo!