The jury members of the Generator+13 section, in the renowned Sala Truffaut of the Giffoni Film Festival, participated in the screening of the competing film BIG BOYS, directed by Corey Sherman.
The jury members of the Generator+13 section, in the renowned Sala Truffaut of the Giffoni Film Festival, participated in the screening of the competing film BIG BOYS, directed by Corey Sherman. Graduated in film and television production from the University of Southern California, the American filmmaker has had a strong interest in well-told and unresolved stories since he was a child. In the feature film BIG BOYS, the whirlwind of emotions experienced by a teenager takes the centre stage. The story of “big boy” Jamie can be valuable to all those boys and girls who are constantly trying to understand who they are and what path their hearts may take, assuming there is just one. It can happen to anyone to believe they have feelings for someone of the opposite sex, until they meet someone who challenges their entire life. Jamie is an insecure boy trying to find his place in the world and, above all, trying to understand who he truly is. Just before leaving for the camping trip in the mountains of San Bernardino, which he had been dreaming of for months, he discovers that his favourite cousin’s boyfriend, Dan, will also be joining them. This discovery infuriates Jamie, who becomes jealous of their relationship. However, when Jamie gets to know Dan, his “rival”, he finds a fascinating person, very amiable, enjoyable to be around and someone with whom he can build a friendship. During the camping trip, with walks, shared moments and games, the group playfully nicknames them “Big Boys” because of their build.
Meanwhile, as Jamie’s brother tries to set up a date for him with a girl from the camp, Jamie’s thoughts unexpectedly turn to Dan. This leads the young boy to behave strangely around Dan, who is unaware of everything happening in Jamie’s heart. The opportunity Jamie was waiting for to be alone with Dan arises when he accidentally gets lost in the woods. To prevent any mishaps, Dan sets out to find him and bring him back. For Jamie, being alone with Dan only confirms his mental and physical attraction to him. Over time, Dan also realizes that Jamie feels something for him. However, in order not to hurt Jamie’s feelings or create any turmoil, Dan simply tries to understand him and treat him as always. When they return home safe and sound with Jamie’s cousin and her boyfriend, Jamie decides to close a metaphorical circle that was left open by asking his cousin if he can talk to Dan alone in the car about his feelings.
Answering the jury’s questions, who were particularly struck by this LGBTQ+ oriented story, American director Corey Sherman intervened. The film is based on a personal experience the director had when he was 14 years old and realized he was gay. He became aware of his sexual orientation through having crushes on boys more than girls, even those older than him. The director’s intention was to tell a story with characters who had their own personalities, relying on improvisation and letting them act as they saw fit. Jamie’s discovery of his homosexuality was meant to be presented as something completely natural, just as it had happened to him when he was young. The only one who could have doubts about this new reality was Jamie himself, not external observers. The closeness with Dan, the time spent in the woods, the moment Dan took off his shirt to wrap Jamie’s knee, were all situations that contributed to Jamie’s personal journey, not just in his mind but also with his body.