Vale of summer
CONTAINS: Explicit Language
Ari Sells is a transmasc writer and filmmaker from Paradise, California. Sells’s mission is to expand the imagination of what’s possible for trans and queer futures with inventive aesthetics and refreshing storylines.
Vale of Summer is inspired by the Japanese genre of filmmaking called Iyashikei. The genre portrays characters living out peaceful lives in calming environments, while ultimately having a sort of healing effect on its audience. Shot against the pristine San Jacinto Wilderness, Vale of Summer intends to provide queer and trans audiences a similarly soothing breath of fresh air. Having grown up in the rural mountains of Northern California myself, I was extremely excited and determined to take our queer story outdoors. Nature reminds us of our inherent divinity and connectedness. This unique setting also affords our trans and nonbinary characters Cole and Asterid privacy from cishet scrutiny as they divulge their fears and apprehensions about the fast-approaching future and the pair's looming separation. Our depiction of non-romantic, non-sexual queer and trans intimacy seeks to affirm LGBT individuals– especially trans and queer youth– that their gender and sexual identities are valid regardless of their romantic relationship status. Vale of Summer is an ode to the life-affirming power of queer-trans platonic friendships. Wherever our audience is now, I hope they find solace in the sunshine, comfort amidst the pines, and belonging around the fire right alongside our characters. Most of all, I hope our LGBT+ audiences leave the film feeling more deeply connected to one another and ready to determine their own futures.
Beyond the binary
CONTAINS: Flashing Lights, Drinking
A documentary that delves into the myriad experiences of non-binary identities through a chosen family of party animal Kiwis in their queer flat.
Phoenix K M Frost
CONTAINS: Death of a grandparent, dementia, some simulated/suggested sexual intimacy
Phoenix Frost is a queer filmmaker currently based in Sydney. Growing up he spent a lot of his spare time writing stories which later developed into a love of screenwriting and having them come to life in the form of short films. Phoenix is a transgender man and came out to his great grandfather, Norm, around the same time he was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia. Norm was accepting of Phoenix as his great-grandson. Phoenix spent some time overseas and Norm deteriorated to the point where he didn’t remember Phoenix coming out. While it was good that he remembered Phoenix at all, it was also distressing because he referred to Phoenix as his great-granddaughter instead. This experience inspired The Stranger.
Phoenix has also worked on projects such as Ropes & Stones (drama), From Ashes: A Transgender Story (documentary), and The Red In The Rainbow (documentary)
Colors of a black belt
I am a 22-year-old Director/Cinematographer from Germany. After high school I decided to move to LA and begin my education at Columbia College Hollywood. Now that I have graduated and acquired a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts (Cinema) with an emphasis on directing, I am finally ready to break into the 'real world' of film making. I have had the opportunity to collaborate with so many talented and bright artists already and can't wait to see where this road will take me. I am incredibly conscious of my place in society and the impact I can have with what I was given. I am a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community and am married to my wonderful wife Sarah who supports me more than anyone on this journey. My dad is a Ukrainian Jew and my mom is Russian. I was raised speaking three languages which helps me navigate the world in a special way. I don't like to box myself into these categories, but in today's political climate I think that as an artist it is my duty to make room for voices like mine and other people whose voices have been suppressed in the past. I am looking forward to taking the necessary steps to make that change in a subtle but impactful way. I am planning on further exploring topics such as generational trauma, addiction, love, identity and other topics through an intricate and visually appealing approach.
Merry go round
With the knowledge that the clock is ticking away, Pepper and June explore how love can exist within distance, memory, and a non-linear perception of time.
CONTAINS: partial nudity, simulated sex, language, drinking, puking, violence
Pablo Borges is a filmmaker and photojournalist born in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. He has directed several short films among which are; “La Divina Tragedia”, awarded Best Direction at the 6th Indian World Film Festival in Hyderabad, India, Finalist at the Kinorex Film Festival in Moscow; “La Magua del Ausente”, Best Fiction Short Film at the Nieves Lugo Festival, Best Fiction Short Film at the IFO FILM FESTIVAL in Florida, Official Palmares del San Rafael en Corto 2022, finalist at Korterraza 2022. Currently, it is in open on the internet and has more than 11,000 views. He has also directed the short film CLORO, selected in the " Canarias en Corto" 2023 by the Government of the Canary Islands.
Julia "Jett" Thorn
Give me eden
CONTAINS: religious trauma
Jett Thorn is a senior at Emerson College studying media arts production with a focus on cinematography. Their career goal is to tell stories that mean something to people and center on marginalized communities. They love dancing, their cat, Boston, and getting the shot just right.
"Give Me Eden" was created as my capstone film for my degree, and it's been a whirlwind labor of love conceived and created in one semester. I was aiming to tell the story of a lesbian couple who loved and supported each other unconditionally; no cheating and they're both alive at the end. From there, I wanted to explore the struggles that all couples (finding ways to support one another) and gay couples specifically (grappling with a religious upbringing) may go through. My goal was to build two characters who feel real on their own, and as a couple, and tell a story about that.
Dear Nancy, sincerely addy
CONTAINS: Talk of Gender Dysphoria, explicit language
An original story of a transgender man navigating life and eventually finding his higher self.
This is a personal narrative about a transgender man getting closure from his younger self, who was once named Nancy, and born female, she was a bit lost and unhappy until he reached another spiritual awaking. It's a love story of their past self as he heals the wounds within. He has a new sense of life and self-love.
Lin Guan Chen
Beats per minute
CONTAINS: vaping, explicit language,
Guan-Chen, Lin, a filmmaker based in Taipei, Taiwan.
Currently studying in National Taiwan University of Arts, his first short film "Shift Gear", has been nominated for the 2022 Youth Film Festival, the 14th Kuan-Du Film Festival, and the 6th We Love Youth Film Festival.
His work often focuses on the LGBTQ+ community, and how the GenZ can face their confusion in this chaotic society.
Third solar term
CONTAINS: Nudity, grooming, abuse, drug use, homophobia
Zhanfei Song, a young Chinese filmmaker, currently lives and works in Beijing. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), where he has developed an eclectic style through his practice of diverse video forms. His earlier works mainly aim to criticize traditional cultural values. Song also holds an MA from the London Film School. During his years at LFS, he worked as the cinemaphotographer and editor on several short films including Joans in Three Colours, The Frame, and Akrobat, which have been screened at numerous films in Europe and Asia.
God's daughter dance
Andrew Perez, Jared Palomares
CONTAINS: Gun Violence, Death, Smoking, Explicit Language
Jared Palomares is a filmmaker, writer, director, and content creator from McAllen, Texas studying film production and mass communication at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, where he continues to grow as a young filmmaker with comedy skits and short films and as a student media reporter and editor for KVAQ-TV. Jared tackles stories about love, psychology, trauma, drama, and real-world topics, including gun violence, LGBTQ+ rights, and more. He continues to create stories during his college and professional career.
Andrew Perez, a Houston native, first began shooting and creating short films at a young age, which would later grow into a passion and career. Recently graduated from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, he has worked on numerous student projects as a cinematographer, director, and editor. Throughout the years, he has become an acclaimed cinematographer at Rio Grande Valley, and his ambition is to work in the professional film industry as a Director of Photography while also producing his own films.