Out This Week: The Strong Ones

From writer-director Omar Zuniga, The Strong Ones tells the romantic saga of a fisherman and an architect in the beautiful landscape of Southern Chile as they find love at the edge of the world.

 

Lucas (Samuel Gonzalez) travels to visit his sister who lives in a remote town in Southern Chile. Beside the ocean shrouded in the wintery mist he meets Antonio (Antonio Altamirano), a boatswain on a local fishing boat. When an intense romance blossoms between them, their strength, independence, and adulthood become immovable, just like the ebb and flow of the tide.

 

A confidently-crafted festival favorite, The Strong Ones took home both the Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize at Outfest this year. It’s a heartwarming romance you won’t want to miss.

 

Watch the trailer for The Strong Ones below and click here to order your copy. The film is will be available on DVD starting this week.

 

This Weekend’s VOD Favorites

The Gay Cinema Video On Demand experience at TLAgay.com has your entertainment needs covered! We’re always working to expand selection of new and old gay-themed movies available for your viewing pleasure. Here’s just five of our current favorites that you may have missed – ALL available to watch INSTANTLY! Stay home, stay safe and enjoy a movie!

 

A Single Evening
From the producers of Killer Unicorn and Neon Boys, A Single Evening is a brand-new twelve-minute musical short film that follows Minnie (played by captivating musician Rebecca Hidalgo), an annoyed single woman navigating bisexual angst and the dread of impending loneliness. After online dating seems to fail her on a consistent basis, the apps begin coming to life through music, urging her to keep looking for love in all the wrong places. But sometimes being alone and feeling alone are two completely different things. When her app-obsessed friends prove that they can’t fill the void, Minnie discovers the only thing that can save really her from solitude… is herself. An official selection at countless LGBTQ+ film festivals around the globe, A Single Evening is now available to rent and/or download at TLAgay.

 

Madame
A double portrait of a young boy slowly coming out of the closet and of the lady that was, even more than his own mother, the woman of his life – his grandmother. Based on private archival footage, Madame takes us onto an intimate journey where Caroline, a flamboyant 90-year-old grandmother, and her filmmaker grandson Stephane explore the development and transmission of gender identity in a patriarchal environment. Promised to domestic life in the 1920s, Caroline manages to free herself from the clutches of imposed marriage and becomes a successful businesswoman, defying the social rules of her time. In parallel, Stephane struggles to play the role everyone expects in his Swiss bourgeois family until the day he comes out of the closet and sets off on a crusade against homophobia and sexism.

 

Adeline
Adeline (played in the present by Patricia Couvillers and in the past by Eloïse Blomme) is a stubborn elderly woman. She is spending her final days in an end-of-life care home where visitors are few and far between. Before passing, Adeline opens up to her caretaker and shares a story she’s never dared to tell before. She recounts a tale of youth, forbidden love and a lost girl. Moved by Adeline’s story, the caretaker takes matters soon into her own hands. Set in both the 1960’s and present day, Adeline is a deeply moving nine-minute short film about youth, trust and forbidden love. It tells an incredibly ambitious tale that bridges themes of love, freedom, faith and regret. You can rent of download the short now at TLAgay.

 

In Bloom
Two young men find their seemingly solid relationship threatened when temptations and unease begin to pull them apart. During one hot summer, blond, pot-smoking and dealing Kurt (Kyle Wigent) and cute, but moody grocery store clerk Paul (Tanner Rittenhouse) begin a committed relationship. Best pals, roommates and lovers, they have an amazing rapport. But when rich-kid Kevin (Adam Fane) enters the picture with romantic designs on Kurt, an unsatisfied longing is exposed – threatening their love in the process. A richly textured examination of gay male relationships, In Bloom is a warm, funny, intelligent, sharply-written, painfully honest, well-acted drama.

 

Hooked
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). Jack soon sees an opportunity to make a better life for himself 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. Embarking on a drug- binge, he encounters the slimiest characters Miami has to offer, falling deeper into the hole than he started

Now Available On-Demand: A Skeleton in the Closet

When Manuel (Facundo Gambande) returns to his hometown on the occasion of his parents’ wedding anniversary, he has a bit of an ulterior motive. He’s planning to ask for money so that he can move to Denmark with his boyfriend. The last time he saw his family, he came out of the closet – and things have been tense ever since. When his boyfriend suddenly dumps him, Manuel finds himself diving head-first into an existential crisis. Now more in need of his family’s love and support than ever, an unexpected opportunity to reconnect presents itself.

 

Featuring a terrifically endearing lead performance, A Skeleton in the Closet is a tender and heartfelt Argentinian family comedy-drama that you don’t want to miss. Watch the trailer below and click here to pre-order your copy. The film is coming to DVD and VOD in January.

 

Out This Week: Monsoon

Kit (Crazy Rich Asians star Henry Golding) returns to Ho Chi Minh City for the first time since he was six years old when his family fled the country in the aftermath of the Vietnam-American war. There he meets Lee (David Tran), his estranged second cousin, Linh (Molly Harris), a young Vietnamese student, and arranges an online date that turns into something more with Lewis (Southside with You star Parker Sawyers), an American clothing designer. Struggling to make sense of himself in a city he’s no longer familiar with, he embarks on a personal journey across the country that opens up the possibility for friendship, love and happiness.

 

A critically-acclaimed new romantic drama from director Hong Khaou (Lilting, Spring) Monsoon is a rich and poignant reflection on the struggle for identity in a place where the past weighs heavily on the present. By tackling the personal and political legacies that have shaped them, Kit, Lewis and Linh can start to write an exciting new chapter in their lives.

 

Watch the trailer for Monsoon below and click here to order your copy. The film will be available on DVD and Blu-ray starting this week.

 

This Weekend’s VOD Favorites

The Gay Cinema Video On Demand experience at TLAgay.com has your entertainment needs covered! We’re always working to expand selection of new and old gay-themed movies available for your viewing pleasure. Here’s just five of our current favorites that you may have missed – ALL available to watch INSTANTLY! Stay home, stay safe and enjoy a movie!

 

No Hard Feelings
Parvis (Benjamin Radjaipour), the son of exiled Iranians, copes with life in his small hometown by indulging himself with pop culture, Grindr dates and raves. After being caught shoplifting, he is sentenced to community service at a refugee shelter where he meets siblings Banafshe and Amon (Banafshe Hourmazdi and Eidin Jalali), who have recently fled Iran. As a romantic attraction between Parvis and Amon grows, the fragile relationship between the three is put to the test. They find and lose each other throughout a summer of fleeting youth, an intense first love, an attempt at a joint future and the stark realization that, in Germany, they are not entirely equal. A critically-acclaimed new romantic drama, No Hard Feelings won the coveted Teddy Award for Best Queer Feature Film.

 

The Blonde One
In the suburbs of Buenos Aires, Gabriel (Gaston Re) has just moved in with his colleague, Juan (Alfonso Baron). Shy and reserved, Gabriel is reluctant to follow Juan’s wandering hands and meaningful looks. With a revolving door of beauties streaming out of Juan’s bedroom, his machismo seems firmly in place. However, the attraction between the two men is undeniable. What starts out as a sexual relationship based on convenience of location soon develops into the engrossing evolution of a tender and intimate relationship, which is as sweet as it is heartbreaking. But, as reality begins to set in on their homemaking fantasy, something needs to give… or does it? Written and directed by Marco Berger (the same filmmaker behind Plan B, Hawaii, Sexual Tension: Volatile, Absent, Taekwondo and more), The Blonde One is one of the gay movies of the last several years.

 

We Are Thr3e
Nacho (Carlos Etchevers) is an accountant, a seemingly average guy. At a party he meets Ana (Flor Dragonetti), an attractive and self-confident, recently divorced young woman. As the pair are getting to know one another, they also meet an exceedingly charismatic bartender named Sebastian (Juan Manuel Martino), who starts flirting with both of them. Despite their doubts, Nacho and Ana accept Sebastian’s invitation to spend the night at his place. Initially, nothing happens (nothing sexual or overtly romantic, at least). A few days later, they decide to go on a weekend trip to a secluded farm. There, it seems like things will evolve – possibly leading to a a fun and fleeting one-night stand… until Sebastian confesses that he desires a long-term relationship with a man and a woman together. Featuring casual, committed, naturalistic performances, this unique indie film from Argentinian writer-director Marcelo Briem Stamm takes a sexy and provocative look at a modern three-person courtship.

 

Everlasting Love
Each day after work, Carlos (Joan Bentallé), a language school teacher, frequents the heady surroundings of his local cruising ground. One evening he encounters a teenage boy from his class named Toni (Aimar Vega), and the two engage in a brief sexual tryst. As the relationship between teacher and student begins to develop, some dark truths emerge about the young man and his mysterious group of friends. Much like Alain Guiraudie‘s Stranger by the Lake, Maral Fores‘ follow-up to his acclaimed debut Animals continues to explore the perils of illicit sexual encounters, but with an edge of youthful impudence. Characterized by meticulous long shots, Fores’ disturbing mystery has a languid visual approach often at odds with the thrills on screen, which are guaranteed to shock and excite in equal measure.

 

Available Light
Available Light is a sexy, funny and even sometimes disturbing experimental feature film by prolific writer/director/actor/artist Todd Verow – the same guy behind Frisk, Anonymous, Vacationland and Bad Boy Street. The film follows numerous unconnected people in different cities as they try to escape their loneliness through love, lust or some combination of both. The film was shot in real locations using only available light (hence the title). The viewer is both a voyeur, watching the characters in intimate situations that are not meant to be seen, and an active participant, imagining what the characters are going through and making connections between them that may or may not be real. And, as anyone who is familiar with Verow’s previous work could probably guess, there is plenty of hot male flesh on display.

Now Available On-Demand: A Single Evening

A Single Evening is a short, queer dark-comedy musical following Minnie (Rebecca Hidalgo), a character navigating bisexual angst and the dread of impending loneliness. After online dating fails her, apps come to life through music, urging her to keep looking for love in all the wrong places. But sometimes being alone and feeling alone are two different things. When app-obsessed friends can’t fill the void, Minnie discovers the only thing that can save her from solitude… is herself.

 

A new 13-minute short film from director Ashlei Hardenburg-Cartagena (Role of a Lifetime) and producer A.J. Mattioli, A Single Evening is available now on-demand at TLAgay. Watch the trailer below and click here to rent or download the film.

 

Get ready to take a lively and colorful trip through Queer Japan

This lively new documentary from director Graham Kolbeins shines a spotlight on trailblazing artists, activists and everyday people from across the spectrum of gender and sexuality as they defy social norms and dare to shine in a kaleidoscopic view of LGBTQ+ culture in contemporary Japan.

 

From glossy pride parades to playfully perverse underground parties, Queer Japan pictures people living brazenly unconventional lives in the sunlight, the shadows, and everywhere in between. Interviewees include drag queen Vivienne Sato, erotic manga artist Gengoroh Tagame, butoh dancer Atsushi Matsuda, multimedia artist Nogi Sumiko, HIV+ advocate Hiroshi Hasegawa, activist Akira the Hustler and transgender author Tomato Hatakeno.

 

Check out the trailer for Queer Japan below and click here to pre-order your copy. The film is coming to DVD, Blu-ray and VOD in March.

 

Our Top 20 Gay Films of 2020!

Happy New Year! 2020 was, as we all know, a difficult year (to say the least). To all of our essential workers on the front lines, THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE. You deserve a spot in the history books for your heroism. Those of us fortunate enough to spend the year sheltering at home had A LOT of time to watch movies. One of the silver linings of the year is that, even with theaters closed and Hollywood in a panic, there was a pretty decent spate of new indie films… and films centered around gay men in particular.

 

Check out our Top 20 Gay Movies of 2020 below and make sure to pick up your copies on DVD and Blu-ray at TLAgay.com!

Editor’s Note: We limited our considerations to titles that we have currently available to order on our site (including pre-orders). So, while certain film exclusive to subscription services may be masterpieces, they don’t qualify for this particular list as they haven’t been announced yet for DVD, Blu-ray or non-exclusive VOD.

 

20. Are We Lost Forever
Are We Lost Forever follows two young men who may have come to the end of their long-term relationship. For Hampus (Jonathan Andersson), breaking up with Adrian (Bjorn Elgerd) is a good thing. He’s happy to veer away from the destructive path that their relationship had been taking. For Adrian, it’s quite the opposite. He’s devastated to lose his lover and will stop at nothing to win him back. The fallout of their break-up is divided into stages of desperate attempts to reunite, as well as rebounds that sometimes push them further apart and sometimes bring them closer together. This feature-length debut from award-winning short film director David Fardmar is a poignant, sexy and bittersweet romantic drama.

 

Are We Lost Forever is available now on DVD and VOD.

 

19. Dating Amber
Set-in Ireland during the mid-1990s, this poignant, honest and very funny new comedy follows Eddie and Amber (Fionn O’Shea and Lola Petticrew), two high school kids who decide to stage a relationship in order to stop everyone from constantly speculating about their sexuality. Eddie is keen to follow his father into the military, while Amber dreams of moving to the liberal hub of London. However, their ideal arrangement begins to fall apart, forcing Eddie deeper into denial as Amber realizes that a perilous future awaits her best friend unless she intervenes. Dating Amber is a charming and deeply touching love letter to all those kids who grew up in a small town and who needed to escape in order to be themselves.

 

Dating Amber is available to pre-order now on DVD. The film will be released on December 29th.

 

18. Young Hunter
A tense new thriller from acclaimed writer-director Marco Berger, Young Hunter follows Ezequiel (Juan Pablo Cestaro), a fifteen year old boy on the cusp of his sexual awakening. While his parents are away, he meets a handsome, slightly older guy named Mono (Lautaro Rodríguez) and quickly starts a relationship. Mono invites him to his cousin’s villa to spend a weekend together, but while returning from the trip Mono seemingly disappears, no longer responding to texts. Ezequiel is surprised and confused until Chino (Juan Barberini), Mono’s cousin, sends him a hidden camera video of their sexual encounter, blackmailing him into participating in an increasingly dangerous criminal conspiracy. Against his own will, Ezequiel must decide whether to come clean or turn from prey to hunter.

 

Young Hunter is available now on DVD and VOD.

 

17. 15 Years
Yoav (Oded Leopold), a successful architect, has everything he’s ever wanted: Dan (Udi Persi), his lover of fifteen years – a younger lawyer who adores him; and his best friend, Alma (Ruti Asarsai) – a successful artist, who is like a mother and a sister to him. However, when Alma announces she is pregnant, it ignites Dan’s desire to become a father himself. But Dan’s parental urges have the opposite effect on Yoav, who is haunted by long buried demons. Yoav’s tight grasp on his life begins to come apart, leading to self-destructive behavior that threatens to destroy his life with Dan, unravel his friendship with Alma, and cost him everything. Sexy and thoughtful with great acting and gorgeous cinematography, 15 Years is a must-see.

 

15 Years is available now on DVD and VOD.

 

16. Bad Education
Frank Tassone (Hugh Jackman), a deeply closeted Long Island school superintendent, and Pam Gluckin (Allison Janney), his assistant, are credited with bringing their district unprecedented prestige – and consistently-rising property values. Frank is a master of positive messaging, whether before an audience of community leaders or in an office with a concerned student or parent. That changes when a student reporter (Geraldine Viswanathan) uncovers an embezzlement scheme of epic proportions, threatening everything Frank has built – as well as a new secret romance with a former student (Rafael Casal) – prompting Frank to devise an elaborate cover-up. Based on a true story, this pitch-black new comedy from acclaimed Thoroughbreds director Cory Finley is hilarious, devastating and positively riveting.

 

Bad Education is available now on DVD.

 

15. The Prince
An adults-only proposition, The Prince is an absolutely explosive new homoerotic drama set in a repressive 1970s Chilean prison. During a night of heavy drinking, Jaime (Juan Carlos Maldonado), a hot-tempered narcissist, suddenly stabs his best friend. He is sent to jail for murder. There, alone and afraid, he comes under the protection of a tough older inmate known as “The Stallion.” The unlikely pair begin a clandestine romance, but violent power struggles soon threaten their bond. Easily one of the year’s hottest and most sexually explicit gay movies, this searing story of “survival at all costs” takes its inspiration from Jean Genet’s Un Chant d’amour and Fassbinder’s Querelle. The film offers a deeply affecting exploration of masculine aggression, conflicting loyalties and pent-up sexual desires.

 

The Prince is available now on DVD, Blu-ray and VOD.

 

14. Kill the Monsters
When young, pretty, and charmingly aloof Frankie (Jack Ball) falls mysteriously ill, his older and wiser partners – overthinking, practical Patrick (played by writer-director Ryan Lonergan), and impulsive, fiery Sutton (Garrett McKechnie) – agree that it’s time to head West, begin new adventures, and seek holistic treatment. From here, the highs and lows of the trio’s journey mirror key points in United States history – from hot sex in their luxurious New York City apartment through a road trip that results in a civil war and possible breakup to an all-out poker war involving scheming, sophisticated, and calculating German and Russian lesbians. Don’t miss this sexy, funny, touching and expertly-crafted black and white indie gem.

 

Kill the Monsters is available now on DVD and VOD.

 

13. Temblores (Tremors)
In this deeply personal follow-up to his landmark debut Ixcanul, writer-director Jayro Bustamante sets his sights on an individual caught between two seeming irreconcilable worlds. When handsome and charismatic Pablo (Juan Pablo Olyslager) arrives at his affluent family’s house, everyone is eagerly awaiting the return of their beloved son, devoted father and caring husband. A seemingly exemplary pillar of Guatemala City’s Evangelical Christian community, Pablo’s announcement that he intends to leave his wife for another man sends shock waves through the family. As Pablo tries to acclimate to his new life in the city’s gay subculture with the liberated Francisco (Mauricio Armas Zebadúa), his ultra-religious family members do everything in their power to get their prodigal son back on track, no matter the cost.

 

Temblores (Tremors) is available now on DVD.

 

12. A Skeleton in the Closet
When Manuel (Facundo Gambande) returns to his hometown on the occasion of his parents’ wedding anniversary, he has a bit of an ulterior motive. He’s planning to ask for money so that he can move to Denmark with his boyfriend. The last time he saw his family, he came out of the closet – and things have been tense ever since. When his boyfriend suddenly dumps him, Manuel finds himself diving head-first into an existential crisis. Now more in need of his family’s love and support than ever, an unexpected opportunity to reconnect presents itself. Featuring a terrifically endearing lead performance, A Skeleton in the Closet is a tender and heartfelt Argentinian family comedy-drama that you don’t want to miss.

 

A Skeleton in the Closet is available to pre-order now on DVD. The film will be released on January 12th.

 

11. Straight Up
Todd (writer-director-star James Sweeney) is a hyper-articulate, obsessive compulsive gay twenty-something whose fear of dying alone leads him to a baffling conclusion… maybe he’s not really so gay after all?! When he meets Rory (Katie Findlay), an equally whip-smart struggling actress with her own set of insecurities, the two forge an unusual new relationship that is all talk, no sex. Now it’s just a matter of how long it will work! Straight Up is a razor-sharp rom-com that’s equal parts classic Hollywood and distinctly 21st century – exploring how elastic our definitions of love and sexuality can get. The Los Angeles Times called it “a sweet, funny and thoroughly winning romantic comedy” (and we enthusiastically agree).

 

Straight Up is available now on DVD.

 

10. Monsoon
Kit (Crazy Rich Asians and Last Christmas star Henry Golding) returns to Ho Chi Minh City for the first time since he was six years old when his family fled the country in the aftermath of the Vietnam-American war. There he meets Lee (David Tran), his estranged second cousin, Linh (Molly Harris), a young Vietnamese student, and arranges an online date that turns into something more with Lewis (Parker Sawyers, who starred as a young Barack Obama in Southside with You), an American clothing designer. Struggling to make sense of himself in a city he’s no longer familiar with, he embarks on a personal journey across the country that opens up the possibility for friendship, love and happiness.

 

Monsoon is available to pre-order now on DVD and Blu-ray. The film will be released on January 12th.

 

09. Dry Wind
A gloriously erotic new film from Brazilian director Daniel Nolasco (Mr. Leather), Dry Wind follows factory worker Sandro (Leandro Faria Lelo) as he escapes his rural boredom via secret trysts with his co-worker Ricardo (Allan Jacinto Santana) – and through elaborate sexual fantasies that would make Tom of Finland himself blush. Though his sex life is in full swing, Sandro shies away from any emotional attachment, preferring to imagine worlds of anonymity, leather and unbridled fetish-play – which Nolasco brings to stunning life in color-drenched widescreen glory. When a new arrival to town (Rafael Teóphilo) – a certified hunk straight out of Sandro’s dreams – sets his sights on Ricardo, Sandro finds himself brimming with jealousy and fearing exclusion from the kind of romance he never thought he wanted.

 

Dry Wind is available now on DVD and VOD.

 

08. The Strong Ones
Based on the original short film San Cristóbal, which won the coveted Teddy Award at the 2015 Berlin International Film Festival, The Strong Ones follows the intimate and romantic saga of two beautiful Chilean men on very different life paths. Lucas (Samuel Gonzalez), an architect, travels to visit his sister, who lives in a remote town in Southern Chile. Beside the ocean, shrouded in the wintery mist, he meets Antonio (Antonio Altamirano), a boatswain on a local fishing boat. When an intense romance blossoms between them, their strength, independence, and adulthood become immovable, just like the ebb and flow of the tide. Confidently directed by Omar Zúñiga Hidalgo, The Strong Ones took home both the Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize at Outfest this past year.

 

The Strong Ones is available to pre-order now on DVD. The film will be released on January 19th.

 

07. Benjamin
British comedian Simon Amstell wrote and directed this charmingly offbeat gay romantic comedy about a filmmaker juggling the excitement of his upcoming film premiere with the fear and awkwardness of a burgeoning romance. Always ready with a self-defensive quip, indie film director Benjamin (Colin Morgan) nervously prepares for the premiere of his sophomore feature when he meets and falls for hard for Noah (Phenix Brossard), a young French musician. Will Benjamin’s insecurities and anxieties get in the way of success and happiness? Will his film be a critics-savaging disaster and he, a one-hit wonder? Benjamin is a charming, laugh-out-loud look at one man’s land mined road to success and love.

 

Benjamin is available now on DVD and VOD.

 

06. José
Winner of the prestigious Queer Lion Award at the 2019 Venice Film Festival, José is a critically acclaimed new religious family drama and romance from director Li Cheng. Jose (Enrique Salanic) lives with his mother (Ana Cecilia Mota) in Guatemala City, where, dominated by conservative Catholic and Evangelical Christian religion, living one’s life as an openly gay man is hard for José to imagine. His mother has never had a husband and is determined to hold on to him. Jose fills his free time with dating apps, but when he meets attractive and gentle Luis (Manolo Herrera), they pursue an unexpected relationship with more emotion than José has ever felt. He is thrust into new passion, pain and self-reflection that push him to rethink his life. Don’t miss this deeply moving new drama.

 

José is available now on DVD.

 

05. Song Lang
Set in a richly imagined 1980s Saigon, Song Lang is both a gritty underworld noir and an operatic romance. An unlikely bond develops between hunky, brooding Dung (Lien Binh Phat), a tough debt collector for a ruthless loan shark, and Linh Phung (popular V-pop singer Isaac), a charismatic young opera singer. The two meet when Dung comes to forcefully collect a debt from the struggling opera troupe. But when their paths cross again, a deep friendship develops, awakening romantic feelings in both men. Making his feature-length debut, Vietnamese director Leon Le serves up a uniquely lush melodrama, teasing a smoldering relationship between two apparent opposites set against the backdrop of a gorgeous art form as it fades out of fashion.

 

Song Lang is available now on DVD.

 

04. Breaking Fast
Set against the twinkling lights of West Hollywood, Breaking Fast is a delightful new culture-clash romantic comedy that follows Mo (Haaz Sleiman), a practicing Muslim still reeling from heartbreak. When an All-American guy named Kal (Michael Cassidy) offers to join him in his nightly Iftars – the traditional meal eaten by Muslims during Ramadan – meal after meal, the two start to discover they have more in common than meets the eye. The two soon start to fall in love over all the things that they have in common and – more importantly – the things they don’t. A total feel-good flick, Breaking Fast has earned raved reviews from critics. Film Threat called it “as near a perfect film as one can ask for.” This is Film said it’s “quite possibly one of the most engaging rom-coms in recent memory.”

 

Breaking Fast is available to pre-order now on DVD. The film will be released on February 23rd.

 

03. No Hard Feelings
Parvis (Benjamin Radjaipour), the son of exiled Iranians, copes with life in his small hometown by indulging himself with pop culture, Grindr dates and raves. After being caught shoplifting, he is sentenced to community service at a refugee shelter where he meets siblings Banafshe (Banafshe Hourmazdi) and Amon (Eidin Jalali), who have recently fled Iran. As a romantic attraction between Parvis and Amon grows, the fragile relationship between the three is put to the test. They find and lose each other throughout a summer of fleeting youth, an intense first love, an attempt at a joint future and the stark realization that, in Germany, they are not entirely equal. A critically-acclaimed new romantic drama, No Hard Feelings won the coveted Teddy Award for Best Queer Feature Film.

 

No Hard Feelings is available now on VOD and available to pre-order on DVD. The DVD will be available December 29th.

 

02. Welcome to Chechnya
With searing urgency, Welcome to Chechnya shadows a group of activists who risk unimaginable peril to confront the ongoing anti-LGBTQ purge raging in the repressive and closed Russian republic. Since 2017, Chechnya’s leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, has waged a depraved operation to “cleanse the blood” of LGBTQ Chechens, overseeing a campaign to detain, torture and execute them. Operating without the sanction of the Kremlin, activists take matters into their own hands. In this riveting new doc, acclaimed director David France (who also helmed the justly celebrated docs How to Survive a Plague and The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson) uses a remarkable hands-on approach to expose this atrocity and tell the story of an extraordinary group of people literally putting their lives on the line to confront evil.

 

Welcome to Chechnya is available to pre-order now on DVD. The film will be released on January 19th.

 

01. And Then We Danced
Merab (Levan Gelbakhiani) is a skilled dancer at the National Georgian Assembly, but is criticized for being “too soft.” His life is turned upside down with the arrival of Irakli (Bachi Valishvili), sparking both a strong rivalry and romantic desire between the two men. This breathtaking film sets up a passionate tale of love amid the confines of modern youth culture in a highly conservative society. Through the hauntingly beautiful dance and music of Georgian culture, And Then We Danced becomes one big performance of incredibly crafted choreography. Director Levan Akin crafts a refreshing take on the queer coming-of-age story. Easily one of the year’s most beloved and critically-acclaimed gay films, we can’t recommend And Then We Danced more highly.

 

And Then We Danced is available now on DVD and Blu-ray.

25 Gay Movies to Stream Over the Holidays!

Normally around this time of year, we post a big ol’ list of sexy, exciting, thought-provoking, innovative and/or heartfelt gay films that you can stream over the holiday break. There’s nothing wrong with taking some much-needed time during your long holiday vacation to relax on the couch and watch a movie. Granted, many of us – essential workers excepted (thank you for everything!) – have been doing a lot of that this year already out of necessity. STILL, we couldn’t resist.

If you’re looking for some light (or heavy) gay-themed entertainment, TLAgay has you covered. Stay in, stay safe and watch a movie! Here are twenty-five of our current favorites – all available to rent or download now.

 

The Acrobat
Montreal is snowed under. While the downtown cranes dance their ballet, two strangers meet randomly in an unfinished apartment. Their chance encounter leads to a violent attraction and a dependency beyond reason. One man is a Russian-born professional acrobat whose future is jeopardized by a broken leg. The other is a buttoned-down, well-groomed man of few words. Which one dominates? Which one manipulates? As it turns out, love is painful and human relations are complex. Staggeringly sexy, this new film from French-Canadian provocateur Rodrigue Jean (Love in the Time of Civil War) features real, completely unsimulated and incredibly explicit gay sex scenes. Viewer discretion is strongly advised.

Are We Lost Forever
Are We Lost Forever follows two young men who may have come to the end of their long-term relationship. For Hampus (Jonathan Andersson), breaking up with Adrian (Bjorn Elgerd) is a good thing. He’s happy to veer away from the destructive path that their relationship had been taking. For Adrian, it’s quite the opposite. He’s devastated to lose his lover and will stop at nothing to win him back. The fallout of their break-up is divided into stages of desperate attempts to reunite, as well as rebounds that sometimes push them further apart and sometimes bring them closer together. This feature-length debut from award-winning short film director David Fardmar is a poignant, sexy and bittersweet romantic drama.

Benjamin
British comedian Simon Amstell wrote and directed this charmingly offbeat gay romantic comedy about a filmmaker juggling the excitement of his upcoming film premiere with the fear and awkwardness of a burgeoning romance. Always ready with a self-defensive quip, indie film director Benjamin (Colin Morgan) nervously prepares for the premiere of his sophomore feature when he meets and falls for hard for Noah (Phenix Brossard), a young French musician. Will Benjamin’s insecurities and anxieties get in the way of success and happiness? Will his film be a critics-savaging disaster and he, a one-hit wonder? Benjamin is a charming, laugh-out-loud look at one man’s land mined road to success and love.

The Blonde One
In the suburbs of Buenos Aires, Gabriel has just moved in with his colleague, Juan. Shy and reserved, Gabriel is reluctant to follow Juan’s wandering hands and meaningful looks. With a revolving door of beauties streaming out of Juan’s bedroom, his machismo seems firmly in place. However, the attraction between the two men is undeniable. What starts out as a sexual relationship based on convenience of location soon develops into the engrossing evolution of a tender and intimate relationship, which is as sweet as it is heartbreaking. But, as reality begins to set in on their homemaking fantasy, something needs to give… or does it? Written and directed by Marco Berger, The Blonde One is one of the year’s hottest gay movies.

Boys
Following one man through two timelines, decades apart, Boys is a gripping and compassionate study of first love and the lingering sting of loss. We first meet Jonas (Sauvage/Wild star Felix Maritaud) in the present, where he’s having a rough go of it. He’s prone to starting fights at the local gay bar, and his boyfriend has had enough of his infidelity and alcohol-soaked antics. His volatile behavior may stem from a traumatic incident in his past. The film flashes back to 1997, where Jonas (played as a straight-laced high school kid by Nicolas Bauwens) meets Nathan (Tommy Lee Baik), the rebellious new student who will become Jonas’s crush. Jonas and Nathan venture out into the night on their first proper date unaware that it’s about to change their lives forever.

Cola de Mono
It’s Christmas Eve, 1986, and Borja (Cristobal Rodriguez-Costabal) is a precocious teenager with a passion for film. As his extended family comes together to celebrate the holiday, the combined forces of the suffocating Chilean heat, free-flowing drinks and repressed desire contribute to the eruption of long-held secrets. This hypnotizing story from Chile is both an enticing family melodrama and an explicit erotic thriller about the ways that passion and desire control our lives – from our pop culture tastes to our sexual fantasies. Jam-packed with nudity and graphic sexuality, Cola de Mono is easily the sexiest and most audacious gay-themed Christmas movie we’ve ever seen. Make sure to draw the shades, dim the lights and watch this one with a box of tissues handy.

Dry Wind
A gloriously erotic new film from Brazilian director Daniel Nolasco, Dry Wind follows factory worker Sandro as he escapes his rural boredom via secret trysts with his co-worker Ricardo – and through elaborate sexual fantasies that would make Tom of Finland himself blush. Though his sex life is in full swing, Sandro shies away from any emotional attachment, preferring to imagine worlds of anonymity, leather and unbridled fetish-play – which Nolasco brings to stunning life in color-drenched widescreen glory. When a new arrival to town – a certified hunk straight out of Sandro’s dreams – sets his sights on Ricardo, Sandro finds himself brimming with jealousy and fearing exclusion from the kind of romance he never thought he wanted.

The Family Tree
Victor (Keith Roenke) is a lonely workaholic who rescues animals for a local shelter. He has always loved the end of the year holiday celebrations. Since he was a young boy, he would create explosive life size dolls made from newspaper and fireworks to celebrate. However, this holiday season will prove unforgettable as Victor’s latest creation (Michael Joseph Nelson) comes magically to life to disrupt and enlighten him on the true meaning of love, friendship and family. Life, as he knows it, is about to change. The holiday specter will teach him to cherish the moments that makes lasting memories, as what was once is no more. The Family Tree is an unusual new gay Christmas romance from prolific indie director Jorge Ameer.

15 Years
Yoav, a successful architect, has everything he’s ever wanted: Dan, his lover of fifteen years – a younger lawyer who adores him; and his best friend, Alma – a successful artist, who is like a mother and a sister to him. However, when Alma announces she is pregnant, it ignites Dan’s desire to become a father himself. But Dan’s parental urges have the opposite effect on Yoav, who is haunted by long buried demons. Yoav’s tight grasp on his life begins to come apart, leading to self-destructive behavior that threatens to destroy his life with Dan, unravel his friendship with Alma, and cost him everything. Sexy and thoughtful with great acting and gorgeous cinematography, 15 Years is a must-see.

Fireflies
Ramin (Arash Marandi), an Iranian refugee living in Mexico, is trying to come to terms with his past – one that has left permanent scars on his body and soul. As he strolls through the port of Veracruz – a place where transient souls collide in search of a better life – the haunting memories of his long-distance lover begin to fill his heart with a profound sense of loneliness and repentance. Ramin’s friendship with Leti (Flor Eduarda Gurrola), the young woman who runs the small hotel where he stays, and attraction to ex-con Guillermo, help him find himself as a gay man in a new home. Written and directed by Iranian-born Mexico City resident Bani Khoshnoudi, the beautifully shot and strikingly naturalistic Fireflies won the top prize in the Ibero-American Competition at the Miami Film Festival.

45 Days Away from You
After a recent breakup with “a man who shall not be named,” young bachelor Rafael finds his romantic life spinning out of control. With a change of scenery in order, he sets out on journey of self-discovery – an adventure that will take him from Brazil to England, Portugal and Argentina. Along the way, he seeks the counsel of his nearest and dearest friends. There’s Julia, an amorous single actress trying to land her breakthrough role; Fabio, Rafael’s straight-boy buddy, who is trying to maintain a long-distance relationship; and Mayara, a dear friend who gave up a promising career in favor of marriage. Over the course of his 45-day trip, Rafael grows closer to the people in his life who really matter and learns that all it takes to mend a broken heart is time… and the support of a few good friends.

From Zero to I Love You
Jack (Scott Bailey) has a beautiful wife, two daughters, a big house and a great job. He also has a secret that has been eating him alive for most of his life. Jack is attracted to men. He tries as hard as he can to be the faithful husband and good father until one night, he can’t do it anymore. Pete (Darryl Stephens) is a guy who happens to have a history of getting involved with married men. His father (Richard Lawson) and his soon-to-be stepmom (Leslie Zemeckis) are on him to find someone who’s actually available and to settle down. A chance encounter at a party leads Jack straight to Peter who will change his life forever and upend everything Jack has built. What was supposed to be a one-night stand soon turns into a once-in-a-lifetime romance.

The Goddess of Fortune
Alessandro and Arturo (Edoardo Leo and Stefano Accorsi), a handsome Italian couple, have been together for over fifteen years. Despite the feelings that they still have for one another, their relationship is entering a stage of crisis. When Annamaria (Jasmine Trinca), Alessandro’s best friend and former girlfriend, asks the couple to look after her kids for a while, their world is turned upside-down. This new responsibility forces old resentments out into the open and reminds the pair why they fell in love in the first place. With a stellar cast, this charming new family comedy from acclaimed writer-director Ferzan Ozpetek (Steam: The Turkish Bath, His Secret Life) examines how love shifts and redefines itself in long-term relationships.

The Lawyer
Life just drifts by for corporate lawyer Marius (Eimutis Kvosciauskas)… until he finds an unexpected connection with the dark and handsome Ali (Dogac Yildiz), an incredibly attractive young Syrian refugee who makes his living as a sex-cam worker. After Marius’s estranged father passes away, his infatuation intensifies. It isn’t long before he’s completely obsessed. He inevitably flies to Belgrade to meet Ali with in person, in hopes of a romantic week with his sexy Arab prince. Although, off-camera, things might not be exactly as they seemed. An intense romantic drama, The Lawyer is the newest film from prolific filmmaker Romas Zabarauskas, the same writer-director behind Porno Melodrama and You Can’t Escape Lithuania.

Neon Boys
To be a father, you have to make difficult choices. Having a hard time landing a job after spending time in prison, Shawn (Matty Gliteratti) decides to try his hand at making ends meet by working as an erotic dancer. It’s all in an effort, ultimately, to support his daughter. While he’s there, though, stripping down to make some cash, he finds that he’s beginning to fall in love with a man… for the first time in his life. A stylish, candy-colored and deeply heartfelt short film from prolific indie director AJ Mattioli and co-director/star Jonathan Salazar, Neon Boys has charm and sex appeal to spare. This thirty-minute short also co-stars accomplished character actor and multiple award-winner Vincent De Paul.

No Hard Feelings
Parvis, the son of exiled Iranians, copes with life in his small hometown by indulging himself with pop culture, Grindr dates and raves. After being caught shoplifting, he is sentenced to community service at a refugee shelter where he meets siblings Banafshe and Amon, who have recently fled Iran. As a romantic attraction between Parvis and Amon grows, the fragile relationship between the three is put to the test. They find and lose each other throughout a summer of fleeting youth, an intense first love, an attempt at a joint future and the stark realization that, in Germany, they are not entirely equal. A critically-acclaimed new romantic drama, No Hard Feelings won the coveted Teddy Award for Best Queer Feature Film.

Orpheus Song
Enis and Philipp, two hot macho dudes from Berlin, become workout buddies at their local gym – each spotting the other. The two hunks quickly fall into an intense friendship. When Philipp wins a trip to Greece, he invites Enis along and the two have a great time. But during a hike, they become lost and tempers flare, escalating to a violent scuffle. A mysterious young man, Hercules, happens upon them and leads them to a magical underground cave. During the night, fueled by forbidden fruit Hercules has warned them against eating, passion ignites between Enis and Philipp. The next day, nothing between the two will ever be the same. This wildly erotic variation on Greek mythology will quickly have you falling under its sensual spell!

The Prince
The Prince is an explosive new homoerotic drama set in a repressive 1970s Chilean prison. During a night of heavy drinking, Jaime, a hot-tempered narcissist, suddenly stabs his best friend. He is sent to jail for murder. There, alone and afraid, he comes under the protection of a tough older inmate known as “The Stallion.” The unlikely pair begin a clandestine romance, but violent power struggles soon threaten their bond. Easily one of the year’s hottest and most sexually explicit gay movies, this searing story of “survival at all costs” takes its inspiration from Jean Genet’s Un Chant d’amour and Fassbinder’s Querelle. The film offers a deeply affecting exploration of masculine aggression, conflicting loyalties and pent-up sexual desires.

Rapture in Blue
Like a David Lynch thriller filmed through a queer lens, writer-director Ryder Houston‘s Rapture in Blue follows a young man’s quest through flickering neon and hazy shadows to find his true self. After Jason (Bryce Lederer) tries to use his childhood home for a steamy rendezvous with his girlfriend, they discover it’s been newly occupied by the smoldering Sebastian (Tanner Garmon), who eagerly warms up to anxious Jason. Wracked with desires he’s long ignored while also being pressured by his girlfriend’s sensual advances, a growing sense of unease and dread permeates his life. After receiving an “impossible” photo of him embracing Sebastian, Jason realizes he needs to confront the madness consuming him from all sides.

Rialto
Colm (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor) is a married man in his mid-forties with two teenage children. Though he has a seemingly great life, his world is about to crack open. Still grieving the death of his father, a destructive figure in his life, Colm finds himself struggling to connect with his own family. A shake-up at work also starts threatening their financial future. Desperate for comfort, he falls into the arms of a younger hustler named Jay (Dunkirk star Tom Glynn-Carney) and starts down and increasingly self-destructive path. As his sexual encounters with Jay become more frequent and intense, his recklessness starts to put his entire family life at risk. Don’t miss this tense new drama from Irish director Peter Mackie Burns and writer Mark O’Halloran.

7 Minutes
A bold new drama from writer-director Ricky Mastro, making his feature debut after a long series of acclaimed shorts, 7 Minutes tells the story of Jean (Antoine Herbez), a 55 year-old policeman who discovers his son, Maxime (Valentin Malguy), and another man hanged in a hotel room. The autopsy shows that Maxime died from an overdose of GHB, just seven minutes after his boyfriend. During an evening organized by Maxime’s friends, Jean discovers a nightclub that his son used to frequent. There, he meets the seductive young Fabien (Clément Naline). Desperately trying to learn more about the events that led to his son’s untimely death, Jean becomes increasingly attached to an alluring new world.

Siberia & Him
Reminiscent of Brokeback Mountain and God’s Own Country, the stunning new gay romance Siberia & Him follows two men who begin a clandestine and erotically charged affair. Brothers-in-law Sasha, a meek farmhand, and Dima, a policeman, have always had a fraught relationship. When the two set out on a trip together through the desolate, wide-open country of Siberia in an effort to reach a troubled relative, things begin to change. Along their journey, unspoken truths are uttered and a deep intimacy is built. The pair soon become not only travel companions, but secret lovers – spending their days hiking and hunting for food and their nights in one another’s arms.

These Peculiar Days
An adolescent coming of age tale, These Peculiar Days tells the story of eight friends who graduate high school and celebrate by staying in a cabin in the woods. Just before the trip, Isabel (Sofia Sylwin) breaks up with Roman (Gerardo Del Razo) when she finds out he’s been cheating on her with Oscar (Carlos Hendrick Huber). When Roman tags along to try to win her back, it turns this pleasant weekend into a ticking time bomb that will be set off by their unstoppable sexual impulses. Soon, the lines between their sexuality begin to blur as allegiances and love affairs are quickly made and broken. An unabashedly erotic look at modern sexual fluidity between young adults, These Peculiar Days is both fresh and endlessly compelling.

Young Hunter
A tense new thriller from acclaimed writer-director Marco Berger, Young Hunter follows Ezequiel, a fifteen year old boy on the cusp of his sexual awakening. While his parents are away, he meets a handsome, slightly older guy named Mono and quickly starts a relationship. Mono invites him to his cousin’s villa to spend a weekend together, but while returning from the trip Mono seemingly disappears, no longer responding to texts. Ezequiel is surprised and confused until Chino, Mono’s cousin, sends him a hidden camera video of their sexual encounter, blackmailing him into participating in an increasingly dangerous criminal conspiracy. Against his own will, Ezequiel must decide whether to come clean or turn from prey to hunter.

Your Eyes on Me
Your Eyes on Me tells the story of a romantic encounter that changes the life of a drag artist forever. The film follows Gloria (Paul Stone), an accomplished drag queen whose life changes in a variety of unexpected ways when she meets Kandi (Jean-Philippe Boriau), a drag virgin auditioning for her next show. As the bond develops between the two, their relationship takes an unexpected turn. Suddenly the past – and the choices that Gloria made as a young man – come into stark reality. A touching drama from writer-director Sergei Alexander, Your Eyes on Me has earned rave reviews from critics. Film & TV Now called it “compactly structured with an effectively shocking revelation which confounds the very core of emotions.”