Digital Pride is proud to present this incredible short film from a young LGBTI talent.
Saul Singleton’s Since The First Day We Met is a beautiful coming of age short based on his own experiences as a gay teen.
This is the 18-year-old’s first film, and he is set to win awards in the future.
It tells the story of deaf teen Max attending a new high school. He teaches a supportive teen, who wants to learn how to sign, and the two get close.
The four minute film ends with a kiss.
Short film ‘pulls from intimate experiences’
‘My film “Since the First Day We Met” is a combination of my first language, American Sign Language, with pulls from an intimate experience I’ve had as a gay teenager,’ Singleton tells Gay Star News.
‘I wanted to create it to validate others, who might be going through the same things as those characters might.
‘Many kids who are gay may feel alone or they may feel as if their crushes are impossible to obtain.
‘I wanted to pull from the reality of those situations.’
Growing up, Singleton noticed there was very few movies that featured deaf characters.
‘When I started the script-writing process, I immediately knew that I wanted my main character to connect through my experiences somehow,’ he said.
‘So, I made him deaf.
‘While I am not deaf, I do have three generations of deaf members in my family.
‘I thought it would be interesting to see others reactions to the film. How receptive would they be to the transfer of emotions without hearing a voice to process it?’
Banned from ‘mainstream’ festivals for including a gay kiss
When the Bethesda, Maryland teen made the film, he originally submitted it to the Golden Lion Awards – a student short film festival.
However, they rejected it as it went against their requirements for a ‘PG rating’.
‘Since our festival adheres to a strict PG-comparable rating system, we are unable to accept any films with clearly illustrated LGBQT+ themes,’ they told him.
‘When I got the email from Golden Lion, I was honestly in complete shock,’ Singleton told Gay Star News.
‘I couldn’t process it at first, that they would reject me based on that theme.
‘This dismissal of my film only makes me want to create more films.’
‘Discrimination is a horrible thing to face, and this dismissal of my film only makes me want to create more films.
‘It made me want to fight harder for myself.
‘I’m not going to compromise my work for others, because there will always be an audience out there looking for representation and inclusion of these sort of films.’