In gay-themed drama Holiday (Feriado) Juan Pablo (Juampi) [Juan Arregui] is driven up into the remote Andes to stay with his cousins at their family hacienda during the school holidays. His Uncle Jorge (Peki Andino) is the head of the ‘Popular Credit Bank’ which is faced with the closure and loss of savings to 700,000 customers. Despite the scandal, the family celebrate Carnival. Juampi’s Mother Anita (Isabel Sangacha) informs him that he must stay as she goes to meet his father, leaving his Aunt Vicki (Cristina Morrison) to step in as parental guardian, she leads Juampi to the dance floor to join his intoxicated boisterous cousins. Eventually paired with visiting friend La Flaca (Manuela Merchán) she takes him outside under the pretence of an encounter, only to be collected by her older boyfriend. As Juampi heads back to the house he encounters two men causing damage to one of the guest cars and alerts his uncle.
The Carnival party give chase and one of the men is caught and subjected to a savage beating. Unable to watch Juampi runs up a hill to and notices the younger of the two cowing behind a tree. When a branch snaps, the Carnival party give chase towards the hill and both boys run. Juampi follows the stranger and jumps onto the back of his motorbike to escape a chasing dog. Juan Pablo (Juano) [Diego Andrés Paredes] drives directly to his God Father’s (El Pichi’s) [Pepe Alvear] mechanic shop to organise a rescue of his beaten friend Byron. The trio set off to recover Byron and El Pichi takes the boys out to a local nightclub to celebrate the successful recovery. Juampi awakes hung-over the next morning surrounded by heavy metal paraphernalia, discovers Juano reading his journal to which he compares the lyrics and similar themes from his favourite metal songs to his poems.
When returning home to his cousins they believe he spent the evening with La Flaca and the two teenagers continue to use one another as their respective beard; La Flaca can disappear to see her boyfriend and Juampi can go to visit Juano the subject of his growing attraction, yet he remains uncertain whether the feeling is reciprocated. When Juampi takes Juano home to his parent’s city apartment in Quito, he leads him upstairs to the rooftop to show his unique view of the city. The two are interrupted by the buildings concierge as they share a passionate embrace, escaping, both must decide which life path to take.
“A gentle, attractive coming-out story of modest ambition and zero pretension.”
— Jay Weissberg, Variety
“Holiday is an open-hearted coming of age drama that plays out like a David Levithan scripted re-purposing of Gus Van Sant’s Mala Noche as it endearingly puts the gay into YA.”
— David Branigan, MQFF
“Ecuador seduces viewers as two young men explore their unlikely friendship”
— Alexander Ryll, Gay Essential
Did You Know?
The original Spanish film title of Holiday, Feriado is a play on words as the film is set during Ecuador’s 1999 banking crisis, also known as the ‘Feriado Bancario’.