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Closeted High School Jock Faces Outing in Joel Schumacher Short: VIDEO


Man in the Mirror is a gay-themed short entry in the PBS Online Film Festival, which runs from February 27 - March 30.

MitmTreviny Marie Colon, who hails from the Bronx, New York, wrote Man in the Mirror while she was a senior at The High School of Fashion Industries in Manhattan, after her school counselor introduced her to the “What’s The REAL DEAL about Masculinity?” curriculum and writing contest

Through the Scenarios USA youth filmmaking program her project was made and directed by renowned director Joel Schumacher, known for such films as St. Elmo’s Fire, Batman Forever and A Time to Kill.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Gays are part of every group in human history. So yeah, they can be stupid, smart, wise, heartless, honest, brutal, violent, deceptive, peaceful and every other thing. Oh, and they can hate on other oppressed peoples just as other oppressed peoples have been hating on yet other oppressed peoples since the first tadpole to crawl from the sea was oppressed by the second.

    I liked the short. It's a high school writer's work about high schoolers. I'm not going to demean the lack of big budget production values or perfect casting from the Broadway talent pool. And I believe the black-out leaving the ultimate "choice" a mystery is pretty much the entire point of the piece.

    Posted by: Zlick | Mar 6, 2012 3:45:11 PM

  2. I'm going to defend Denison here, at least in part. He should be able to criticize without being told that if he can do a better job, to go out and do it. That's just as bad as not very enlightened criticism. To paraphrase Samuel Johnson, you don't have to be a tablemaker to complain if someone makes a bad table -- it's not your job to make them after all. Denison's overreaction aside, telling him to go make a video is a ridiculous response.

    Posted by: Tom | Mar 6, 2012 5:14:13 PM

  3. this is very nice i think they did a great job !!!!!

    Posted by: xael | Mar 6, 2012 5:28:04 PM

  4. I enjoyed it and wouldn't mind an extended version of the film.

    Posted by: Brian in Texas | Mar 6, 2012 5:54:37 PM

  5. An excellent short movie........I enjoyed it.
    makes me grateful that I never went to school in USA.
    The negative comments here are pathetic, pathetic.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Mar 6, 2012 6:10:01 PM

  6. @ ERIC :

    Could you be more patronizing ?

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Mar 6, 2012 6:13:33 PM

  7. Columbine.

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | Mar 6, 2012 8:20:19 PM

  8. I enjoyed watching it and thought it was pretty well-done.
    My only concern is that teen viewers watching this really need to see some role models of supportive and accepting straight males.
    In this short, it would seem that all truly straight males are violently anti-gay and the openly gay student's only "straight" male supporter is not really straight.
    In real life, it tends to be the opposite. The kid who is hiding something he hates is the one who lashes out and the one who is comfortable and confident in the fact he's straight doesn't mind that someone else is gay.
    I'd like to have seen at least one straight male role model who is a decent person.

    Posted by: GregV | Mar 6, 2012 9:51:24 PM

  9. Lessons learned by watching this...

    If you are an out gay man you are a total queen.

    Bisexuality does not exist.

    There isn't one straight man who is ok with people being gay.

    Beating up a gay guy is the only way to show you're not gay.

    And this was just in ten minutes. Don't get me wrong, its fantastic a kid basically made this but if I was a gay teen struggling with my sexuality this would only make things worse.

    Posted by: Michael | Mar 6, 2012 10:22:43 PM

  10. Great short! The acting wasn't the best overall (the "coming out" talk between the little sister and older brother had some cringeworthy moments), but the story and acting of the main character overcame that setback.

    It was a nice little short and I don't know why people are overreacting. If you didn't like it fine. To go on and complain multiple times in this thread as if you paid to watch it or were forced to watch it is ridiculous.

    Posted by: Leonard | Mar 6, 2012 10:55:05 PM

  11. as an almost 60 year old white guy, just want you to know the race-ageist talk here is what i have come to love and enjoy about Towleroad. It makes me glad I am not a confused closed-minded young sheeple, especially a gay one, because that slaughter is going to be vicious when it comes, lambies.

    Not only are the comments wooden and predictable (you can get wood out of Towleroad), but short sighted too.

    This is a pretentious film trading on its outre' subject matter to gain respectability. It is west side story without the music and dancing and was written by students i believe, read the credits, girlies, am i wrong? But it would not get a bare not without a gay kiss and certainly no mention if it was heterosexual and twisted in some way, even with full nudal frontity. Soooo. Joel is cool, iked the batman extravaganzas, but it looked like it was done as a favor without taking it too too seriously by some. Maybe a lackluster bare bones crew or what not. Ej is cute tho.

    Posted by: ted | Mar 6, 2012 11:49:26 PM

  12. "bare nod", srry, lost my old man glasses.

    Posted by: ted | Mar 6, 2012 11:50:44 PM

  13. I've changed my tune since Xavier Dolan's movies were released - J'ai tue ma mere (I Killed my Mother) and Les amours imaginaires (Heartbeats) - the first when he was 19 or 20. Teens and twentysomethings write about their world, their culture, and their experiences. It's unfair to them and to their development, to criticize the results of their initial efforts as if they were 40-somethings. When you look at the gory schlock that many 40-somethings are producing, young people are entitled to our encouragement and support in their story-telling - heaven knows there are enough people around to point out their short-comings. (And far-right haters to prevent their voices from being heard at all.)

    Chalk up a win for all the young people in front of and behind the camera - the short got produced and, by the looks of it, has been seen by more people than 99% of the short films made by other teens!

    Posted by: Hue-Man | Mar 7, 2012 12:25:42 AM

  14. Denison sounds like a ghetto thug. Denison, talking about "street" talk...stop acting street. Just because you're from the ghetto doesn't mean you have to ACT ghetto. I'll take the cute twink over the dirty looking Dominican actor btw. Denison, go back to acting like a hood rat.

    Posted by: Slice | Mar 7, 2012 1:40:13 AM

  15. To get such strong reactions, the filmmakers must have done something right.

    Keep in mind, amateur Roger Eberts, this film is a high school project & it's made by teenagers for other teenagers. So 60 year old, you're not the target audience.

    From ShowBizCafe: "USA’s REAL DEAL program, an educational initiative that facilitates a unique partnership between teenage writers and distinguished film directors to produce short films. Nearly 7,000 students participated in the eighth installment of the REAL DEAL curriculum and national writing contest..."

    I think kids like this deserve to be encouraged not slapped down like they're multimillion dollar spoiled child stars. They're at least making an effort to change perceptions.

    Posted by: sara | Mar 7, 2012 2:08:29 AM

  16. Awesome film! As a gay Latino who grew up in East LA, I thought the dialogue was believable and I really felt for the characters, the main character especially, since I was almost him in high school, though not as big a jock (only track and cross country). And maybe I connected even more with him since I was totally crushing on a nerdy white guy back then.

    Ah, I wish this was a series, I would totally love to watch more.

    Posted by: Gayermo | Mar 7, 2012 3:03:12 AM

  17. Yikes. This film is bad.

    The staging and timing are horrendous - and, aside from the lead kid and a couple smaller parts, the acting is just really bad.

    These are all the fault of the director.

    This thing comes off as super amateur yet it's directed by Joel Schumacher? What a letdown. If I were the writer I'd be pissed.

    Posted by: lookyloo | Mar 7, 2012 3:11:52 AM

  18. It'd be like if Joel Schumacher directed a high school performance of "Our Town" and people criticized the acting as being amateurish. It's still high school kids, it won't be perfect, and I don't think anyone's trying to win any awards.

    I thought the dialogue was believable. I'm not from New York, so dunno what exactly constitutes good, "non-white ghetto," but I've heard people speak this way. I'd be willing to wager the kids in the film are from New York themselves.

    (And as an aside, Halle Berry SUCKS at it, so if you've enjoyed her "ghetto" performances, I can't rely on your opinions.)

    @Michael - When I went to high school (c/o 2000), the only out gay men were effeminate, and the only out bisexuals were girls. I don't know if that's changed any, but just the same all of that misses the message.

    This short dealt specifically with the main guy and his circle of friends. I'm sure there were people in the school who would've stood up, but we don't see them presented in the short. Surely the boys beating Eric up at the end didn't comprise the entire team, it was just a small handful of guys who were his friends.

    The short in a whole is aimed at, and told from the perspective of the gay kid who is "on enemy lines," so to speak. It's one thing to realize you're gay, it's another to realize you're gay when you have friends who behave the way his friends do. That's the predicament.

    Posted by: antisaint | Mar 7, 2012 7:49:39 AM

  19. Wow, comments are pretty across the board. But, what about the message? your snarky digs on the editing and story are unnecessary, but the message? what does it say? did it resonate with you? Stop being such a SNOB, and look past the ends of your noses. Will this speak to a kid? I hope so. Will it make a difference to ONE person? I hope so. THAT'S what matters -all the negative comments make the "bitchy queen" assumption too too true for those on the outside looking in.

    Posted by: pdxblueyes | Mar 7, 2012 4:29:12 PM

  20. To whoever said that was horrible.... wow. What a b*#$#tchy comment.

    It was fantastic, the lead actor was great (seriously, I hope he has an agent...) and the directing was surprisingly good from the person who made Batman Forever... LOL.

    They had great locations, it looked very professional, and it's dramatic scenes were very believable -- which is as great a compliment as can be paid to any writer.

    I so expected it to be terrible, but it was anything but. I can't believe anyone would have bashed this.

    Posted by: Ryan | Mar 7, 2012 5:21:02 PM

  21. PS


    Did you miss the part where a youth from NYC WROTE the script -- not some 60 year old white guy as you indicated. Yeah, you missed that? Reading comprehension fail, as it was in the 2 paragraph long freaking towleroad blurb.

    Posted by: Ryan | Mar 7, 2012 5:26:15 PM

  22. THis movie has good and bad.

    The story is well-written and well-intentioned. Unfortunately, most of the performances were bad, with the exception of E.J. Bonilla, Ben Newell, and the girl who played the sister, and the guy who played the cousin. It also felt real (the story). It was also realistic in portraying the physical appearances of male teens. The only ones of the guys that were 'hot' were E.J. and Ben. And I have to say that a lot of hot straight-seeming jock types that may be gay or bi crush on cute nerdy types. Those are typically the guys that they date if they are not dating some straight-seeming hot jock type like themselves. I did wonder why the possibility of the main character being bi or just having a little fun wasn't left open. And he did seem to be more emotionally attached to the girlfriend. Those are realistic possibilities. One last thing: typically at the middle and high school age the straight guy who defends gay guys is gay or at least bi if he is hot to look at. That has been my experience. It is only when he is not hot that he is most likely straight. And most of the guys saying nasty things about gay guys are not gay, especially if they are not hot. Sorry if that statement offends, but that has been my experience.

    Posted by: Gabe R L | Mar 7, 2012 6:50:12 PM

  23. And I would like to add that the hotness of the guy in both cases is especially applicable if they keep their looks past the adolescence and maybe post-adolescence.

    Posted by: Gabe R L | Mar 8, 2012 9:21:05 AM

  24. We're thrilled our film has sparked off this dialogue, especially on behalf of the young person who wrote the script! It looks like it has a good shot at winning, so please click that "like" button! Thanks!!!

    Posted by: Ernestine | Mar 9, 2012 9:57:07 AM

  25. Thank you to Towleroad and their community for bringing attention to our film.
    Scenarios USA’s mission is to give young people the reins to define the conversation on the issues in their lives. This film may make you feel proud or angry or make you think differently about LGBTQ bullying – but it clearly makes you think and talk. Keep it coming – we’re learning a lot!

    [my name is David, I work for Scenarios USA]

    Posted by: Scenarios USA | Mar 9, 2012 5:04:43 PM

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