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Gay short movies
Sugar Orange (2004): A Tale of Friendship, Love, and Loss

Sugar Orange (2004): A Tale of Friendship, Love, and Loss

A young love in the shadow of an old friendship, that was not meant to be love. Director: Andreas Struck ...
Devil's Path (2018): A Gripping LGBTQ Horror Thriller

Devil’s Path (2018): A Gripping LGBTQ Horror Thriller

Two men encounter each other on a dangerous gay cruising park trail, and quickly find themselves caught up in a ...
G.B.F. (2013): A Refreshing Take on Teen Comedy

G.B.F. (2013): A Refreshing Take on Teen Comedy

Set against the backdrop of high school cliques and the quest for acceptance, "G.B.F." explores the journey of Tanner and ...
Great Freedom (2021): A Stirring German Prison Drama

Great Freedom (2021): A Stirring German Prison Drama

"Great Freedom" delves into the life of Hans Hoffman, a gay man subjected to repeated imprisonment under Paragraph 175. The ...
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Home » Drama » Joy Boy (2018): Embracing Authenticity

"Joy Boy" chronicles the life of Jonny, a young man grappling with his inner self. From a flamboyant and precocious child named his mother's "joy boy" to a charismatic youth leader in an evangelical church, Jonny's journey is marked by the complex interplay of family, faith, and emerging sexuality. As he undergoes conversion therapy, the film takes us through pivotal moments in his life, compelling him to confront and ultimately embrace his whole self.

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Joy Boy (2018)
10 min | Drama, Short film | 08 February 2018
6.5Rating: 6.5/10 from 29 users
"Joy Boy" is a bold and intense short drama that packs a punch with its ambitious storytelling. Stef Smith and Jonny Hawkins, who also stars in the lead role, deliver a film that dives into the complexities of faith, family, and self-discovery. The narrative, supported by a visually striking set design, explores the emotional journey of a boy who loses himself in conformity only to find immeasurable gain in embracing his true identity.



Directed by Stef Smith and co-written with Jonny Hawkins, who also leads the cast, a gripping short drama that fearlessly explores the multifaceted journey of Jonny, a young man wrestling with his inner self. This ambitious narrative spans a wide timeline and emotional terrain, expertly navigating the complexities of emerging sexuality, family, faith, and self-discovery.

The film begins with a memorable childhood moment where Jonny, his family’s “joy boy,” captivates an adult dinner with a performance reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe’s iconic rendition of “Happy Birthday.” The narrative then catapults to Jonny as a charismatic leader in his evangelical church, adept at dazzling audiences but deeply entrenched in the closet.

Breaking away from a linear storytelling approach, “Joy Boy” weaves between Jonny’s memories, conversations with his girlfriend, and stolen glimpses of love. This ambitious and multi-layered approach crafts an impressionistic portrait of Jonny, torn between conflicting influences.

The visuals are a standout feature, skillfully reflecting each period of Jonny’s life with distinct looks. His childhood exudes warmth and vintage charm, while his time in the church has a sharp, clinical sheen. Actor Jonny Hawkins, alongside his younger counterpart George Holahan-Cantwell, delivers a compelling performance, anchoring the audience with the portrayal of a boy who loses himself in conformity but finds immeasurable gain in breaking free.

Based on a true story, “Joy Boy” is a whirlwind of color, glitter, and mood, with alluded events and evocative images that beckon for further exploration. It skillfully balances the fast-paced narrative with moments of introspection, becoming a sincere, warmhearted tale of self-acceptance, self-love, and the pursuit of joy—a universal journey in a world that often demands conformity until the authentic voice within can no longer be denied.

“Joy Boy” is a masterfully crafted exploration of identity and authenticity, resonating with sincerity and warmth. It’s a celebration of the human spirit’s resilience in the face of societal expectations—a journey that echoes the struggles and triumphs many of us encounter on the path to embracing our true selves.

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