Wire Magazine Issue 9.2022 Model Vlad Parker and OUTshine Film Festival

Page 1



Caring is our calling. That’s why we get up early, stay late, and never close. And that’s why we remain on the cutting edge of medicine more than 100 years after our founding. Today, Jackson Health System brings state-of-the-art care to every corner of Miami-Dade County — and to everyone with respect and expertise.


Jackson Health System is proud to be recognized as an “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Top Performer” by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation. Learn more at LGBTQHealthLeader.org.



Visit wiremag.com to read all our past issues of Wire Magazine with beautiful men and interesting lifestyle content for the LGBTQ community. ENJOY OUR MAGAZINE LIFESTYLE CONTENT WIREMAG.COM: URGE Miami Festival returns Thanksgiving weekend with six grand events. 5. OUT & ABOUT: URGE MIAMI THANKSGIVING
The National LGBTQ Task Force Gala returns to the magnificent Grand Ballroom of the Miami Beach Convention Center October 22. 8. PUBLISHER’S CORNER: 26TH ANNUAL NATIONAL LGBTQ TASK FORCE GALA Enjoy the interview and steamy photos of Vlad Parker from St. Petersburg, Russia by Stas Vokman. 12. COVER STORY: HANDSOME MODEL VLAD PARKER 14th Fort Lauderdale Edition of the OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival starts October 13. 18. ARTS & CULTURE: LGBTQ+ OUTSHINE FILM FESTIVAL
Publisher/Editor in Chief/Design Director Rafa Carvajal Columnists Alfredo Barrios Alyn Darnay Writers Albert Bravo Official Photography Studio Photo Studio Miami Staff Photographer J.R. Davis Local Advertising advertising@wiremag.com National Advertising Rep. Rivendell | 212.242.6863 Contact Information Tel: 305-520-WIRE Email: info@wiremag.com 1541 Brickell Avenue, #2004, Miami, FL 33129 Wire Magazine is published, produced, and owned by Wire Media Group L.L.C. All Rights Reserved. Distributed in print in Miami, The Beaches, and Fort Lauderdale, and digitally worldwide through wiremag.com The views, opinions or positions expressed by contributors to and interview subjects of Wire Magazine are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of Wire Magazine, its staff or publisher. Cover photo by Stas Vokman Instagram @stas_vokman_production Model: Vlad Parker wiremag.com/free ENJOY A FREE SUBSCRIPTION GAGA ALL NIGHT! AFTERPARTY @ TWIST PHOTOS BY J.R. DAVIS | WIREMAG.COM/PHOTOS


DJ’s Tom Stephan and Alex Lo will man the decks at M2 Nightclub, and some of the hottest dancers from Spain and Europe will be keeping the dancefloor super sexy into the morning hours. On Saturday, the Royal Palm South Beach will be hosting the pool party, presented by Eliad Cohen as part of the Papa World Tour, with DJs Dan Slater and Paulo Fragoso delivering energic beats to a beautiful, large crowd of men in their bikinis.

The celebrated URGE Miami Festival will return to Miami this Thanksgiving weekend (November 25-28) with six grand events, including the always anticipated Beach Party on the sands of South Beach with gorgeous gay men from around the world. This year, the Festival’s Friday night party will take place at Miami's newest M2 Nightclub. Formerly known to so many as Paragon/Glam Slam/Level/Mansion and Icon, this South Beach iconic venue has been transformed with a recent $10 million renovation. Visit urgemiamifestival.com to get your passes and tickets before they sell out.

URGE Warrior will be the Saturday night Main Event at one of Miami's premier film studios, where some of the biggest blockbusters on HBO Max and Netflix have been filmed. DJs Suri and Mauro Mozart will deliver amazing beats to everyone attending. This will be followed by the legendary Sunday Beach Party on the sands of South Beach with DJ’s Enrico Meloni from Italy and Joe Gauthreaux from the USA, and thousands of sexy gay men in attendance.

URGE Miami Festival is produced by Luis Morera, Billy Kemp and Hilton Wolman, and will feature several of the world’s most famous circuit DJs, including Alex Lo, Dan Slater, Edu Quintas, Enrico Meloni, Jerac, Joe Gauthreaux, Marvin Ayy, Mauro Mozart, Paulo Fragoso, Suri and Tom Stephan, with more to be announced. As explained by Hilton, “After the massive success of last year’s Thanksgiving Festival, we are excited to do it all over again, bigger and better than ever before.” The Festival host hotel is the Royal Palm South Beach, which features 400 rooms, with over a quarter of them suites. The hotel is perfectly located on the beach on Collins Avenue at the end of Ocean Drive and will be the site of the URGE Miami Festival Welcome Center.

URGE Miami Festival will commence in style on Friday, November 25 at 10 p.m. when Barcelona’s Matinee Group returns to Miami with Matinee Pervert XXL, where

Miami Beach Pride, a not-for-profit organization that works to unite members of the LGBTQ community by celebrating the unique spirit and culture of its people, will receive a portion of the proceeds from the 2022 URGE Miami Festival.

#9 2022 WIREMAG.COM 5
Photos by Adinayev


This is only a brief summary of important information about BIKTARVY and does not replace talking to your healthcare provider about your condition and your treatment.


BIKTARVY may cause serious side e ects, including:

Worsening of hepatitis B (HBV) infection. Your healthcare provider will test you for HBV. If you have both HIV-1 and HBV, your HBV may suddenly get worse if you stop taking BIKTARVY. Do not stop taking BIKTARVY without first talking to your healthcare provider, as they will need to check your health regularly for several months, and may give you HBV medicine.


BIKTARVY is a complete, 1-pill, once-a-day prescription medicine used to treat HIV-1 in adults and children who weigh at least 55 pounds. It can either be used in people who have never taken HIV-1 medicines before, or people who are replacing their current HIV-1 medicines and whose healthcare provider determines they meet certain requirements.

BIKTARVY does not cure HIV-1 or AIDS. HIV-1 is the virus that causes AIDS. Do NOT take BIKTARVY if you also take a medicine that contains: dofetilide rifampin any other medicines to treat HIV-1


Tell your healthcare provider if you:

Have or have had any kidney or liver problems, including hepatitis infection.

Have any other health problems. Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if BIKTARVY can harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider if you become pregnant while taking BIKTARVY. Are breastfeeding (nursing) or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed. HIV-1 can be passed to the baby in breast milk.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take:

Keep a list that includes all prescription and over-thecounter medicines, antacids, laxatives, vitamins, and herbal supplements, and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist.

BIKTARVY and other medicines may a ect each other. Ask your healthcare provider and pharmacist about medicines that interact with BIKTARVY, and ask if it is safe to take BIKTARVY with all your other medicines.


BIKTARVY may cause serious side e ects, including:

Those in the “Most Important Information About BIKTARVY” section.

Changes in your immune system. Your immune system may get stronger and begin to fight infections that may have been hidden in your body. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any new symptoms after you start taking BIKTARVY.

Kidney problems, including kidney failure. Your healthcare provider should do blood and urine tests to check your kidneys. If you develop new or worse kidney problems, they may tell you to stop taking BIKTARVY.

Too much lactic acid in your blood (lactic acidosis), which is a serious but rare medical emergency that can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: weakness or being more tired than usual, unusual muscle pain, being short of breath or fast breathing, stomach pain with nausea and vomiting, cold or blue hands and feet, feel dizzy or lightheaded, or a fast or abnormal heartbeat.

Severe liver problems, which in rare cases can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow, dark “tea-colored” urine, light-colored stools, loss of appetite for several days or longer, nausea, or stomach-area pain.

The most common side e ects of BIKTARVY in clinical studies were diarrhea (6%), nausea (6%), and headache (5%). These are not all the possible side e ects of BIKTARVY. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any new symptoms while taking BIKTARVY.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.FDA.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Your healthcare provider will need to do tests to monitor your health before and during treatment with BIKTARVY.


Take BIKTARVY 1 time each day with or without food.


This is only a brief summary of important information about BIKTARVY. Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist to learn more.

Go to BIKTARVY.com or call 1-800-GILEAD-5

If you need help paying for your medicine, visit BIKTARVY.com for program information.

(bik-TAR-vee) BIKTARVY, the BIKTARVY Logo, GILEAD, the GILEAD Logo, GSI, and KEEP ASPIRING are trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc., or its related companies. Version date: February 2021 © 2022 Gilead Sciences, Inc. All rights reserved. US-BVYC-0008 01/22
Please see Important Facts about BIKTARVY, including important warnings, on the previous page and visit BIKTARVY.com. BIKTARVY® is a complete, 1-pill, once-a-day prescription medicine used to treat HIV-1 in certain adults. BIKTARVY does not cure HIV-1 or AIDS. Ask your healthcare provider if BIKTARVY is right for you. Because HIV doesn’t change who you are. ONE SMALL PILL, ONCE A DAY Pill shown not actual size (15 mm x 8 mm) | Featured patient compensated by Gilead. #1 PRESCRIBED HIV TREATMENT * *Source: IQVIA NPA Weekly, 04/19/2019 through 05/28/2021. Scan to see Dimitri’s story. DIMITRI LIVING WITH HIV SINCE 2018 REAL BIKTARVY PATIENT KEEP ASPIRING.


Every year, thousands of supporters and allies get together for the premier annual celebration of South Florida’s LGBTQ+ community, The National LGBTQ Task Force Gala. This year’s theme, ‘Red, White and YOU,’ affirms the Task Force’s ‘Queer the Vote’ campaign, which will mobilize progressive-minded voters to participate in the critical midterm elections to elect people who believe in supporting and advancing our rights. Comic, actor, singer, and LGBTQ+ and Latina advocate Sandra Valls will be the Gala’s emcee. Visit thetaskforcegala.org for additional information.

LGBTQ+ people and our allies will gather at the Gala to honor our heroes and support the crucial work of advancing equality for all LGBTQ+ persons and their families. The National LGBTQ Task Force has been advancing full freedom, justice, and equality for us since 1973. The Gala not only funds the work of the Task Force, but also benefits several key organizations that serve our South Florida LGBTQ+ community. By producing the Gala and the Winter Party Festival, the Task Force has provided over $3.3 million in funding for indispensable LGBTQ+ community services in South Florida.

This year’s 26th Annual Task Force Gala, will return to the magnificent Grand Ballroom of the Miami Beach Convention Center on Saturday, October 22. It will be an amazing evening featuring a cocktail reception, a large silent auction, a sit-down dinner, an enlightening awards ceremony, and an energetic After Party with a DJ and dancing. Task Force Deputy Executive Director Mayra Hidalgo Salazar, Our Fund Foundation President and CEO David Jobin, and The Miami Foundation President and CEO Rebecca Fishman Lipsey will discuss the three organization’s exciting new philanthropic joint venture, the LGBTQ+ Equity Fund.

The National LGBTQ Task Force is focused on building a future where everyone can be free to be our entire selves in every aspect of our lives, since millions of LGBTQ+ people still face barriers in every part of their lives, including housing, employment, healthcare, retirement, and fundamental human rights. Add to that the fact that politicians like Marco Rubio are running deceptively disgusting television ads saying that his political opponents “try to turn boys into girls,” which only fuels unfounded hatred and discrimination against our LGBTQ+ community.

The 2022 Gala will honor the Gadinsky Family (Liebe, Seth, Naomi and Natasha) with the 2022 Eddy McIntyre Community Service Award for championing equality for LGBTQ+ people and broad social justice reform for over 30 years. Jonathan Capehart, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Associate Editor of The Washington Post, and anchor of The Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart on MSNBC, will receive the 2022 National Leadership Award. LGBTQ+ and gun violence prevention activist, and survivor of the Marjory Stoneman-Douglas High School shooting, X Gonzalez will also be honored with the Changemaker Award.


Rafa Carvajal

Publisher & Editor in Chief



8 WIREMAG.COM #9 2022
Keeps Out All Debris Completely sealed system protects your gutters — and entire home — from damaging debris. 1-855-648-2728CALL US TODAY FOR A FREE ESTIMATE THE NA TION’ S GUTTER GUARD1 2 “LeafFilter was a great investment for our home.” –Bill & Jan. uPVC Frame Micromesh Existing Gutter Hanger 4 3 2 1 BACKED BY A YEAR-ROUND CLOG-FREE GUARANTEE LIFETIME WARRANTY INSTALLS ON NEW & EXISTING GUTTERS PROTECT YOUR HOME 365 DAYS A YEAR Mon-Thurs: 8am-11pm, Fri-Sat: 8am-5pm, Sun: 2pm-8pm EST BEFORELeafFilter AFTERLeafFilter + YOUR ENTIRE PURCHASE * 20% OFF EXCLUSIVE LIMITED TIME OFFER! Promo Code: 285 FINANCING THAT FITS YOUR BUDGET!1 1Subject to credit approval. Call for details. FREE GUTTER ALIGNMENT + FREE GUTTER CLEANING* SENIORS & MILITARY! % 10OFF
CALL 1 -855 -717-2263 promo code N7017 * Prices are per person based on double occupancy plus up to $299 in taxes & fees. Single supplement and seasonal surcharges may apply. Add-on airfare available. Free date changes 100 days before departure for all land tours and cruise tours. Deposits and final payments are non-refundable. Onboard Credit requires purchase of Ocean View or Balcony Cabin. O ers apply to new bookings only, made by 9/30/22. Other terms & conditions may apply. Ask your Travel Consultant for details. BEST OF HAWAII FOUR ISLAND TOUR GRAND ALASKAN CRUISE & TOUR CRIMSON CANYONS & MESAS NATIONAL PARKS TOUR Oahu • Hawaii Island • Kauai • Maui — Enjoy a fully guided 4-island Hawaiian vacation with centrally located lodging in Waikiki on Oahu, and beachfront lodging on the “Big Island” of Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui. Guided throughout by our friendly Tour Directors—your local experts. Includes 3 inter-island flights. Vancouver • Ketchikan • Juneau • Skagway • Glacier Bay • Anchorage • Denali • Anchorage • and more — Visit Denali National Park and Glacier Bay National Park on the same incredible trip! Cruise through the Gulf of Alaska and the Inside Passage as you discover the best of the Frontier State by land and by sea. Grand Canyon • Bryce Canyon Zion • Capitol Reef • Arches & Canyonlands • and more — Experience the stunningly red rocks of these 6 iconic southwestern national parks. Travel through deserts, forests, mountains, and to the very edge of the Grand Canyon on this tour. 12 days, departs year-round 12 days, departs May - Sep 2023 10 days, departs Apr - Sep 2023 FREE ONBOARD CREDIT FROM $2,549 $2,299 * FROM $2,049 $1,799 * FROM $1,949 $1,699 * PLAN YOUR DREAM VACATION SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT TODAY! 1-844-432-7046 50% OFF* Save now with Your First Application Get the most out of your lawn this summer.

Rafa Carvajal: Where are you from and where do you live?

Vlad Parker: I am from Russia, St. Petersburg. In 2018, I moved to live in the United States.

RC: What do you do for work?

VP: I am a fitness trainer and model on OnlyFans.

RC: Explain to our readers how you maintain such a fit body.

VP: The main thing is the stability of visiting the gym and good motivation. My subscribers motivate me.


12 WIREMAG.COM #9 2022

RC: What are your favorite three exercises to stay in shape?

VP: For me, the result is important, so I don’t have favorite exercises. I do something new every time.

RC: What are your eating habits to complement your fitness routine?

VP: I have a balanced diet, while I try not to limit myself in the variety of food.

#9 2022 WIREMAG.COM 13

RC: Why do you enjoy modeling for photography?

VP: It gives me a lot of positive emotions. It adds self-confidence and also motivates me to look appropriate.

RC: What do you like to do when you have free time?

VP: I love to travel, explore new places, and walk along the beach.

14 WIREMAG.COM #9 2022

RC: What is the biggest dream you would like to achieve in your life?

VP: Become a superhero.

RC: Who is the person or public figure that inspires you most and why?

VP: I love bodybuilding, and everything related, so there are a lot of athletes that I'm passionate about, and, of course, the legend Arnold Schwarzenegger.

RC: Is there anything else you would like to share with Wire Magazine readers?

VP: I am the champion of Russia in men’s physique bodybuilding. Please follow me online, Instagram: Parker_NO, Facebook: Parker.VIP, and Twitter: Parker_OnlyFans.

#9 2022 WIREMAG.COM 15



$0 DOWN FINANCING OPTIONS!** REQUEST A FREE QUOTE! ACT NOW TO RECEIVE A $300 SPECIAL OFFER!* (888) 706-1055 *O er value when purchased at retail. **Financing available through authorized Generac partners. Solar panels sold separately. PWRcell, Generac’s fully-integrated solar + battery storage system, stores solar energy that can power your whole home during utility power outages and save you money on your electric bill. Prepare
& Save Money


acid, and its main function is to restore volume or to augment and change facial structure such as in cheek, chin, jaw, and nose sculpting treatments. Fillers generally last nine-twelve months.

Everyone is talking about Kybella.

Kybella is very effective for removing small, stubborn sections of fat like the dreaded "double chin." It can be used almost anywhere on the body, including the belly and love handles. The results with Kybella are very impressive, but it is a slower treatment that requires multiple rounds.

Are there non-surgical tricks to help eliminate jowls and tighten jaws and necklines?

For many, staring at our faces all day in video conference meetings has us thinking our appearance can use a little refresh. It’s a phenomenon being referred to as the "Zoom Boom,” and clinicians are reporting a dramatic increase in people – especially men! – who are seeking non-surgical aesthetic treatments.

“On digital screens, we are observing our faces as a true reflection and not the mirror image that many of us are used to,” explains Spencer Derrico, the Chief Marketing Officer at Miami’s Sisu Clinic. “All of a sudden, left is right and right is left, and due to the length of time many of us are spending on screens, we’re noticing the asymmetries more than ever before.”

“Luckily, there are solutions available and they don’t need to be time-consuming or wallet breaking,” Mr. Derrico explains.

What exactly is a Tweakment for men?

A Tweakment is a treatment that gives the visual effect of looking sharper and fresher, but is not overly obvious that work has been done. Botox is an example. Botox gives the effect of softening lines and wrinkles, making a person look less tired but not radically different. Another popular Tweakment for men are skin boosters that inject hyaluronic acid just beneath the skin, resulting in smoother, stronger, and healthier looking tissue without physically altering the structural appearance of the face.

What is the difference between Botox and fillers?

Botox has multiple applications, and, in addition to softening lines and wrinkles, can be used for teeth grinding, headache and migraine treatment, and it is quite commonly used for excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis. Results last about three months, based on an individual’s physiology. Fillers are made of hyaluronic

There are numerous options! Dermal fillers are highly effective at restoring fat pads that have reduced in size with the aging process. We often couple dermal fillers with a treatment like Sculptra that promotes the patient's own collagen production, resulting in stronger, firmer, tighter skin. Many times, the cross-linking of different modalities offers the best results. Like with neck bands, also known as ‘techneck;’ they can be treated using both Botox and dermal fillers. Our ability to map and plan out treatment pathways is one of the reasons why Sisu Clinic is so popular.

What is a Liquid facelift?

A liquid facelift is a treatment that involves both Botox and dermal fillers. We use Botox for the upper face, focusing on the lower and upper forehead, and around the eyes (‘crow’s feet’). We work to soften harsh lines and wrinkles, while slightly lifting the brow, giving the eyes a more open appearance. The use of dermal fillers in the mid-face, lower face, and often the cheek area allows for restoration of volume loss. We typically use about three to four CCs of filler to get the ideal result, but like all non-surgical procedures, it is tailored to the individual.

Athena Dion with RHOM’s Adriana de
Moura Photos by Dale Stine
Visit Sisuclinic.com #9 2022 WIREMAG.COM 17


If you like cinema, it is time to check out the films’ lineup for the upcoming 14th Annual Fort Lauderdale Edition of the OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival. The Festival will be showing 51 films from over 25 countries and five Spotlight screenings, each followed by a party, October 13 to October 23. The opening night celebration will be at the NSU Art Museum with the film The Blue Caftan , coming from the Cannes Film Festival. This touching, romantic story about a married master tailor who falls in love with his young apprentice will be shown in the museum’s theatre. It was filmed in Morocco, France, Belgium and Denmark. Be sure to join the festive party in the museum’s gallery and outdoor balcony after the film.

This year, OUTshine will showcase both in-person screenings at the newly renovated Gateway Theatre and the Savor Theatre, and virtual screenings if you prefer to watch from home. According to Joe Bilancio, Director of Programming for the Festival, “I have been programming LGBTQI+ festivals for a long time and rarely do I remember so many quality films being made. We have something for everyone this year, whether it's documentary, fiction, or shorts.” OUTshine will also provide you an opportunity to attend several after-parties and meet the filmmakers and stars, fellow moviegoers, and LGBTQ+ community leaders.

Additional film highlights include In From the Side , a drama about two rugby players who have a torrid love affair (Men’s Spotlight Film); and The Shiny Shrimps Fight Back (Closing Night Film), a comic look at a gay water polo team that gets stranded in homophobic Russia. Visit outshinefilm.com to view the entire films program and buy your tickets. A special 10-pass is also available for $75, which saves you $45. Enjoy the films!


Director: Ken Kwek. Singapore, 2022

In a tour-de-force performance, Yao plays renegade vlogger Sean and his gay identical twin, Ricky, supercharging this exhilarating, damning, and morally essential fable about social media celebrity, cancel culture, and the erosion of human rights. The brothers lead happy-go-lucky lives with their free-thinking single mom until they witness a popular televangelist demonizing homosexuality. Sean posts a scathing video attacking the ‘holy’ man, it goes viral, lands him in jail, and leaves his mom and Ricky to fight an uphill battle for justice. Ricocheting entertainingly between moods and genres, Ken Kwek’s indictment of backward thinking and barbaric laws veers from the deadly serious to the colorfully camp without losing its humanity.


Director: Marco Berger. Argentina, 2022

It's the Christmas holidays, and sexy Andy leaves the city in order to spend some time at a luxury villa with all his handsome and hunky best friends. The timelessness of the holidays encourages rest, relaxation, and the occasional teasing. But their initial consensual horseplay reveals that they each have different personal boundaries. Ever since his debut film, Director Marco Berger has taken a continued interest in queer narratives and the depiction of erotic fantasies, sexuality, and gender, –and Horseplay is no exception. Once again, the Argentinian filmmaker presents a subversive political tale, this time focusing on masculinity in its dangerously toxic form.

18 WIREMAG.COM #9 2022
Photos Provided by OUTshine Film Festival
FAST ENOUGH to keep up with your life. AFFORDABLE ENOUGH to fit your budget. AND NO DATA CAPS … EVER! Speeds up to 5 Gigs Most reliable service No data caps Simple & clear pricing Get More Reliable Internet NOW! 833-398-3662 *Terms and conditions apply 1234 4568 1234 4568 1234 4568 1234 4568 1234 NAME SURNAME SURNAME Gift Card $100 PLUS! Sign up today and get a $100 gift card!*


Director: Matt Carter. U.K., 2022

When an injured player from the A-team is selected to play with the Bs as part of his recovery, initial suspicion turns to physical lust for two of the team members. Personal loyalties are stretched as they try to conceal the affair, not only from their own partners but also their teammates. Hard drinking and macho antics are par for the course amongst the team, but these bulky athletes soon reveal their vulnerabilities. Even if you've never played rugby, or even had a taste for it, you'll be drawn into the drama of these young men. In From The Side is a muddy, sweatdrenched emotional thrill ride.


Director: Craig Boreham. Australia, 2021

Casey, a hot, hunky young man from the countryside running from a small-town scandal, finds himself down and out in the big city of Sydney. When he meets Tib, a young city lad, struggling with his own scars of isolation, there’s chemistry, not only sexually but also emotionally, as both men find something they have been missing. Can they overcome their own insecurities and let the other in or are the walls they have built too strong to knock down? Lonesome takes audiences on a thrilling, hedonistic, erotic journey, depicting two characters, who not only seek sexual fulfillment but also acceptance and a meaningful bond.


Director: Maryam Touzani. Morocco/France/Belgium/Denmark, 2022

Halim and Mina own a small tailor shop that specializes in gorgeous caftans. Halim is a stubborn proponent of traditional handcrafted work, but it is time-consuming. So he decides to hire an assistant, Youssef. The presence of the attractive gay young man arouses long-suppressed feelings in Halim, something that does not go unnoticed by his wife Mina. Maryam Touzani presents a warm film, shot with the kind of love and care with which Halim works on his life’s work, the titular blue caftan. A deeply moving melodrama about the many forms of love, The Blue Caftan excels thanks to a sophisticated script and the three leads’ excellent performances.


Director: Cedric Le Gallo and Maxime Govare. France 2022

In the sequel to The Shiny Shrimps (Audience Award Winner at OUTshine Fort Lauderdale 2019), the Shrimps Water Polo team is heading to the Gay Games in Tokyo to honor a teammate who died. But after they miss their connection, they are stranded in homophobic Russia. Thus starts a crazy adventure that finds many of the Shrimps held hostage at a gay conversion camp while the rest of the group plans their comical yet perilous rescue. While uproariously funny, The Shiny Shrimps Strike Back does not shy away from skewering Putin’s Russia in all its homophobic (anti) glory… and that is reason to laugh. Oh, and a few great musical numbers are included!

20 WIREMAG.COM #9 2022