Come Out With Pride’s expansion to a full week of events partners Pride with QLatinx to present Reel Pride, an international film screening of the LGBTQ-themed short film, “MAR .”
“MAR” is directed by Portuguese-Canadian filmmaker William Vitoria.
“I was born in Toronto where I lived until I was seven years old, then my parents moved me to Portugal,” says Vitoria, 28. “I lived there for 14 years and moved back to Toronto.”
Vitoria attended film school in Toronto, working on several projects as an art director and costume designer. He also wrote and directed his first short film, “The Virgin Mary.”
While living in Toronto, Vitoria saw a movie that helped him to decide on his next project. “I watched a film called ‘Cast No Shadow,’ it’s a Canadian film that was filmed in Newfoundland,” he recalls. “The film’s location really got me. It was beautiful, Newfoundland was a character in the film. I thought, ‘I want to show an audience how beautiful Portugal is.'”
Vitoria began work on “MAR,” which means “The Sea” in Portuguese.
“It’s filmed very close to where I lived and grew up in Portugal,” Vitoria says. “The country and the sea are very much characters in the film.”
“MAR” is the story of a couple, Xavier and Eduardo (played by Lourenco Seruya and Joao Santos Silva, respectively), who visit a childhood friend Cristovao (played by Diogo Tavares). Cristovao carries a dark secret that only his mother (played by Sylvie Rocha) knows.
“The couple and their friend, they spend time together and sexual tension and interest start up between all three of them,” Vitoria says. “Something happens over the course of the film, and a secret is revealed, that changes everything.”
Vitoria, who is openly gay, says that the film carries the drama of the gay love story, but it also explores themes of longing, betrayal and remembering where you came from.
“MAR” has received critical acclaim while playing at several international film festivals, but Reel Pride will be the film’s U.S. debut. Vitoria will also be at the screening for a Q&A session after the film.
Watch the film’s trailer below.