Watch New Queer Visions: Right Beside You now on Amazon Prime Video
Sometimes we all need someone to turn to, and occasionally that person may be a stranger. It is within the complexity of our human connections, friendships and relationships that NQV’s New Queer Visions Right Beside You takes its inspiration. Right Beside You opens with the Mexican short Los Novios de mi Madre (All My Mothers Lovers). Teenage Cesar has more than a glancing admiration for his best friend Pablo, and Pablo knows it. His conversations with Cesar constantly verge on the flirtatious, as he enjoys his friend’s affection.
However, despite the overt nature of Cesar’s interest, the topic of sexuality and attraction remains firmly off-limits. Here Cesar neither has the confidence nor wishes to step beyond their friendship’s realms. However, when Cesar invites Pablo to his house for a sleepover, Ceaser’s mother grabs Pablo’s attention as a forbidden attraction changing the boy’s friendship forever. Director Samuel Montes de Oca León perfectly captures the stress and anxiety of hiding your true feelings while lacing this with the devastating realisation that love does not always play to the same tune as internal desire.
Next is Bootyful from french director François Barbier, a snapshot of the first tentative but exciting steps we take when forming new friendships and the unlikely connections and random events that lead those new friendships to grow and prosper. Estelle arrives at her best friend Garance’ flat expecting a standard night of dancing, drinks and fun. However, on arriving, she is introduced to the exuberant Sasha, who will be joining the two women for the night. Sasha proudly defies gender boundaries, their style, confidence and humour wrapped in a love of life, and as the night progresses, Estelle and Sasha’s friendship is born through the heat of dance.
READ MORE: NEW QUEER VISIONS: THE LAST DAYS OF INNOCENCE
Similarly, the third film in the collection also centres on the first tentative steps to freedom and rebirth with Apenas o Que Você Precisa Saber Sobre Mim (Only What You Need to Know About Me). Here we are offered a delicate portrait of change, acceptance and fear as a young person starts their life afresh in a skate park. Next up is Joe Morris’ heart-wrenching exploration of youth homelessness in Junk. Tat’s life was changed forever when he was forced to leave his family home due to his sexuality. Now his only security and hope come from his young companion Jack as they both travel from town to town, seeking comfort and safety. However, when Tat attempts to re-connect with his mother, everything is thrown into doubt.
Finally, Stille Dorst (High Tide) explores the ability of a single individual to aid the recovery and healing of another. Following his recent divorce, Tarek seeks solace and peace in a holiday rental property, his life all at sea, as he tries to find a new path while supporting his young daughter. When the cottage owner Jonas comes over to make some repairs, Tarik finds himself intrigued by the young man, his confident yet calm aura alluring. As both men uncover a connection, Tarik finds a life-changing conversation in the hands of a stranger.
Directors: François Barbier, Samuel Montes de Oca León, Joe Morris, Maria Augusta V. Nunes, Claire Zhou