Gay Essential Films To Watch, Shelter

In Shelter, Zach (Trevor Wright) has dreams of making it one day as an artist, but has had to focus on his family as a priority as he works to help support his older sister Jeannie (Tina Holmes), his disabled father, and his five year-old nephew. When not working as a short-order cook or helping take care of his sister’s son, Zach blows off steam by painting, surfing, and hanging out with his best friend Gabe (Ross Thomas), as well as with his sometimes-girlfriend Tori (Katie Walder).

Soon, Gabe’s older brother Shaun (Brad Rowe) comes home to visit for a few weeks, and bonds with Zach over surfing. The two quickly develop a strong friendship, which blossoms into something more when Zach is tasked with taking care of Cody for an entire weekend. They are almost discovered by the return of Gabe, but Zach sneaks out of the house before he can be discovered. Soon his sister discovers the relationship between Zach and Shaun, and is upset for exposing her son to their lifestyle.

Zach tries to end things with Shaun, claiming that he has to focus on what was already in his life. This brews into the ultimate conflict in Zach’s life, as Shaun claims that he is merely too afraid to take charge of his own life and stick to his dreams. Upon finding out that other people in his life actually support the relationship between him and Shaun, such as Gabe, Zach decides to follow Shaun’s advice, and the two of them decide to support each other and have Zach finally accept entrance into art school under a full scholarship. In one final challenge with his sister, who planned to leave her son with Zach for anywhere from a few months to a year, Zach claims that she’s abandoned her child, and ultimately takes full responsibility for Cody into his life with Shaun.



“Features a superb performance in the lead role, a strong supporting cast, very good cinematography and, most of all, emotional authenticity.”
   David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle

“What might have been a routine coming-out story is enriched by Trevor Wright‘s accomplished and honest performance, Jonah Markowitz’s straightforward dialogue, and Joseph White’s cinematography of the majestic surf and melancholy sunsets off Malibu.”
   Albert Williams, Chicago Reader

“Actors Trevor Wright and Brad Rowe are good enough to turn a formulaic coming-out tale into a sweet romance.”
   Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News

Did You Know?

The film Shelter met with overall positive reviews that claimed a strong performance from the lead actor as the heart and soul of the film. The entire film was shot in just 21 days between the locations of San Pedro, Laguna Beach, Bel Air, and Malibu in Los Angeles, California, with a recurring visual theme found in the location of the Vincent Thomas Bridge in Los Angeles Harbour. Review our Gay Themed Films Here

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Alexander Ryll
When I couldn’t find a gay themed romantic film online via search engines or on any websites in early 2014, I created Gay Essential. launched in June 2014 we regularly promote rare and new gay-themed titles. Gay Essential is the first independent film website to categorize gay-themed films making it easier for visitors to learn about films based on their mood preference. Together with an incredible writing talent, we promote films and we make it easy for you to purchase them based on your location. Please add your support and purchase one of our incredible gay themed film T Shirts , unique and full of attitude.
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