BARCELONA — Erika Lust’s XConfessions has released a new short, titled “Catboy,” directed by Cristian Sitjas.
“Catboy” highlights the issue of racial discrimination in gay dating apps and “how the ballroom scene provides a space for BIPOC and trans folks to escape white society’s violence towards them and freely be,” a rep explained. “It takes the audience on a journey of queer celebration where community and pride fuel the main character forward.”
The short co-stars Panterino as Marc and Javi des Leon as Leo, and features ballroom performers Cacao, Rico Louboutin, Jayce Gorgeous Gucci, Chichi Yang, Evangelina Laveaux, Anouar Merabet ‘Nefertiti’, Chap and 32 more extras.
After scrolling through openly racist and femmephobic profiles and bios on a gay dating app, Marc (Panterino) gets a message from his friend Cacao who invites him to join her at a ballroom. Feeling like there’s no space for him in the dating scene as a racialized person, he decides to go. Across the crowded room, he meets the attractive Leo (Javier des Leon), a contestant in the Catboy Sex Siren category he can’t stop staring at.
Marc joins Leo on the catwalk, where they share a strong chemistry that doesn’t go unnoticed. Marc will fall in love with such a vibrant community, a space for political protest and celebration, that finally gives him the space and freedom he deserves.
Producer Erika Lust said, “This is Cristian’s debut in XConfessions, and I can’t wait for what’s more to come from this young director. This movie captures the essence of a ballroom fantasy with gorgeous aesthetics and a powerful message. The two male performers had such a chemistry that paired with the color, the styling and the space made it a truly incredible cinematic experience to be seen — a dream come true.”
Cristian Sitjas is a director and screenwriter from Barcelona. After writing and directing the short films “Violeta,” “Placebo,” and “La Muerte de Oso,” this is his debut for XConfessions.
Sitjas said, “With ‘Catboy’ I wanted to criticize the white normative gay collective and the pressure it exerts on minorities. The most important thing was to find cast and extras who are a part of the community to capture the real actual ballroom scene. I wanted them to be the stars.”
“Catboy” had its exclusive theatrical premiere in Barcelona on June 7 in Cinemes Girona, prior to its online release on XConfessions. All proceeds went to Barcelona-based NGO ACATHI, supporting their efforts in giving opportunities to LGBTQIA+ migrants and refugees since 2002.
To watch “Catboy,” visit XConfessions.com.
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