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Gay Love Story Sunset Stuns at Palm Springs Shortfest

Gay Love Story 'Sunset' Stuns at Palm Springs Shortfest

Gay Love Story 'Sunset' Stuns at Palm Springs Shortfest

Say hello to your new movie obsession! 


Sunset, a gay love story set in the foreground to the impending storm of World War II, premiered at this year's Palm Springs International Shortfest this past week. The short, which centers around Peter (Niccolo Walsh), a soldier heading off to war, and his lover Arnie (Ryan Trout), a street-smart drag queen, paints a traditional narrative of complicated pre-Stonewall culture, while shining light on a rarely depicted angle of New York gay history. Touching on themes of sexual abuse, binary gender roles, and the impact of male culture and war on relationships, this film modernizes the traditions of previous story tellings and serves up a charming yet hauntingly dramatic painting to the viewer.

"I was trying to write about a really hard goodbye that happened in 2010 with a boy that I just couldn't say goodbye to," the film’s writer and co-director, Gary S. Jaffe, said. "I read these two books in particular, Gay New York, and Allan Bérubé's Coming Out Under Fire. The combination of those two books helped give me a time period I was really interested in exploring, and particularly, a really difficult choice that the gay community had to make at the onset of WWII which was to either lie in these drafting interviews and fight in the good war, or to out themselves, save themselves from deployment, but potentially endanger their personal and professional lives”.

Ryan Trout and Niccolo Walsh particularly shine in the film’s relatable and heartwarming relationship that defies societal guidelines of masculinity and femininity.

"We see Arnie as this flaming queen who’s also the top in the relationship," says Gary along with actors Ryan and Niccolo. "It was really important that the character that was the soldier, who is going off to war and traditionally supposed to be the more masculine one, is, in fact, softer."

Sunset has been receiving very admirable praise in Palm Springs, and is projected to be a hit not only in the desert, but with other festivals and events in the near future.

Watch the trailer below!

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Brendan Haley