These days, Brooklyn has a reputation as a gentrified borough where wealthy, progressive young people go to sip on overpriced lattes.
But there’s plenty more to these neighborhoods that we seldom see on screen. Take, for example, the barrio, predominantly occupied by blue collar families of Spanish and Latin American descent.
The indie film Barrio Boy from filmmaker Dennis Shinners offers audiences a glimpse inside this world, showing how its oftentimes macho, hyper-masculine culture can make some LGBTQ+ people feel trapped in the closet.
Adapted from Shinners’ 2014 short film of the same name, actor Dennis Garcia once again stars as Quique, a quiet, Nuyorican barber just trying to get by in his ever-changing Brooklyn neighborhood.
One day, on the basketball court, Quique has a chance encounter with a handsome Irishman named Kevin (James Physick) who’s just in town to settles his late father’s affairs. To his surprise, the two hit it off, and so begins an intense—and sexual—connection that largely plays out behind closed doors.
But the barrio is a tight-knit community, and it’s not long before suspicious begin to arise about the nature of Quique and Kevin’s close “friendship.” Their secret connection is especially threatened by the jealous Cuz (Keet Davis), Quieque’s childhood friend who grew into the neighborhood bully.
As the official synopsis tells us, “Quique’s quest for love and self-acceptance is further realized as he navigates his way through complex and often messy layers of sexuality, family, friends, race and class.”
This fall brings queer biopics, horror flicks, and a musical about a couple of dicks.
Barrio Boy made its world premiere last year in the U.K. at the Iris Prize Film Festival, but is finally making the rounds at U.S. fests this fall.
First up is Cinema Diverse Palm Springs on Friday, September 22, followed by a screening at the New York Latino Film Festival on Saturday, September 23. Next week, Barrio Boy heads to Austin, Texas for a special screening event via the city’s aGLIFF festival on Wednesday, September 27.
And then on Saturday, September 30, it screens at the Out On Film fest in Atlanta, Georgia, which will also offer a virtual screening option so that audiences anywhere in the states can check it out for themselves!
Stay tuned for details on further festival screening and more. In the meantime, you can check out the trailer for Barrio Boy below: