Image Credit: ‘The Summer With Carmen,’ Newfest

Summer is so close we can almost taste it—or at least smell the sunscreen!

And getting us even more excited is this first look at a new Greek comedy The Summer With Carmen from filmmaker Zacharias Mavroeidis, which perfectly captures the essence of the season.

In it, 30-something actor friends Demosthenes (Yorgos Tsiantoulas) and Nikitas (Andreas Labropoulos) take a day trip to Limanakia, the infamously clothing-optional queer beach south of Athens.

But the pair aren’t just there to take in the sights—Nikitas, an aspiring filmmaker, is trying to crack open an idea for his feature debut and is having no such luck. Frustrated by the lack of gay roles available, he wants to write something that will break the mold—but what?

Maybe bouncing some ideas off his buddy Demosthenes can help with his writer’s block?

Image Credit: ‘The Summer With Carmen,’ Newfest

When the pair spot a chihuahua on the beach, Demosthenes is reminded of the eponymous Carmen, the dog his ex-partner adopted two year back when the then-couple was in the early stages of a messy and prolonged breakup.

As his friend recounts that fateful summer, Nikitas realizes this could be it—the story for his breakthrough film, the one that could win him an Oscar.

With the tagline “a comedy about the tragedy of self-knowledge,” The Summer With Carmen isn’t taking itself too seriously, having fun with the way we (especially gay men) self-mythologize our own stories and romances as Demosthenes and Nikitas reflect on the past.

The whole thing gets pretty meta as we watch the guys’ memories play out, always making the audience aware we’re seeing things from their own skewed perspectives—and perhaps not as the really were.

And, like any time two friends get together, their stories become amusingly nonlinear as they get distracted by a handsome stranger who struts by them on a beach, or a tangential conversation about which actors should play them in a movie about their lives (without a shred of sarcasm, Nikitas thinks it should be Chris Hemsworth—but then they remember he’s never played a gay role before).

But, amid Demosthenes and Nikitas witty musings and aggrandized stories, The Summer With Carmen gradually reveals a sweeter theme at its core: an ode to the transformative power of queer friendship.

Image Credit: ‘The Summer With Carmen,’ Newfest

Basking in the sun with your bestie, talking about frivolous nonsense while ogling handsome passersby? Sure sounds like a perfect summer day to us!

The Summer With Carmen had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival last fall, and has been touring fests across the globe since.

Next, it will be available to stream thanks to Newfest’s summer Pride series, which is offering a $35 “Virtual Pass” that’ll allow you to watch The Summer With Carmen and a number of festival offerings (including Fire Island doc A Hosue Is Not A Disco and an early preview of Trixie Motel: Drag Me Home) between May 30 and June 3—bringing the festival to your home! More info about Newfest’s Virtual Pass can be found here.

Check out a trailer for The Summer With Carmen (in greek with English subtitles) below:

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