Shorts – May 2023

I was in the mood to watch some gay short films today, and I enjoyed the ones that I watched so I thought I’d share them with you. Sometimes I’m just not feeling a 90 minute story, and short films are often something special. Here are a few reasons a why:

  • They leave some of the story to you. Short films often don’t tell the whole story so you get to fill in the blanks. It’s like they get you started and the rest is a mental Mad Lib
  • They don’t require a big time investment. When you commit yourself to a feature length film and it turns out to be awful, that’s 90+ minutes of your life you’ll never get back. (I enjoyed the ones below though)
  • They often feature creators that are new, up and coming, or otherwise don’t have the chance to tell a feature film story. Lower cost of production and distribution means we all get to see more people’s stories and creativity.
  • They can be more timely and relevant. By the time a movie is green lit or the right people have been convinced to tell a timely story the moment may have passed. A short film can impact us at the right time.
  • They can be a stepping stone for a longer film. I recently saw Firebird which I think had a short that got the feature film off the ground. (I think it was a kickstarter)

With all that off my chest, here’s the films I watched:

Chemistry (2022) – Sahra Bhimji

This short is about two college students who maybe would be unlikely friends who connect after meeting in Chemistry class. I love that it addresses things other than just how they meet and being gay. After watching it I wondered what would happen with these two having been vulnerable with each other and making this connection. A good sign of a quality short film is that it leaves you wanting more of the story.

Read Between the Lines (2022)

I enjoyed this nugget of a film because it created such a rich story in a short amount of time. Carlos is with his best friend at Barnes and Noble trying to gather the courage to ask a guy out. Although it doesn’t turn out as expected, I love how it turns the tables around and creates empathy for a character. It’s how seeing life through someone’s eyes makes you feel more connected to their story, issues, or concerns.

Louder Than Words (2017)

This short feels like part of a larger story in the best way. The characters have such a short time to develop, yet the viewer can easily relate and feel like there’s more there. In this film, Ansel meets Niall seemingly at random, but they somehow form a connection. I enjoy that one of the characters is differently abled and how that adds to the story and connection formed.

Notte Bianche (2021)

This Italian short film (with English subtitles) was more of an enigma. Two people meet at random, both in different places in life. Literally one is being evicted from his apartment while the other is about to move in. It follows their relationship/friendship, and where it goes. This is an adaptation of Dostoyevsky’s “White Nights,” but having not seen that I can’t attest to how closely it follows. The film was interesting though with not knowing all the back story, but being able to see where each character is in a transition in life.

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