Netflix’s teen drama-mystery series 13 Reasons Why, which explores the reasons behind the suicide of high school junior Hannah Baker, has gained a devoted fan following and has been praised and criticized for its depiction and “glamorization” of teen suicide.
The real-life friendship between two of the show’s stars in particular, Brandon Flynn and Miles Heizer (who play Justin, the hotshot jock, and Alex, the loner band geek), have fueled speculation of whether they’re romantically involved because of their many Instagram photos together — both of the actors and Heizer’s representative says they’re not.
Nevertheless, the actors kiss each other in director Kevin Rios’ “Home Movies,” an intimate gay short film about being gay and in love amid a homophobic cultural backdrop. Rio screened the film at the Los Angeles-based Outfest Fusion LGBT People of Color Film Festival and said of it: “In this home movie collection of gay men, memory serves as an act of hope, power, and above all, resilience.”
Here’s the film below:
Rios studied film at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. During his last year there, he made an autobiographical short documentary entitled “Made of Sugar” which recounted his childhood struggling with his sexual identity and moving to New York City with his Cuban family. “Made of Sugar” later showed at the Sundance Film Festival and 17 other festivals.
Here’s “Made of Sugar” below:
Regarding his successful short and its connection to his childhood, Rios told Out magazine:
“Unfortunately, Cubans are mostly conservative and old fashioned in their beliefs, which put me in a difficult position growing up queer. I hid a lot of my feelings and created a forced masculine exterior in order to fit in. Not only was the film tackling my own upbringing, it shed light on how my mother felt leaving her home for a new country and the idealistic memories of what Cuba use to be.”