LGBT-EEN de­pic­tion

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Film - With Ju­lian Wright Kerem Sanga Dy­lan Gelula, Bri­anna Hilde­brand, Mateo Arias Ju­lian Wright In cine­mas June 29

THE awk­ward teen 'first love' phase is given an LGBTI twist in this Sun­dance Film Fes­ti­val indie film about teenage girls nav­i­gat­ing their bur­geon­ing sex­u­al­ity.

Awk­ward, messy pho­tog­ra­pher hope­ful Anne Smith (Dy­lan Gelula) de­vel­ops a crush on con­fi­dent, pop­u­lar soft­ball player Sasha Basanez (Bri­anna Hilde- ★★★ Re­view by: brand) and in­vents a year­book fea­ture as an ex­cuse to in­ter­view her and get to know her bet­ter.

The pair be­come bud­dies right away, and there are sparks be­tween them, but Anne is more sure of her feel­ings than Sasha.

The some­times painful process of real­is­ing who she re­ally is, is height­ened for Anne with the re­jec­tion she gets from her best friend Clifton Martinez (Mateo Arias) when she comes out to him.

Writer/di­rec­tor Kerem Sanga cap­tures those angsty, silent rush-of-feel­ings mo­ments that teenagers are prone to, slow­ing the move­ment of the shot for added im­pact when Anne and Sasha share a spe­cial mo­ment.

But their story fol­lows a fa­mil­iar path, with few sur­prises or new in­sights into teenagers.

Sasha is so deeply con­fused, and con­fus­ing, that her mo­ti­va­tions be­come murky and her ac­tions un­re­lat­able.

Gelula does not get much of a chance to break far away form her sim­i­larly awk­ward char­ac­ter in Un­break­able Kimmy Sch­midt.

What the story, and film as a whole, does ben­e­fit from is the LGBT rep­re­sen­ta­tion, some­thing sorely miss­ing from teen films.

Dy­lan Gelula in First Girl I Loved. FIRST GIRL I LOVED (M) DI­RECTED BY: STAR­RING:

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