THE UNLONELY FILM FESTIVAL: BEST OF FEST

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An 18-year-old Instagram influencer attempts to reconcile his identity online with his identity in real life.

Consider This

Talking with others about a shared arts experience can enrich our perspectives. Watch this video to explore the film’s meaning and major themes a bit more.

Meet the Filmmaker

Barna Szász is a Budapest-born filmmaker, who moved to the U.S. in 2017 on a Fulbright and graduated in Stanford University’s M.F.A. Documentary Film program in 2019.

Ellie Wen is a Hong Kong-born filmmaker. She has worked at CAA, CBS, and Super Deluxe in all aspects of Film and TV. She recently graduated from the MFA program in Documentary Film at Stanford University and is now an artist in residence at SFFILM.

Join the Conversation

How does the film change your perspective on what addiction can look like? When nothing outwardly seems wrong, how can we check-in with friends and family to make sure they’re coping and have someone to confide in?

Share your responses in the comment box below:

5 Comments

  1. Signe K.

    Both sad and beautiful at the same time. Important topic.

    Reply
  2. Jen K.

    My son is gay. I kind of knew and I danced around the subject w him. He was 18 and a senior when I found a sad suicide note, well sort of, in his closet. It was a page of sad notes about his loneliness and it mentioned different ways of hurting himself. I confronted him. He admitted he wrote it, I asked directly if he was gay. He said yes. I said I love you son and I will never stop loving you ever.

    That summer after graduation I took him to a gay pride festival, him and I and let him be in it….I bought him a pride bracelet and small flag that he now displays in his room.

    I feel like I saved his life in many ways that day. I display another pride bracelet on his graduation picture for all to see who visit. He now is comfortable to be who he is. He has told me and his sister only but we can see he still struggles but not like before….In time when he is ready to share with whomever, that is when those people will celebrate him. He is a wonderful son.

    I only hope that other parents can come to realize how important it is for us to love our children as they are no matter what. Nobody should want to end their life because of something they cannot and should not change about themselves.

    A little love and kindness is the cure to lonliness and self loathing.

    Have a beautiful day ?‍♀️

    Reply
  3. Anonymous

    This was a moving film for me to watch since I have a son who is gay. We’ve talked a little about it but I sense he’s still unsure of my acceptance of him being gay. I’ve come to understand over time, and through this film, the need to express love often to my son in what I say and do. He and I need to learn to feel comfortable talking about this important part of his life in a way that reassures him of his value to me, our family, and to society.

    Reply
  4. Andrew M

    The film brings back memories of the trepidation I felt having this conversation with my parents 25 years ago. I only wish they had been as supportive as the parents posting here. Their compromised support, while seemingly benign, actually left scars that have been difficult to overcome, even with therapy.

    Reply
  5. Patrick Hendry

    To me the film captures the separation between your outer life and your inner life. In one there is fun, and love, and hopes, and dreams and in the other there is fear and intense, soul bending pressure to not be yourself. The beautiful scene where he first tells his cousin and she is totally there. His happiness and sadness when she tells him that her mom and his dad have talked about it is and his dad has said that he is OK with it, is so vivid. He feels the weight begin to come off of his shoulders and at the same time he realizes that he has missed out on time to be his true self. It ends with a new beginning for him.

    I really like this film.

    Reply

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