Out Films: ‘The Crown With A Shadow’ Starring Paul Reubens

Poster image for queer short film The Crown With A Shadow

The CROWN With a SHADOW, a mixed-media short animated film by gay Tribeca Film Festival award-winner JB Ghuman, Jr., made its world premiere at the Outfest Film Festival this weekend starring a constellation of queer and trans actors including Paul Reubens (Pee Wee Herman), Oscar winner Tatum O’Neal, and nonbinary performer iRAWniQ, as well as icon Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice of the Spice Girls). Continue reading “Out Films: ‘The Crown With A Shadow’ Starring Paul Reubens”

Short Film: A Street Vendor & An American Tourist Meet In ‘TABOO’

A scene from TABOO
A scene from TABOO
Henry Jimenez and Kasey Kerbox in ‘TABOO’

The short film Taboo, starring real-life couple Henry Jimenez and Kasey Kerbox, landed on YouTube last August and has since gone viral garnering over 1.8 million views.

Now, the film’s director, Guillermo Nuñez, is hoping to take that momentum and expand the love story into a full-length film.

From my Instinct Magazine colleague David Lopez:

TABOO’s story focuses on a Mexican street vendor, Enrique, who meets an American tourist, Kasey, and their relationship quickly flourishes into love and passion.

The story delves into the harsh realness that class, language, and culture separates us too often, but proves that these are not enough to impede the heart’s desires.

A scene from TABOO

The story captures the ways this generation is interacting in today’s world. Young relationships, in love, with free, open sexuality and more stripped of social stereotypes, inequalities and old customs that we inherit from a world that is less and less current.

While this is a story of two unlikely lovers, the third character is Mexican scenery that lends its picturesque backdrop of Tulum for the playground in which these two lovers find themselves.

I found the film short took me to an uncomplicated place where I remembered those moments of early love – hope, smiles, the tactile electricity of first touches. I look forward to seeing where the creative team takes the young love story.

Click over to Kickstarter to see how the creators hope to continue the journey of their film short. You can watch the short film that started it all below.

News Round-Up: March 12, 2021

Fitness trainer Marc Burgum
Fitness trainer Marc Burgum
Fitness guru Marc Burgum (via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: It’s Friday night and fitness guru Marc Burgum (above, proving clothes are sexy) asks, “If you could be doing anything right now, what would it be?” Follow him on Instagram here.

Washington Blade: Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), whose support for the Equality Act is seen as crucial to winning Republican votes for the LGBTQ non-discrimination bill, has laid out the proposed revisions she’s demanding in exchange for her support.

Stonewall Gazette: Check out the short film Sauna the Dead where two men must overcome prejudice during a night at the sauna by joining forces in taking down a horde of towel-wearing zombies. Who will live to see the dawn?

Andrew Christian Blog: The underwear and swimwear designer offers five reasons why he believes bulges are sexier than seeing naked peen.

WLTX: South Carolina’s hate crime bill got its first round of approval Thursday, but with an amendment that may exclude the LGBTQ community???

Instinct Magazine: DC Comics will celebrate this year’s Pride Month with the release of an anthology series titled DC Pride which will include “LGBTQIA+ characters from all corners of DC’s ever-expanding Universe, including cameos by fan favorites Batwoman, Renee Montoya, Alan Scott, Midnighter, Apollo, Extraño, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Constantine, and more.”

‘Superman’ #32 Pride variant cover (Credit: David Talaski via DC Comics)

Pink News: Following the enormous success of his new series “It’s A Sin,” creator Russell T. Davies is looking at a reboot of his 1990s series “Queer As Folk.”

Twitter: The hashtag #CancelFox was trending at number one this afternoon as the Twitterverse noted the irony that Fox News is all upset about ‘cancel culture’ while professing to love the ‘free market.’

News Round-Up: February 26, 2021

Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons
Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons
Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons (photo via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

KTNV: Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds (above) is donating his childhood home in Las Vegas to help LGBTQ youth. Reynolds’ home will serve as Nevada’s first-ever Encircle Resource Center which helps more than 70,000 kids and their families each year.

Instinct Magazine: Benjamin Davis has been charged with capital murder in the death of a man Harris County deputies said he targeted for robbery. His tool? The gay dating app Grindr.

Kenneth-in-the-212: Check out the weekly round-up of the what’s what in LGBTQ publications like Wilson Lai (below) covering DNA Magazine.

Cover of DNA Magazine
(image via DNA Magazine)

Reuters: The U.S. Justice Department has charged more than 300 people with taking part in the deadly storming of the Capitol by former President Donald Trump’s supporters, and at least 280 have been arrested.

The Advocate: A worker at KFC was fired for screaming ‘f*cking queers’ at a gay couple picking up food via the drive-through window.

Stonewall Gazette: The short film, The Dirt Between My Fingers, follows an unlikely friendship when two boys meet under strange circumstances. A coming (out) of age short film about first love.

Short Film Explores The Tap Dance Of Cruising In An Unlikely Setting

A scene from STALLS (screen capture)

An opera house men’s room stall that features a hidden golden glory hole is the setting for the acclaimed queer short film, STALLS, now available for viewing (for free) on YouTube.

Written and Directed by João Dall’Stella, the 3-minute short stars Andrew Ableson (The Gymnast, The Polar Express), and Matthew Jain (“General Hospital”).

In the film, Jonathan heads into the lavatory as a glorious aria is heard in the background. Assuming his position in one of the stalls, the next couple of minutes play out as a tap dance of cruising excitement.

As a member of the LGBTQ and Latin communities, João (who holds an MFA in Directing from the American Film Institute) began making movies to create his own world where he celebrates queer/Hispanic stories and characters.

(screen capture from STALLS)

In a statement, the Brazil-based director shares that the idea for the film came from “many of my personal experiences looking for the perfect partner in the most creative environments.”

“I wanted to create a love letter to the act of cruising,” says João. “Making a glory hole look glamorous and capturing the excitement and adventurous feeling that it can give to you.”

“One day realized that cruising is a dance and that prompted me to make this film,” he added.

STALLS has been screened at over 45 LGBTQ+ Festivals around the world including Outfest 2020, Los Angeles Queer Film Festival, NewFilmmakers NY, Oslo Fusion Film Festival, Gaze Film Festival, and the Madrid International Film Festival.

You can watch the 3-minute short below.

What To Watch: Acclaimed Short Film ‘Requited’ Explores Holding On Versus Letting Go

The acclaimed gay-themed film short Requited is available to stream for free for the first time since it made a splash at film festivals in 2011.

The 20-minute short follows a 20-something gay New Yorker, Nicholas (played by Chris Damon), who’s considering whether or not to attend the wedding of his unrequited high school crush, Aaron (Matthew Watson). Complicating the equation, attending the nuptials would mean missing the departure of his current boo, Gregor (Max Rhyser), who’s relocating to San Francisco.

Shot in an intimate, unpretentious style, it’s easy to imagine Requited as a precursor of sorts of HBO’s LGBTQ series, Looking.

With the short, Sal Bardo made his debut as both writer and director of a film project. He recently told HuffPost he was inspired to pen the short due to the dearth of good LGBTQ narratives in Hollywood at the time.

“I wanted to write something for myself that depicted characters and stories I could relate to,” Bardo told HuffPost in a recent interview. Having based the story loosely on a real-life friendship he’d had as a young adult, he added, “It’s definitely a snapshot in time. Looking back, the film feels very cynical. I think maybe I’m a tiny bit less cynical now!”

Premiering at the 2011 Seattle International Film Festival, Requited was well-received on the indie film festival circuit and was honored with the Audience Award: Best First Time Filmmaker at Washington D.C.’s International LGBT Film Festival, Reel Affirmations.

Describing Requited as his “first pancake,” Bardo looks back fondly on his first film.

“The first pancake is never as good as the rest ― you have to warm up the pan,” explained Buardo. “My work has gotten much better, but I’m still really proud of ‘Requited.’”

Previously, the short was only available as part of the compilation Blue Briefs.

Following the success of Requited, Bardo’s 2015 film Pink Moon scored the Jury Prize for Best Film Short at the Big Apple Film Festival, and his music video for Paper Ring’s “Great Escape” was nominated for the Iris Prize, the world’s largest LGBT short film award.

You can watch the full 20-minute version of Requited for free below.

Short Films: Coming Of Age At The Intersection Of Soccer & Sexuality

(scene from ‘The Male Gaze: Strikers & Defenders’)

NQV Media brings together four short films that explore the intersectionality of masculinity, sexuality, and the most popular sport on the planet, soccer.

The Male Gaze: Strikers & Defenders, the third in a series of curated gay-themed collections by NQV, features four drama-fueled shorts from the UK, Germany, and France that touch on coming-of-age topics like teacher/pupil relationships, brotherly compassion, and high school crushes amid the world of soccer.

While it sounds all erotic and full of locker room shower scenes – yes, there is some of that – the films focus primarily on how early experiences shape us as gay men as we journey through the young chapters of coming to terms with our sexuality.

The compilation includes:

Play It Like A Man – Two 15-year-olds steal their teacher’s phone and discover photos of their naked teammates in the shower room, but sometimes everything isn’t what it seems.

Colours – A young soccer player, Adam, receives an ultimatum from his bullying team captain when it’s discovered Adam’s best friend is gay.

• Islands – Young footballer Theo wants to share his true feelings for classmate Linus but it seems there’s nobody around for him to share his situation. That is, until Mr. Kruger, seen by most as merely an odd old teacher, appears to be the one who understands Theo.

Through the Fields – Lucas, 22, plays soccer with his local club, lives with his parents, and is in no hurry to assert his independence. His 17-year-old brother Théo is nearing the end of high school and attracted to boys, but has only confided with his brother. Living with his secret and spurred on by the need for affection, Théo’s decides to meet up with Harry, a man he has met on the internet despite his brother’s warnings.

It’s not important to be a soccer fan to connect with these stories of young gays coming to terms with themselves. Just about everyone will find something to connect with in these thought-provoking film shorts.

The Male Gaze: Strikers & Defenders is available to watch on Amazon, Vimeo (worldwide) and FilmDoo (worldwide).

NQV Media has previously curated gay-themed short films based on the themes of late-night encounters (The Male Gaze: The Heat of the Night in 2019) and the myriad emotions that occur after our first kiss (The Male Gaze: First Kiss in 2018).

Short Film: ‘First They Came’

(from the award-winning short film ‘First They Came’)

Check out this moving short film that interweaves images of mass shootings with Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” and the Martin Niemöller poem, “First They Came.”

The film earned 16-year-old filmmaker Odessa Shlain Goldberg the top honor in this year’s OUR PRIDE Video Fest competition.

The competition asks student filmmakers in schools and colleges to create and share digital stories about significant LGBTQ+ people, places and events that have shaped our world and are impacting the future.

Goldberg was inspired by Niemöller’s poem which addresses complicity and passivity during the Holocaust. It reads:

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Goldberg’s film updated the text to meditate on the victims of deadly mass shootings in recent U.S. history, including the massacre at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, which left 49 dead and 50+ wounded.

“The film illustrates how passivity in the face of injustice is complicity during World War II, but instead reframes and rewrites the 1946 poem to focus on the prolific, devastating shootings in schools and public institutions,” said Odessa, a Tamalpais High School student in Mill Valley, California.

“One of the horrific shootings commemorated is the Pulse Nightclub shooting in 2016 targeting the LGBTQ+ community,” added the young filmmaker. “The final call to action of the video reminds the viewer to take action against gun violence by voting.”

Watch the 3 minute film below.