Wolfe announced this past week that writer/director Brian O’Donnell’s — with co-direction by Sasha King — Akron will be making its DVD debut on Feb. 7. This heartfelt tale of love, family and the power of forgiveness is the first film-to-DVD announced by Wolfe in the New Year.
It is often said that, “life isn’t fair.” When Benny (Matthew Frias — When the Game Stands Tall, The Duel, etc.), a college freshman, meets Christopher (Edmund Donovan) at school there is an instant attraction. Everything between them seems perfect … perhaps, that old saw that “life isn’t fair” will not apply to them. But, we, as the audience, are privy to a piece of information that will test just how fair or unfair life and love can be.
However, that bit of knowledge is neatly placed aside as the idyllic college days and the relationship between the two move from one day into the next until spring break arrives. Christopher thinks nothing of asking Benny to take a road trip with him to Florida to meet his mother, it is the natural thing to do.
Once there, a tragic event from the past that will forever connect them bubbles to the surface. A tragedy from their collective childhoods will be revealed that will test and tear at their relationship, which, when you thing about it, is so ironic, especially when it comes to stories about gay young men.
Instead of their relationship being the flash point, as it so often can be when it comes to family, that is never an issue in Akron. Acceptance is always there. It is something beyond that that Benny and Christopher will have to resolve if their love for each other is to survive.
Akron belies its origins not only as an independent production (it began its production life as a Kickstarter endeavor back in 2013) but the first film for Brian O’Donnell as a writer and director. Judging on how well this film is put together, not only technically, but on an emotional level as well, we can expect to see more films in the future from O’Donnell.
Also heading to the DVD market place on Feb. 7 is director Piotr J. Lewandowski’s festival-winning German-language import, Jonathan.
Do you want the past explored and revealed so that the secrets are no more? This is what haunts 24-year old Jonathan (Jannis Niewöhner), who has become the caretaker of the family farm as his father Berghard (André Hennicke) is dying of cancer. Weeks, perhaps only days remain.
His sister, Martha (Barbara Auer), knows some of the issues, but keeps them “safely” tucked away. The nurse, Anka (Julia Koschitz), is as caring as she is alluring. Jonathan can’t resist her … and that is a distraction that consumes time that he can’t afford right now if he is to resolve the issues — that itch that you cannot scratch — with his father.
Jonathan is a moody piece, deliberately so, that has a twist that arrives literally at the doorstep that is not what one could have expected. Presented in German with English subtitles.