Queer coming-of-age narratives may be well-trod territory, but film festival favorite Wildhood stands out by putting the focus on an underrepresented community to tell a tender tale of young love and identity.
From two-spirit filmmaker Bretten Hannam, Wildhood begins in a rural, East Coast trailer park where half-brothers Link (Vikings‘ Phillip Lewitski) and Travis (Avery Winters-Anthony) ditch their bigoted father to hit the road in search of Link’s Mi’kmaw mother, who was long thought dead.
Along the way, they encounter pow wow dancer Pasmay (Joshua Odjick), whose clear attraction to Link kickstarts the elder brother’s journey toward self-discovery. Initially at odds, a spark grows between them as they travel across the Mi’kma’ki territory of Nova Scotia.
The film also stars character actor Michael Greyeyes, who’s been on an impressive hot streak lately, turning up in everything from Peacock comedy Rutherford Falls to Stephen King adaptation Firestarter to indie Wild Indian, which earned him an Independent Spirit Award nomination.
Wildhood has spent the better part of the last year on the festival circuit, racking up plaudits and critical raves along the way. The feature made its world premiere at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival, its U.S. premiere at AFI Fest in Los Angeles, and most recently was celebrated as part of the Outfest Fusion QTBIPOC Film Festival.
Now, the film is finally set to make its streaming debut, heading for a June 24 premiere on Hulu, via LGBTQ distributor Wolfe Releasing. Both a steamy love story and thoughtful exploration of the Mi’kmaw culture and two-spirit identity, Wildhood should shoot to the top of any watch list this Pride Month.
“There’s a veracious appetite for new stories from new voices here and Wildhood is definitely a film like you’ve never seen before,” says the film’s lead producer Gharrett Patrick Paon. “We can’t wait for these characters and the two-spirit journey they take to linger with Americans the way they have with audiences in Canada and internationally on the festival circuit. It’s a film that sticks to your soul, and makes you a little brighter.”
Watch the first official Wildhood trailer below. Don’t miss this one when it hits Hulu next month.