NQV Media presents Upon Her Lips: Heartbeats on Amazon and Vimeo from the 5th July
Life can be complicated, and our relationships with others even more so. We freely offer our hearts to others throughout our lives. Sometimes we freely give this through physical relationships, sometimes it’s through love, and sometimes it’s via friendships built on mutual interests, support, fun, and laughter. Each time we give our hearts, we reveal elements of our true selves. The barriers we erect to protect ourselves breached by a new relationship, new hope and fresh connection. Sometimes these relationships last a lifetime, and sometimes they vanish into the ether. But, no matter how long they last, the memory of the person or people you let into your heart stays forever. Their faces etched into your journey; forever a part of what makes you, you.
Following on from the successful Upon Her Lips: Pure Feels, NQV is back with their second collection of female shorts, Upon Her Lips: Heartbeats. And here, the heart takes centre stage with eight beautiful shorts exploring female sexuality, friendship, desire and love.
After His Death (Israel)
Directed by Lior Soroka, After His Death explores the secrets at the heart of family life. Secrets that often only surface after a loved one passes. Ayelet has a strained relationship with her mother and brother. Still, on her father’s passing, she attends the funeral and tries to offer the support needed to the family surrounding her. However, her sexuality remains a hidden yet clear barrier in her family relationships. However, when Ayelet discovers photos of her father with another man, she confronts her mum about who this mysterious man is; her approach quickly dismissed. However, it soon becomes clear that her father lived two lives with her mother’s knowledge. And as Ayelet grieves, she decides to contact the man her father loved alongside his wife. Soroka creates a delicate atmosphere where grief, denial and revelations take centre stage, as the reason for her mother’s distance becomes clear.
Directed by Elin Övergaard, control explores the final moments in the relationship of two young women. One desperate to cling to the love they thought existed between them, while the other searches for a way to escape. But, as sex becomes a vehicle of possible healing and hope for one, it reminds the other that physical pleasure and love do not always coexist. Övergaard’s short seven-minute feature perfectly captures the heat, emotion, and honesty surrounding the final moments of any relationship. Both women desperately trying to navigate the bridge between physical desire and emotional honesty as one opts to walk away, despite the hopes of the other.
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Ronit Meranda’s beautiful short film follows two deaf women as they celebrate their Honeymoon in a picturesque waterside bed and breakfast in England. However, unfortunately, the weather isn’t quite what Lucy (who is profoundly deaf) was hoping for. But, for her wife Johanna (who is partially deaf), it’s their time together that is most important. However, as both women settle down to an evening meal at the Bed and Breakfast, the attitude of the owner and waitress comes into question. Johanna believes her to be discriminatory, judgemental and blunt. But, for Lucy, Johanna is simply overacting. And as their argument heats up while waiting to order, issues of intersectionality collide as they both navigate their differing views on disablism, homophobia and judgement.
Mixed messages and misunderstandings often cause pain and hurt as relationships begin to form. After all, the first weeks of any relationship are fun, all-encompassing and electric, but they are also scary, uncertain and delicate. Both partners choosing just how much to reveal each day while attempting to understand the behaviours of the other. For many couples, these first delicate yet exciting days also hold barriers of language and cultural identity. And it is here where Tom-Lee Ziegelman’s short film finds a voice, as two women navigate language, love and the sparks of something special; their own unique language forming as they build a new world.
Do you remember your first crush? I am not talking about celebrities or pop sensations, but the first person at school or in your social circle who had your heart beating faster. This person holds a special place in your heart throughout your life. Their image never ages, their face immortal as a series of polaroid snapshots that occasionally float back to the surface of your mind. However, despite the still images we hold of that person, we often forget the confusion, fear and emotions that circled every encounter we had with them. The uncertainty, excitement and apprehension of our meetings airbrushed away. In her delightful and atmospheric short film, director Nathalie Álvarez Mesén reminds us of these heady days of experimentation and turmoil as we join twelve-year-old Cadie and her neighbour, Sarah, during one hot summer afternoon in Appalachia.
Forbidden Fruits (France)
How do the relationships we hold with a parent directly affect our ability to grow and develop in our teenage years? For some, their parent/s can stifle possible friendships and relationships. In contrast, other parent/s offer advice and support while ultimately allowing their child to find their own path. For fifteen-year-old Sam, her mother controls her daily life while also feeding her a strange, mysterious tablet every day. However, when Sam meets Jade, and the first flurries of physical attraction become clear, Sam finds herself questioning her home life. And with Jade’s support, she begins to unlock the shackles her mother once imposed.
Sometimes our heart beats faster, not through a passion for a person, but our love for art, skill and talent. And it is within the latter that Paige Gratland and Sam McWilliams superb short documentary finds its voice. Here, we follow third-generation cowboy bootmaker Deana McGuffin as she talks us through the making of her first-ever gay-themed cowboy boots. The award-winning boots a journey of love, care and experimentation alongside a Canadian artist. But, what makes Bootwmn so engaging is McGuffin’s own unique journey. One embedded in passion, equality and a drive for perfection.
Buddhi Buddha (France)
We have all been there; a friend returns from a fantastic holiday and begins to tell you about their adventures. As you sit and listen patiently, you try and hide your boredom, not wishing to burst their bubble. But, what if this event is also complicated by the fact that you love the friend sitting opposite. Your hidden attraction to them bubbling to the surface even more during their absence. I guess in this situation; you have two options. One, you sit quietly and hide your feelings as they recount their unique stories. Or two, you get involved in their adventure and become a part of the incredible journey they have undertaken.