Cypher Avenue Rating: 3.5 of 5      

This excellent, hard to find 2005 short film, “On The Low”, written and directed by Luther M. Mace stars Tommy Ford (TV Series Martin) and critically acclaimed filmmaker Deondray Gossett. For those not familiar with the name, Gossett is one of the duo of filmmakers that created The D.L. Chronicles film series from the late aughts.


“On The Low,” a short film, explores the emotional consequences of a hush-hush intimate relationship between two African-American high school boys. It tells the story of a young man, Ty Evans, coming to terms with his sexuality and the inner conflict he experiences. The true extent of Ty’s relationship with his classmate, Kevin Banks, begins to trouble him when the boys get into a schoolyard shoving match. As the tension between them escalates, Ty realizes what began as innocent curiosity and experimentation has blossomed into something deeper.


This is a very great cautionary tale to anyone comfortable with their sexuality who is considering dating a “down low” man. You’ll end up wasting a lot of time and emotional heartache, just as the main character does in this film.

I especially loved the final two scenes in the film. I have to believe that the filmmaker was being symbolic with the final scene. Without giving spoiling the ending too much, the ending channels an iconic verse from rapper Gucci Mane in Mario’s song Break Up: “[Men] are like buses, miss one, next fifteen, one comin’.”

The film does look a bit dated and the narrative doesn’t exactly flow cohesively but I was impressed by everything else given this was clearly made on a limited budget. This really goes to show you that if you have an engaging story, characters and decent acting, a film can be more entertaining than one with better visuals and production value. It’s unfortunate that the director Luther M. Mace hasn’t produced much more gay content since then (according to his IMDB page).


Not many people knew that Deondray Gossett started out his film career as an actor. Something struck me as I watched the film: Deondray was a pretty decent actor. Much better than many of the young gay actors we see in the current web series and short films today. You can clearly see that this film was at least partially an inspiration for him to create The D.L. Chronicles with his future partner Quincy LeNear.

Check out Luther M. Mace’s short film “On The Low” and let us know what you think!