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  • Writer's pictureBen Turner

THE AMERICAN BOYS - Short Film Collection

The American Boys is the new short film collection from New Queer Visions. After the success of their collections from Italy, Denmark, Latin America and Israel, now comes a new set of short films, this time from from all across The US of A! Take a look at each of the six films below...


Starring: Zackary Arthur, Timothy Ryan Cole, Jason Heymann. Director: Jerell Rosales.

Zander is eight years old and experiencing his very first crush. On his teacher. Fighting hard to be noticed and feasting on any scraps of attention he can get, he begins acting up more and more. A very sweet film about first love and growing up, this is a beautifully acted film with a stunning performance from its young lead. And the relationship between Zander and his father is incredibly moving too - so much so, it made me cry! Which never happens!


Starring: Luke Brau, Morgan Price, Avery Powers. Director: Prash Sampathkumaran.

A teenage boy is obsessed with his idol Scotty Watts, a singer whose gigs he attends every week. His fantasies about the musician allow him to escape from reality and avoid facing up to reality about himself, but when a girl wants more than just friendship with him, will he be able to confront the truth or just slip deeper behind the smokescreen of the music. An ode to 90s rock and its fanboys, this is about an emotional awakening coming before even sexuality. Subtle, dreamlike and nostalgic, this is a movie any 90s kid will recognise instantly.


Starring: Aurelio De Anda, Jeremy Howard. Director: Antoine Dupont-Guerra.

Max’s best friend Taylor has just returned from Europe and with his return, the nature of their relationship has changed. As each struggles with their feelings for the other, confusion and self-loathing evolve into something else. With their friendship centred around their love of swimming, metaphors about the pool, the water and the titular fish abound, but as a brief snapshot of their deep connection, this is a glistening short drenched with feeling.


Starring: Kellan Rhude, Carson Boatman, Cazimir Milostan. Director: Andres Helde.

Brandon is a star high school American Football player on the eve of the biggest game of his life. His future success beckons, but it also means that he will have to face leaving his small town and the best friend for whom his feelings are far more than platonic. As the responsibility of the opportunity he’s been given weighs heavy on his shoulders, he begins to fall apart at the moment he needs to keep himself together the most. A brilliantly gauged short about love, sexuality and sportsmanship in one of the most masculine environments around, this short finds the balance between all three perfectly.


Starring: Miles Tagtmeyer, Rebecca Goldstein, Matt Jennings, Aaron Jung.

Director: Matt Chupack.

When Zach is unable to perform in bed, his girlfriend accuses him of being gay. Thinking that she might be right, he turns to his gay friends to help him uncover the truth. As they teach him all the ins and outs of 21st Century gay life, it’s all a lot fit him to take in when he just wants to work out his feelings. A sink-or-swim comedy about a fish out of water, it shows gay men in their tribes like Mean Girls, which is a lot for a newbie to navigate. Crammed with sassy one-liners and silly stereotypes, this actually does a very good job at exposing the superficiality of the Gay Community despite showcasing it at its most witty. This is a film I would LOVE to see as a feature.


Starring: Wilson Cruz, Jason Caceres. Director: Michael Hyman.

Billy is addicted to random hook-ups with men. As another anonymous man felates him, he ruminates on his existence, a monologue to the air about why he’s there and his difficult past. All the while, he’s being watched by a boy with binoculars, who he doesn’t mind being watched by. An honest discussion of sex and the dark recesses of the mind, this is a theatrical and almost romantic short with a self-assured malcontent central performance from 90s icon Wilson Cruz that finds the beating heart behind this man’s cold enigma.



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