Peccadillo Pictures have just released the 22nd volume of its highly popular Boys On Film short films collection. This critically acclaimed series – now established as a leading showcase for new and emerging queer filmmaking talent from around the world – features a fresh and exciting selection of the very best contemporary gay short films.
Boys on Film 22: Love To Love You brings together filmmakers from the UK, USA, Mexico, Brazil and Australia, as well as featuring appearances from some of Britain’s exciting young actors, including Ben Aldridge (Pennyworth, Fleabag), Samuel Barnett (Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Penny Dreadful) and Simon Lennon (Emmerdale).
THE ACT (UK, 18 mins) Dir. Thomas Hescott
I loved this film. It’s 1965, the eve of decriminalization for acts of male homosexuality. We meet Matthew (Samuel Barnett) a young gay man at odds with the world and his own sexuality, as he discovers love, sex, and a family in London’s Soho. Beautifully dark cinematography combines with fine acting and an informative voiceover detailing some of the more outrageous comments about queer people mentioned in the Wolfenden Report – the report that led to the decriminalization of gay sex. 8/10
FIRST POSITION (USA, 20 mins) Dir. Michael Elias Thomas
Another beautiful historical piece. We go to San Francisco in 1982, and the emergence of the AIDS crisis. Aspiring dancer Zachary (Antony Sorrells) fights to keep his dream alive after falling ill. Meanwhile, a fleeting romance with handsome dance instructor Jamie (Mark Wax) provides brief respite. Beautifully shot in discos and ballet studios, the film showcases the real struggle, angst and frustration so many people had trying to deal with AIDS alone, without support. 9/10
WINTER (Mexico, 16 mins) Dir. Luis Pacheco, Rafael Ruiz Espejo
Out of the blue, cabaret performer, Nico receives a call from their estranged father who is coming to visit them at home in Guadalajara, Mexico. To keep their queer lifestyle under wraps, Nico hides their outfits and asks their boyfriend to go leave the apartment. Nico soon realizes that they and their father are much closer than they previously thought and that hiding things from him wasn’t necessary. 8/10
THE SUIT WEARETH THE MAN (UK, 30 mins) Dir. Mitchell Marion
Ambitious, yet vulnerable Maciej (Maciej Nawrocki) suppresses his sexual and cultural identities in order to climb the corporate ladder, struggling with the conflicting wishes of his conservative mother Marta (Katharina Naumow) and the orders of his handsome yet ruthless boss Christopher (Jack Hardwick). This clever – almost too clever – film, set in London, highlights the struggle so many have between career demands and maintaining personal identity and values. 7/10
INFINITE WHILE IT LASTS (Brazil, 19 mins) Dir. Akira Kamiki
At a party in Sao Paolo, Danny and Seiji fall in love. While those around them think their relationship is doomed to fail, Danny believes the differences between them can prove stronger than their feelings. This is a refreshingly relaxed, gentle love story, set amongst a group of handsome creative Brazilian friends. There’s a feel-good vibe to this film that leaves you wanting to know more about the characters. 8/10
MELON GRAB (Australia, 10 mins) Dir. Andrew Lee
An uncertain future dawns upon two handsome, inseparable young Aussie best friends as one of them is moving away from their small coastal hometown. They are both quite laddish skateboarders who don’t yet have the emotional maturity to express their real feelings for each other. Beautifully shot, we see Cory (Noah Regan) and Jaxon (Noah Fuzi) – both very talented skateboarders – skateboarding across town, and hanging out as they spend their final days together. 8/10
HAVE WE MET BEFORE? (UK, 12 mins) Dir. Oliver Mason
Prepare for a kitschy, kinky voyage via the homosexual gaze as various people recall tales of sexual adventure from the 1960’s and 70’s to the present day. Topics covered include the early queer members clubs, the hanky code, cottaging and cruising amongst others. The internet may have changed the way gay men meet, but as always, some things never change. 6/10
THRIVE (UK, 17 mins) Dir. Jamie Dispirito
This is an excellent short film, that everyone should watch. Fit student Joe (Taofique Folarin) and handsome Alex (Ben Aldridge) enter into a mobile phone hook-up conversation that leads to a very sexy physical meet-up. The attraction between them is evident, but it quickly becomes apparent they’re looking for different things. This film covers themes including the conversation around HIV, the zero risk of transmission for undetectable people, disclosure and the emotional detachment that can occur due to stigma around revealing one’s status. Highly recommended. Nominated for Iris Prize 2020. 9/10
PECCADILLO PICTURES PRESENTS BOYS ON FILM 22: LOVE TO LOVE YOU On DVD, Blu-Ray and On Demand June 27 Available on most UK VOD platforms including Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Google Play Also on Amazon USA, Amazon Germany and on PeccadilloPOD.com worldwide.
Review: Ris Fatah
Queerguru’s Contributing Editor Ris Fatah is a successful fashion/luxury business consultant (when he can be bothered) who divides and wastes his time between London and Ibiza. He is a lover of all things queer, feminist, and human rights in general. @ris.fatah
Labels: 2022, Boys on Film, Pecadillo, review, Ris Fatah, shorts, Vol 22