My First Summer – A magical and otherworldly exploration of young love

16th March 2021
LGBTQ+ Film and TV

My First Summer arrives on DVD and digital on April 11th 2022.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

My First Summer offers us a delightfully different take on the classic LGBTQ+ coming-of-age movie as writer/ director Katie Found bathes her audience in a deep, beautiful ocean of young love. As police tape flaps in the summer breeze, a reservoir lies silent and cordoned off. From her bike, young Grace (Maiah Stewardson) looks on as she relives memories of the suicide of a local writer who walked into the lake, never to return. However, it’s not the writer’s death that preoccupies Grace’s mind. Instead, the fleeting memory of a teenage girl running away from the scene leads her to the writer’s now silent home. But as she enters the house lined with books and dusty manuscripts, Claudia (Markella Kavenagh) sits in the darkness, the whole town unaware of her existence.


There is pure magic in the air as Katie Found beautifully explores the private worlds of the teenage experience. Here two girls find peace, serenity, desire and love as the sun beats down on the secret world they create. However, My First Summer also delves deep into themes of trauma and healing, with Claudia finding a healing force in Grace, while Grace finds freedom and liberation in Claudia. Here two delicate free spirits join in a blaze of colour and experimentation that glows with a unique, otherworldly charm. At the heart of this sit the outstanding performances of Kavenagh and Stewardson, and it’s here My First Summer finds its strength and beauty as both girls dovetail the power of teenage dreams with first love and friendship.

My First Summer is a magical yet delicate exploration of sexuality and young love. One that not only finds a place deep in the heart of the viewer but lingers in the mind. Here Katie Found not only delivers a stunning directorial debut but wraps her gentle narrative in the nuance, trepidation and innocence of first love. But like all fairytales, there is a bite that reminds us just how fragile teenage love and dreams can be.


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