The standout of the list is The Happy Sad, the latest film by writer/director Rodney Evans. His previous work includes the critically acclaimed independent film, Brother to Brother, starring actor Anthony Mackie as a young openly gay man navigating within a new interracial relationship.
The Happy Sad synopsis: In the age of polyamory and blurred lines of sexuality, what really makes for a happy relationship? The lives of two couples – one black and gay, one white and heterosexual – collide as they navigate open relationships and sexual identity. The film stars LeRoy McClain (Rubicon – pictured to the right) and Charlie Barnett (Chicago Fire) as the black gay couple trying an “open relationship” for the first time.
The country origins of the other films range from Cuba to South Korea and offer unique looks into the lives of gay men of color all over the world.
Director: Rodney EvansArmed with roses and art, Stan brunches with his girlfriend Annie, a schoolteacher, only to discover that she wants to take a break. Aaron confronts his boyfriend Marcus about their open relationship. The lives of these two couples become intertwined when Stan and Marcus (LeRoy McClain) meet online and hook up. Apparently, Stan has a bi-side, and Aaron (Charlie Barnett) walks in on the aftermath of Marcus and Stan’s afternoon tryst. Meanwhile, Annie goes on a blind date with an older man David who makes his living writing scripts for reality TV shows, which feels more “real” than Stan’s afternoons spent in the rehearsal space with his band. Annie confides in her fellow teacher Mandy about her relationship troubles. Mandy and Annie engage in some flirtation and decide to try a lesbian relationship, which, in turn, reminds Annie that perhaps she was in love with Stan all along. Eventually all of these characters must face the consequences of their choices and decide what matters to them most.
Director: Antonio HensCuba is not a country for young gays. Young Reinier falls in love with a male friend Yosvani at the soccer field in their slum Havana neighborhood. Although obsessed with making money to support his baby, teenage wife and his wife’s grandmother, gambler Reinier constantly fails in getting the stoke of luck he needs. At the same time he cannot help being infatuated by Yosvani. Handsome Yosvani is also tempted to give up his wealthy older “sugar momma” girlfriend and the money he makes with her loan shark father to be with Reinier. But the young men will have to fight hard to keep this love in the reckless Havana city streets.
Director: LeeSong Hee-ilWon-gyu is a flight attendant and is constantly in transit. Anonymous hotel rooms are all the home he knows. Tae-jun is a motorbike courier who spends almost all his time on the streets. Two men with two jobs that keep them on the move. Two lives that are just a series of fleeting moments. Having clicked on the internet they arrange to meet in Seoul. But they only have a few hours. Won-gyu never wanted to return to the city because Seoul reminds him of an event that has left him sad and angry. His past casts a long shadow over their date, and their night together is pitch-black in spite of the big city lights. Since they must soon part again, both are afraid to get too close and a strange power game begins. Tae-jun joins his new friend as he sets out in search of something. They go to a place that was once the site of a brutal attack on gays. Baek-Ya is an urban odyssey through a city, pervaded by anger and longing, in which not everyone can live their life and experience love. But for one brief but beautiful moment this film allows these two simply to be together.