A young gay man arrives at a party full of kids he’s known since he was little. But they’re all strangers now. He feels he doesn’t belong. He’s only there for one reason, one person. The guy he loves; the guy who left him.
That’s the premise behind A Song For Your Mixtape, a new short film from creators Zachary Kemper and Brandon Zuck.
Written and directed by Zuck from a story by Kemper (and starring Kemper), the film tackles a heavy subject—LGBT suicide—with a deft touch. The film is woven together by Kemper’s Holden Caulfield-esque narration, which tracks him as he arrives at the aforementioned party and then escapes to the roof where he meets a strange young woman, Blair (Warehouse 13’s Allison Scagliotti). Talking with Blair, Kemper starts to reveal what happened between him and his boy.
The creators spoke with Milk about the film:
“This is a world your mind goes through at one point or another,” Zuck explained. “The degree to which you go through it is different, but I think that everyone who grew up gay can kind of relate to having dark thoughts and hard times.” For Kemper, the film that began as a story written for himself touches on something bigger than himself or Zuck.
“It’s a scary subject. I think it’s really important, but then, on the other hand, when it is talked about and when someone does do something like write a story or stand up for themselves, people are drawn to it and maybe even see it in a new light,” Kemper explained. “People don’t realize that depression is the second leading cause of disability in the world—especially for kids. Millions of teenagers are going through this and if millions of us are going through it, why is there a stigma?”
The short was created with support from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the GLBT National Help Center.
A Song For Your Mixtape also stars David Brookton.
Watch the film, below.