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  • Writer's pictureBen Turner


Right Beside You is the new short film collection from New Queer Visions, by NQV Media. With five short films from across the world, it features stories of connections between men. They said "In times of strife it's important to have someone by your side. Whether it is a shoulder to cry on or a source of confidence, a best friend or a distant lover, these five tales from Mexico, Brazil, France the UK and the Netherlands prove that the search for companionship is a journey worth taking."


Starring: César Acosta, Alonso Esponda, Sandra Burgos. Director: Samuel Montes de Oca León.

César’s becoming increasingly frustrated with all the men that his mother brings home. But when he brings his best friend home for a sleepover, it’s too much to bear when her affections turn toward him, especially when César has his own feelings toward him too. Exploring each of the characters’ desires, this is more about fantasy than reality, especially as César imagines what his friend is doing. A sweet look at the innocence and angst of first love, the object of his affection is as cool as a cucumber and subsequently a bit of an arrogant player. Editing is used well to drift between reality and desire, leading to a thoughtful and dreamy film that leaves a bitter taste when it’s done.


Starring: Karim Camara, Flore Bonaventura, Léa Lounda, Arthur Gillet. Director: François Barbier.

Estelle is looking forward to a standard Saturday night out with her friends. That is until she is introduced to Sacha, a wild and extravagant force of nature who she immediately clashes with. But as the night goes on, she realises that not only is he loud and fun, he is also brave, astute and, she realises, sexy. As they begin their friendship, there is a sexual undercurrent between them that makes her question his sexuality and her own. Very much a portrait of twenty-first century fluidity, these are a pair of vivid characters brought gloriously to life for fifteen minutes of fun.


Starring: Alice Doro, Rafael Gregório, Aleff Resler. Director: Maria Augusta V. Nunes.

When Fabio meets Laura at the skate park, their friendship develops into romance. But when Laura disappears, he has to track her down to find out why. A film about identity and gender, the lens relies on the subtleties of its actors without any real exposition in the script. It’s pretty ambiguous at times and its ending frustrating, but there’s a pair of strong performances at its heart, even if the director has forgotten about clarity.


Starring: Luke Dunsmore, Connor Ryan, Tara Moran. Director: Joe Morris.

Tat and Jack are a teenage couple, living on the fringes of society. They have no money or home, but only have each other. Rejected by their families, theirs is a life of deprivation, drugs and violence. Struggling to get by, their loyalty is tested as they try to find a way to live. Dark, gritty and desperately sad, this is about how love can survive even in the most desperate of circumstances. And though these characters do some terrible things, you’re constantly reminded they are just boys in need of love.

HIGH TIDE (Netherlands)

Starring: Mouad Ben-Chaib, Joshua Albano, Floor van Vloten. Director: Claire Zhou.

Tarik and his wife are recently divorced. Staying in a secluded cottage in the countryside, the hunky young owner arrives to perform some repairs and trail is forced to face up to his feelings and the reasons he split from his wife in the first place. A tender and nuanced depiction of a delayed sexual awakening, this is subtle character piece that is sensitively composed as a piece of thoughtful and understated film.


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