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  • Writer's pictureBen Turner


Seeing Is Believing is the new collection of short films, out now from New Queer Visions. With six diverse films from across the world, we see a woman grieving for the loss she caused, a drag queen struggling with parenthood, a documentary about a gay teen leaving Russia, a teenage gender-swap fantasy, a Tunisian wedding with a gay twist and a Filipino inter-generational friendship.

ADULT (Australia)

Starring: Gianluca Datilo, Victoria Haralabidou, Adam Ibrahim. Director: Jamieson Pierce.

A woman enters an adult movie store to find a movie that features her son. Grieving for a loss that she enabled, she sees in his performance shadows from his childhood and the baby she brought into the world. A powerful rumination on motherhood, this is a strangely subtle piece that centres around a striking central almost-wordless performance as we see the alien world of gay porn through her eyes. And the recreated 80s porn feels pretty authentic too.


Starring: Delfine Bafort, Tobias Giët, Wim Opbrouck. Director: Anthony Schatteman.

A single dad struggles with the pressure of bringing up his son alone and his secret life as a drag queen. Performing at night clubs but struggling for childcare, he is forced to take his son with him and he sees this normally glamorous world as littered with danger as an infant waits for him backstage. A brooding piece about competing priorities, it adeptly depicts how the reality of the daytime can encroach absolutely on the fantasies we create at night.


Directors: Wes Hurley, Nathan M. Miller.

In this short autobiographical documentary, director Hurley recounts his childhood in which he travelled from post Soviet-Russia to the US, where his mother was a mail order bride for a fundamentalist Christian. Growing up gay in these circumstances was riddled with challenges and this personal story told alongside such a political backdrop makes for a fascinating verbal LGBT history of a tumultuous time in world history. And just when you think you know where this story is going, you’re lobbed a massive curveball at the end.


Starring: Marcela Alcaraz, Andrés Blanco de Duràn, Ovidio Noval. Director: Tavo Ruiz.

On the day pop icon Juan Gabriel dies, Daniel imagines what the day would be like if he was a girl because at least that way he can justify the feelings he has developed for his best friend, Beto. A cute little high school drama that plays with realms of reality, this is a realisation of every gay teen’s fantasy about their crush: what if I was the right gender? Filled with wistful yearning, this is a very strong short with an intriguing narrative arc and a pair of very authentic performances.

LE CONVIVE (Tunisia)

Starring: Bilel Briki, Bellamine Abdelmalek, Hakim Belkahla. Director: Hakim Mastour.

Malik is to marry Halima in his home village in Tunisia, but he’s been living with Fouad in Tunis for three years. As his partner turns up unexpectedly at the wedding Malik must choose between saving face with his family or saving his relationship with Fouad. A deftly woven drama about the opposition of duty and authenticity, this is a character piece with high stakes that keeps one eye firmly on tradition and the other on the future. With the Tunisian wedding beautifully shot, this is an easily relatable story for anyone who found it difficult coming out.

CONTESTANT #4 (Philippines)

Starring: Joel Saracho, Elijah Canlas. Directors: Jared Joven, Kaj Palanca.

A young boy in the Philippines regularly looks after a much older man in his community. When he walks in one day to find him watching an old recording of the man performing in drag their relationship develops as they both begin to discuss and examine the last, which changed the way they see the present. Taking place entirely inside the older man’s flat, this is a meditative exploration of identity and self.


Click here to watch and for more info.


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