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  • Writer's pictureDana Piccoli

Outfest 2020: Short yet powerful films about growing up LGBTQ

Outfest really outdid itself this year with its shorts content. So far, they have been some of my favorite material of the fest, and this weekend debuted the collections "I Used to Be Seventeen" and "When I Grow Up." There are many wonderful shorts in both, but these were the standouts for this critic. You'll want to hurry up though, as these films will be leaving the programming roster soon.

Wishes (Directed by Amy Jenkins): This short doc is a simple yet intimate look at a family with a transgender child, anchored by his birthdays from the age of around 5 to 15. Each year Adam blows out his candles and dreams of what he might be when he grows up. As he grows not only does Adam change, but so do those around him to become more accepting and loving. Part of the When I Grow Up Program

Were You Gay in High School? (Directed by Niki Ang) Two 20-something adult friends reminisce over their first gay crushes after one of them runs into her first love at the airport. Using animation juxtaposed against recreations, this short hits the right notes and will instantly transport you back to your own awkward baby gay beginnings. Part of the When I Grow Up Program

Her Own Music (Directed by Olivia Aleksoski) This short out of Australia has me wishing it was a full-length feature. Maddie (Alexandra Morgan) is School Captain at an exclusive all-girls prep school, but when she's assigned to tutor the rebellious Teresa (Zoe Terakes) in music, the two very different girls form a connection. Morgan and Terakes are excellent in these roles, and the story, which doesn't fall into all the sad gay teen tropes, is compelling and endlessly interesting. Part of the I Used to Be Seventeen program.

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