“I’ve been a fan of horror since I was very young,” recalls Erlinger Óttar Thoroddsen, director of the Icelandic horror film, Rift. “I remember being six or seven years old, being at the video store and browsing the horror section. I wasn’t allowed to rent those movies, so I’d make up stories in my mind of what they were about based on the cover art.”
Being in the closet, struggling with self acceptance and worrying about what those close to you will think, is an emotional nightmare for anybody who has been through it. In Beach Rats director Eliza Hittman’s sophomore feature deals with coming out in a stylish, hyper masculine way that lays bare all the vulnerabilities of a character putting on a tough front to hide what he believes are temporary demons.
Jésus is a lower middle-class teenager from the suburbs of Santiago del Chile going through a lot of changes while growing into a man. He maintains a tense and reticent relationship with his father, Hector who he sees only a few times a month. After Jésus’s mother dies, both father and son seem to struggle to get along. They begin reshaping a relationship whose foundation was never really solid.
Depicting a not-so-typical love affair in a provincial setting, Maria Govan tackles the more obscure aspects of relationships and homosexuality in her violent and riveting motion picture, Play The Devil. Offering us a rare glimpse into the rowdy and fascinating culture of one of the largest islands in the Southern Caribbean.
Writer/director Max Emerson, a model and Instagram personality with a huge following, has crowdsourced the funds for his debut feature – with the aim of giving 50% of all proceeds to sponsored charities (The Albert Kennedy Trust, The Ali Forney Center, Los Angeles LGBT Centre and Lost n Found) that help homeless LGBTQ youth across America.
After 17 years, Del Shores returns to the sordid lives of Latrelle, LaVonda, Aunt Sissy and Brother Boy with A Very Sordid Wedding – which was triggered by a simple question from a fan about what happened to these characters after the 2000 original. “It was a bit challenging to figure out how to go back to these characters and make the story fresh,” the engaging Shores recalls in a lively phone interview with Gay Essential about the sequel to his classic film.
Set backstage on the opening night of a new Broadway musical about one hit wonders, Opening Night stars Topher Grace as Nick, the miserable production manager of the show, just about managing to hide his disdain for the production and many of the people involved with it. As the show nears stage time, he struggles with the ego of his leading man, N*Sync’s JC Chasez who he finds out has also slept with his former girlfriend – who just happens to be the understudy to the leading actress.
“The Fabulous Allan Carr tells Allan’s story,” Jeffrey Schwarz explains. “But it’s also a social history of gay life from the 50s when little gay boys would channel their obsessions through movies and would worship glamorous movie queens through the 70s when people started coming out of the closet through the 80s when AIDS came along and ruined the party for everyone. That’s sort of the backdrop of Allan’s story.”
Though a filmmaker, Bobbi Jo Hart ’s degree is actually in International Relations, so she sees filmmaking as her way of exploring humanity and bringing people closer – which is one of her aims with this documentary. “Given all the divisiveness in the world and the political climate in the States, we need reminders to celebrate our similarities and honor our differences. The Trocks represent that.”
Oxley’s award-winning short film, This World We Live In is a gripping drama that examines the tragedy of mixing perceptions of masculinity with modern technology. Starring Jack Parr, This World we Live In offers a riveting 15-minute glimpse into the world of an image-conscious young man, struggling to keep his own demons at bay and simply fit in with the other guys.
The Lair is a campy fun soap opera that ran for three seasons mainly centered around a coven of gay vampires operating a sex club to lure their prey. Each season is full of subplots with a Dorian Gray-like portrait, an abusive boyfriend, a werewolf, a mad scientist, a killer plant, a Gorgon, a killer head, a magic ring and a disgruntled Vampiress. Oh yeah… and there’s a lot of hot guys and sex!