A feature film created to support homeless LGBT youth charities, Hooked, the newest project from actor-writer-director-producer-novelist Max Emerson, partnered with numerous charities and outreaches, including The Albert Kennedy Trust in the United Kingdom, The Ali Forney Center in New York City, The Los Angeles LGBT Center and Lost-N-Found in Atlanta.
We first meet Jack (Conor Donnally), a homeless hustler with a smart mouth and impulsive tendencies, in New York City, turning tricks on the evening before his eighteenth birthday. He spends most of his time in a world of often abusive, but affluent, eccentrics. His only ally is his boyfriend Tom (Sean Ormond). They live together in a shelter, but their safety there is compromised by the threat of Tom’s father finding them.
Jack sees an opportunity to make a better life for himself and Tom by taking a trip to Miami with a client named Ken (Terrance Murphy). At first, Ken appears more honest and caring than the usual john, even winning Jack’s trust… until Jack finds him on a Skype call with his never-mentioned wife. His faith in humanity smashed yet-again, Jack steals Ken’s drugs and handgun. He eventually embarks on a drug- binge and encounters the slimiest characters Miami has to offer, falling deeper into the hole than he started.
“It’s apparent that LGBTQ kids need a place they can go to be safe,” said director Max Emerson. “To find guidance from people who actually identify with the things they are going through. It’s not special treatment, it’s a necessity.”
LGBTQ youth make up 5% of all youth and 40% of all homeless youth. Over 58% of these kids have been sexually victimized and the homeless LGBTQ suicide rate is more than twice as high as their heterosexual counterparts. With Hooked, Emerson manages to tell a poignant and moving story focused on an often ignored issue in the community while going way beyond simply raising awareness. The filmmakers strive to help end this silent epidemic by donating 50% of the film’s proceeds to homeless shelters for at-risk LGBTQ youth.