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  • Writer's pictureBen Turner

THE MALE GAZE: RISK APPEAL - Short Film Collection

Risk Appeal is the new instalment in NQV Media’s short film collection The Male Gaze, continuing their anthology of gay shorts from around the world. This collection has gathered five diverse films from France, Greece and Chile; take a look at each below.


A KING, GAZING AT THE SEA (France)

Starring: Loic Djani, Lefteris Polychronis, Vasilis Houliaras

Director: Jean-Sébastien Chauvin

A man is on holiday on the Greek coast when he sees a muscle-bound hunk working out on the quayside in Speedos. Each day is the same, so he watches, becoming more and more obsessed with the man he knows nothing about. A short about unbridled desire, this sun-drenched film is an ode to the romanticism of holiday romance. With the sparkling sea, scorching sand and bright light of summer, this will make you yearn for the simplicity of anonymity, with the tense anticipation of him returning your gaze. Restrained and atmospheric, this is a simple story laid out like a postcard to lust.

A DROWNING MAN (Greece)

Starring: Atef Alshafei, Jalal Qaniry, Thymios Koukios

Director: Mahdi Fleifel

A young Palestinian man has arrived in Greece on a raft, now living on the streets of Athens. Each day is a struggle, battling to find ways to buy food. Today, all he looks for is five Euros, but how far will he go to feed himself? A tragic exposé of the reality of homelessness, we see the squalor of his difficult life, where everyone he meets is solely out for themselves. Having survived drowning in the Mediterranean, he is now drowning on the streets of the country that was meant to be his haven. A sad presentation of this truthful irony, this is a contemplative and moving short.

REO (Chile)

Starring: Roberto Cabrera, Eduardo Silva, Alexandra Farías

Director: Mauricio Corco Espinoza

Manuel has just been released from prison. Searching for his daughter, whose entire childhood he has missed, he encounters a young male prostitute who decides to help him with his quest. A dark depiction of the Chilean underclass, this short doesn’t hold back from depicting the cruelty and violence of the streets of Valparaíso. As an unlikely bond forms between the two men, we see a glimpse of humanity in the coldest of places. Tense and brooding, this is a film that shows how desperation can take you to the darkest of situations.

SUMMER FRIENDS (France)

Starring: Jean Aviat, Tim Rousseau, Syrine Conesa

Director: Maxime Hermet

Tom and Ellis are best friends who spend every summer fishing together at the beach near their village. However, when a vacationing girl joins them to become a trio, the dynamic between the boys changes as their friendship transforms into a love triangle. A nostalgic coming-of-age story played out beneath the summer sun, this is an ode to the innocence of sexual awakening. Luscious, idyllic and sweet, this is a story we’ve seen a hundred times before, but this version is just as good as satisfying as its predecessors.

SUMMER MEMORIES (France)

Starring: Lena Costa, Nicolas Luciani, Louis Memmi, Clément Vieu

Director: Benoît Bouthors

On a hot summer’s day in Corsica, Marie, Lucas, and Ghujvan spot a man sleeping on the riverbank and decide to steal his wallet. When Lucas encounters him face to face, he is disarmed when his intended victim invites him to stay with him. Told simply across scenes on the river, these are teens living in the moment and only aware of the world inside their bubble. The brief exchange with the stranger is a jolt from the outside; something Lucas had never considered, doesn’t understand but sparks his curiosity. This simple life of cavorting in swimshorts briefly becomes suddenly complex as the sun beats down between the trees.


Released in the depths of winter, this collection of stories that all take place in the heat of summer comes as welcome escapism from the gloom. Feeling like fragments of memory from summers gone by, we are transported to the simplicity of sun-drenched idealism.


UK Release: Out now to watch on VOD on Amazon Prime, released by NQV Media

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