Despite the extremely low budget, and its status as an adaptation of a web series that flew under the radar, Coffee House Chronicles: The Movie is one of the more insightful LGBT films in recent memory that deserves to have arrived with far more fanfare than it has received.
The directorial debut of Monja Art is an angsty teen drama that seems perfectly engineered to speak to its target audience. Seventeen (Siebzehn) manages to convey the messiness of relationships during later teenage years, acknowledging the first glimpses of emotional trauma without reserving any judgement for the often reckless behaviour of the characters.
Can gay men be homophobic, and show a lack of understanding towards the key points and principles of the LGBT movement? Chilean comedy-drama Shining Moon explores this theme, showing that even older gay men, old enough to have been around during the origins of the gay liberation movement, aren’t immune from discriminatory beliefs towards a more developed LGBT culture.
Porcupine Lake is an impressive drama about two characters caught between childhood and a forever elusive emotional maturity. With heartfelt and achingly real performances from its central actresses, this low-key coming of age tale is one of the best hidden delights to emerge from the recent LGBT festival circuit.
Nobody could mistake Love, Simon for realism – but its hopeful view of life outside the closet is exactly what teenage audiences need right now, and older audiences are certainly not going to be immune to its charms either. For many teenagers, this is likely to be the first film about a gay romance they ever see, and as an introduction to the wonders of LGBT cinema, you can’t really go wrong with this.
It’s a surprise that Screwed hasn’t been more of a fixture on the festival circuit over the past year. Director Nils-Erik Ekblom has crafted exactly what you’d want from a crowd pleasing coming of age movie; he manages to effectively blend an embarrassingly relatable cringe comedy with a relatable story of stepping out of the closet as awkwardly as possible.
1:54 is a fantastic teen movie, the debut feature from director Yan England tackles a plethora of serious themes you’d expect to find in an after school special- bullying, suicide and the tension of hiding your sexuality in a hostile school environment are all present here. Where England’s film stands out from the pack is by perfectly integrating them in to an underdog sports drama, that breathes new life in to that tired genre.
The rural setting of this coming of age tale may initially remind viewers of the similarly rugged Yorkshire backdrops of God’s Own Country, one of last year’s standout LGBT films. But the Peruvian landscape hides an intolerant undercurrent, with these rural villages populated entirely by townsfolk with reactionary and religiously motivated attitudes towards same sex relationships.