Award Screening: Audience Award, Narrative Second Place: Saturday Church
Working single mother Amara leaves her two boys at home with domineering Aunt Rose, and Rose has her eyes on the older son, Ulysses. Stealing nylons, wearing his mother’s shoes: Ulysses is just beginning to explore his identity and sexuality. When Rose demands an end to it, the boy escapes to the Village and discovers both supportive friends and the inspiration to become exactly what he is feeling inside. The problem: Rose is waiting back home. Luka Kain delivers a magnetic performance as Ulysses—who in his best moments hears music all around, and yet faces some of the worst circumstances imaginable—in this drama about finding a literal sanctum, so that you can find yourself. It’s a complicated life Ulysses leads, and Damon Cardasis’s musical coming-of-age story is all the better for tackling multiple sides of the young LGBTQ experience, with compassion and heart combined.