Roaming wild in Toronto’s streets, three queer adolescents hone their survival skills and scheme to run amok in a gay club. Julien (Matteus Lunot), a brash runaway, serves as pack leader, with timid Otis (Harlow Joy) and buoyant Tony (Zion Matheson) following in his wake. When some impetuous petty crime admits them into the promised land (and ushers in exhilarating depictions of beat-driven youthful abandon), it also imperils Dawn (Miyoko Anderson), Julien’s de facto guardian. Once Dawn fails to return home, the guilt-ridden kids form a search party that ultimately uncovers darker realities.
Joseph Amenta’s first feature is an open-hearted love letter to childhood friendships and a powerful testament to the queer community’s perseverance and adaptability. Through rhythmic cutting and sublime compositions, they capture moments of revelry and repose, and coax increasingly complex performances from their young cast. Serving up a cocktail of irreverence and melancholy, Amenta lends intoxicating atmosphere and intimate understanding to these precious kids’ quest for belonging.
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Joseph Amenta is a genderqueer filmmaker based in Toronto who focuses on post-genre stories immersed in the underbelly and subcultures of the LGBTQ community. They have produced, written, and directed short films that have been screened at international festivals and broadcast across Canada, Europe, and Africa. Their short Haus (2018) was selected for the International Competition at the 2019 Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, and their next short Flood (2019) premiered at Toronto International Film Festival. They received the Toronto Screenwriting Conference Breakthrough Artist Award for their script for Soft.