a short film by Kareem J Mortimer
2007 | 34 mins | Bahamas
›› Float
the short that became Children of God.
Float by Kareem J Mortimer Fans of gay cinema will no doubt rejoice that the good folk at FrameLine are screening "freeview fashion" this compelling work by writer and director Kareem J Mortimer as part of their acclaimed VOICES program, given this is the short that gave birth to the celebrated feature Children of God.

As such, it's more or less a highlighted version of the same story; albeit with some key exceptions. Namely the tale of germ obsessive Jonny; a failing art student subjected to regular homophobic taunts, who finds himself forced to seek artistic inspiration on the Bahamian island of Eleuthera. Between sand, sea and painting however, he takes a-liking to local boy Romeo; namely a man who as fate would have it becomes torn between his love for Jonny and that of his girlfriend Lonette, at a time in which the Caribbean Christian rallying cry to limit gay rights is becoming ever louder.

Float by Kareem J Mortimer In many ways, comparisons between the two outings of the same story are natural, even if each is a beautifully performed piece in itself, notable for having showcased almost picture postcard style, some exquisitely shot underwater sequences. Yet it is the background of homophobia that separates the two, with the relatively slight sexual prejudice aspect of the story here, dramatically expanded upon in the feature.

Only this is a story with a double take and the fact that two different actors played opposite Stephen Tyrone Williams as Romeo makes, I dare say, for a somewhat alternative angle of the same character, with Jonathan Murray here, as opposed to Johnny Ferro in the feature. Both do a splendid job portraying introverted Jonny, in this heartfelt story of gay love set against a chilling homophobic backdrop, a poignant theme that was solely constrained on this occasion by its limited duration. That however, was all set to change, leaving many a seasoned romantic opting for the conclusion on offer here. See what you think.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - bare-arsed cheek. 
Overall - file under ... 4 stars. 
FREEVIEW screening courtesy of the FrameLine VOICES program:
a new digital initiative dedicated to showcasing diverse LGBT stories online.
starring: Jonathan Murray / Jonny Roberts, Stephen Tyrone Williams / Romeo Fernander, Rukenya Demeritte /
Lonette, Christopher Herrod / Jonny's Father, Jason Evans / P, Christine Wilson / Teacher, Daria
DeLancey / Gang Member #1, Eric Sawyer III / Gang Member #2, Sania Johnson / Gang
Member #3, Bernard Petit / Artist #1, Jackson Petit / Artist #2
and Allan Wallace as Artist #3.
official website: www.childrenofgodthemovie.com
Copyright 2011 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #412
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