Jake Graf is at it again with yet another incredible film- his latest, Dusk, is a dramatic tale which follows the story of a trans man from childhood into adulthood that has claimed many titles over the past month alone. Graf sat down with us to help us share how this brilliant British film maker feels about film and the importance of Queer films. “It’s important people know this is a trans male story.” Said Graf. “That said, no matter how you identify people in the community can relate.” The storyline is based on a trans man who never got the chance to transition.
The film has won the Jury Award for Best Short at Miami’s MiFo Festival, Best Short Award from the Out & Loud Pune International Queer Film Festival in India, Best LGBT Short at the Sene Film, Music, and Art Festival, and those are just to name a few. The short is also screening in Seattle, Boston, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and other cities across the country.
The film includes many actors from all across the LGBT spectrum, including Duncan James, Victoria Emslie, Harry Bryant, Daniel Zagorski , Elaine Hallam, Elijah Harris and Elliott Sailors to name a few of the up and coming stars. I asked Graf how he picked who he wanted to portray such powerful characters. He stated that he had worked with Elliot (Sailors) before on his web series Spectrum. He (Graf) always knew that Elliot’s natural screen presence was the perfect fit- they were always going to be his (Graf’s) “Chris”. For the older “Chris”, Graf went through many auditions. At the last day, in walks the one. Sue cried when reading the script, and knew the importance of the story. From there, it was cinematic gold.
The film is second in a series – following Dawn. If you haven’t seen Dawn, you need to. It is an incredible story of true love, about a transwoman who meets a blind man who sees who she is inside- truly sees her for the woman she is. It’s her story about finding freedom. In the film Dusk, there’s a line by Chris (lead character) where he goes to say “Dusk..comes up so quickly.” It truly speaks to how fast our lives can go by. The film is only 15 minutes long, but you truly feel every second. Every flashback Chris has tugs at your heartstrings. This film is truly a message that each second counts and decisions you make change your life. It screams the message of living your life to the fullest.
“ Any time you don’t live your own identity is sad. So many people won’t be able to live who they are, they’re living a “half life”. Now you see older people looking down at 20 and 30 year olds, trans youth. They lost out on living their truth. But at the end of their lives they may be lucky enough to look upon the person they love. No bitterness or anger. “
What can be taken away from this film is so many interpretations. Personally, it left an impact on me that screams “ don’t give up- don’t miss out”. We need to take our lives and make the best out of every situation, in the blink of an eye, it could be Dusk.